Saturday, November 08, 2008

Turning Green

In researching what it means to be "green" the best advice I got was to start with a list of all the things we do now that fall under environmentally friendly. Then make a list of all the things we would like to do, then start implementing and moving items from the Green to-do list to the Green done list...and before you know it—GREEN

Here are the things we have identified as implemented: Green Done
  1. Floors laid with bamboo, a sustainable resource
  2. Swirl light bulbs where we can
  3. Purchased fuel economy car for housekeeping use trading in 8 miles to the gallon on an old van for 39 miles to the gallon on a new car.
  4. Exterior lighting is on timers
  5. Room notices posted to guests suggesting an option to
    Reuse of towels on multi-night stays
    Reuse of linens for multi-night stays
  6. Recycle paper for internal memos and note paper
  7. Live plants for to improve indoor air quality & promote restful environment.
  8. We pay a service to have our cardboard picked up for recycling
  9. Recycle printer & toner ink cartridges
  10. Neutered dog, no new Goose puppies
  11. In housekeeping we only run full loads of laundry and make best attempts to use machines at low energy times of the day
  12. Use of 100% recycled toilet and tissue paper
  13. Outdoor plants are on a drip system for watering
  14. Waste oil and grease from the kitchen is donated to a company that recycles it into Biodiesel fuel
  15. Installed all new windows, double pained with insulation and noise reduction between the panes.
  16. Insulated the hotel from the attic to the basement and above and below the restaurant and kitchen
  17. Replaced ice machine that worked on a water cooling with one that worked on air cooling, estimated reduction in water use, 3000 gallons a month.
  18. Replaced old and inefficient refrigerators with energy efficient equipment, eliminated one refrigerator from inventory.
  19. Purchased a micro freezer for frequently accessed items reducing door opening of large freezer with much smaller one with a far quicker recovery rate.
  20. Replace inefficient toilets with low-flow toilets
  21. Installed two HVAC units, one to run the second floor and one to run the first floor. Able to use only one system during slow periods and balance our heating and cooling needs with where the people are.
  22. Use products that can be washed and reused vs disposables such as linen table clothes and clothe napkins.
  23. Installed an instant hot water heater to run the kitchen needs. Reducing drain on the hotel system and providing hot water only when we need it.
  24. We have assigned a person to getting educated on what it means to be green, and subscribe to a number of relevant newsletters to keep us on top of new technologies and research in the field.

Things we are researching and hope some day to move to the above list:

  1. Transition more of our paper products to recycled including to-go boxes for the restaurant, hand towels in the bathrooms, paper napkins, doggie bags and bags we use for retail item sales. Currently getting pricing and sample from leading suppliers.
  2. Research environmentally friendly cleaning products for kitchen and laundry supplies. Must still meet health standards.
  3. Take a new look at solar options for the hotel. Our first research on this priced it out of our ability to procure, but advancements in technology and credits may make this a viable option
  4. Install a water tank to catch & store water four our gardens during the summer.
  5. Convert more lighting to florescent, use energy efficient bulbs where this isn't possible
  6. Install ceiling fans for better air circulation, reducing use of air conditioner
  7. Establish a recycling area with proper colored bins for guest use from the parking area.
  8. Establish with the trash folks exactly what they can & can't take from us, if they would start a service similar to their residential service for businesses. Else, find a group, business or person that will regularly transfer our recyclables to the processing places in Sonora. Consider paying to have someone haul our recyclables to the processeing center.

We recognize that these lists don't make us "green" yet. It is a mindset and a way of thinking that one builds into their life. But without making it a business priority, we won't ever make a smaller footprint on the earth. We have a long way to go, but we have started and use "green" thinking for all of our new purchases & improvements.

As we move items from our to-do list to our done list, we will update our website Hotel Charlotte Green list and twice a year compare with this original list and check that we are heading in the right direction.

1 comment:

Ben C Propane Refrigerator said...

Good Tips, Try going to solar, wind, or hydro powerd dc refrigerators and freezers if you can for maximum reduction in energy use.
Ben C.