Government Connections - Summer 2014 - (Page 19)

PLAN GREEN Sustainability on the Go BY TED MILLER, CHME, CHSP, CGTP, CGMP GLOBAL ACCOUNT DIRECTOR STARWOOD HOTELS AND RESORTS Question: When I am at home I find many ways to be green, but I am wondering what I can do as a traveler to continue to make an impact? Answer: Most hotels offer opportunities for you to continue to be green with some simple yet very sustainable options. The first area to consider is not having the sheets changed every day. At home, most people sleep on the same sheets for probably a week before they change them. By selecting this option, the hotel is not using the water and cleaning solutions to wash the sheets. Also, there is an energy savings from not needing to dry and run the sheets through the ironer. It seems rather simple, but declining daily sheet replacement does make a real impact. Question: When I travel, I find that sometimes the meal portions are more than I can eat. How is uneaten food handled to not impact the environment? Answer: There are many new brands of hotels that have been built with sustainable options in their drive to be LEED certified. One option many of them choose is to establish a composting area where uneaten food can be deposited. This normally is done in hotels that are suburban or in resort areas so that the composting can be done where it is not noticeable to guests. The other way hotels and restaurants have been handling unserved food is to donate it to local charitable organizations. There are many meeting professionals who place a clause in their hotel contracts that designates any unserved food must be donated rather than discarded. Question: Does it really make a difference if I spot something mechanical not working correctly and point it out to the hotel or convention center staff? Answer: While each of those facilities has engineering departments, they cannot be everywhere at every minute. Most people may not realize that if your room has a toilet that continues to run, it can waste 200 gallons of water a day. Many times the problem is as simple as replacing the flapper or adjusting the fill level of the float valve. Also, when a hotel hears a complaint from a guest, they take it seriously and react to it quickly. Reporting a problem is the responsible thing to do. It seems rather simple, but declining daily sheet replacement does make a real impact. Question: How common is it now for someone who travels to see recycling opportunities? Answer: Most business operations that deal with travelers continue to increase the opportunity for you to recycle. It can be as simple as a recycling container in the room or having recycling bins designated for paper or cans in the public areas. Every building operation pays to have trash removed while recycled items can either generate a small return or be handled on a no cost basis. 19

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Government Connections - Summer 2014

President’s Letter
Editor’s Letter
Going Places
Get Your Green On
2014 SGMP NEC & Expo Highlights
Conference Connection
Plan Green
Technology for the Meeting Traveler on the Go
Supplier Strategy
Technology Trends
CGMP Corner
National Updates
SGMP Nation
Advertisers’ Index

Government Connections - Summer 2014