Rooftop Gardening

Rooftops aren’t very useful, or are they?

Utilizing your building’s extra space for gardening is a great way to help the earth, grow food, and provide a nice area for guests. Rooftop gardening has become more and more popular, providing hotels with a unique attraction and fresh food for guests.

Rooftop gardens are growing more common for urban hotels! Many restaurants grow their own herbs and vegetables to use in the kitchen.

*Please note: Gardens should avoid utilizing harmful pesticides.*

Specific ways hoteliers can implement gardening at their property:

  1. Designate an in-house team that will oversee the garden implementation project.

    • It may incorporate members from various departments, such as:

      • Culinary (Chef)

      • Engineering/Security

      • Marketing

      • Other green team members (if applicable)

  2. Planning and design should be taken into consideration before investing in a garden/rooftop garden

    • Identify what areas can be utilized as a garden (rooftop, outdoor space, indoor space*, etc.)

    • Determine maintenance costs and schedule for upkeep of project

    • For hotels in urban setting, think of creating a garden with planting troughs or boxes, especially on rooftop areas.

  3. Consider placing the garden in area that guests can also access, if not view. Or if this is not feasible, ensure that it is communicated with guests (i.e. menu offerings, in-room communications).

*Gardens can be used as an interesting attraction for a hotel. It brings attention to the beauty of nature, as well as the benefits of growing your own food. This will bring positive feedback from your guests.

 

Source: GreenView Portal

Sustainable Seafood

Sustainable fishing and fish farming has gained more attention and is crucial to our environment. Sustainable seafood is purchased from sustainable fisheries that can be from wild fisheries or farm raised aquaculture and will likely hold some type of certification, such as:

    • MSC ecolabel

    • ASC Aquaculture Certification

Over consumption of seafood globally has caused “90% of the world’s fisheries” to be either fully exploited, overexploited or collapsed. Ocean health helps regulate climate change, and the fishing industry provides millions of jobs globally. More education around sustainable procurement practices is needed, especially when it comes to sustainable seafood.

Consumers are increasingly more aware of overfishing and poor labor issues within the seafood industry; will expect properties to source from sustainable fisheries.

Tips on Sustainable Seafood Purchases:

Steps to buying sustainably:

  1. Conduct a seafood inventory audit.

    • Indicate which areas of your current supply chain can be replaced with more sustainable options

    • Have culinary team manage and implement menu changes to incorporate sustainable seafood.

This is a necessary effort that engages the food & beverage department to adopt sustainable seafood procurement policies alongside menu planning efforts. Buy local seafood when possible and has some type of certification. US-based fisheries are preferred because they are more regulated. Have an overall policy statement around sustainable seafood for all related marketing collateral on property’s website, menu or brochures for the hotel and restaurant.

Gauge guest expectations.

    • Are there any menu items that draw negative attention towards the hotel? (i.e. shark fin, Chilean Sea Bass, etc.)

    • Have staff gauge if certain types of seafood are being requested by the guest.

Sustainable Seafood Shopping can make a large difference in the fish population. Please use sustainable sources when purchasing.

Source: Greenview Portal

Vegan/Vegetarian Menus and Substitutes

In more recent news, the Vegan and Vegetarian diet has become more popular- for a good reason. The Vegetarian diet consists of anything except meat protein, this includes dairy products. Vegan diets on the other hand are completely plant based, therefore no animal products are consumed whatsoever.

Veganism and Vegetarianism are saving animals and our planet. The water, energy, and animals that are used for meat put a large dent in American CO2 Production. By reducing red meat consumption, 15-35% of GHG (a type of greenhouse gas) will be cut by 2050. By accommodating vegan/vegetarian diets, you will be participating in benefitting our planet. Plant-based diets will gain further traction as world populations increasing move towards middle-class status; creating a need for protein rich diets will be crucial without increasing meat consumption.

Here are some ways to incorporate and benefit from introducing vegan and vegetarian options:

  • Hotels will benefit from adding meat substitutes as options for vegans and vegetarians. This will increase likability, and also help our planet.

  • Collaborate with culinary team to focus on food trends around vegan/vegetarian consumer preferences.

  • Try to incorporate vegan/vegetarian dishes that are also organic and local items if possible.

  • Source new vendors that can offer new vegan and vegetarian friendly products to menu.

  • Make sure to mark any vegan/vegetarian dishes and properly train colleagues so they are well versed to answer any guest questions pertaining to the menu.

  • Buy fruit that is in season, and grown locally- this reduces the carbon emissions from transport from a different country/region.


Source: Greenview Portal

Low Hanging Fruit: Window Film

Window tinting is often only associated with automobiles and usually immediately written off as a purely aesthetic measure, however there are many benefits to applying window film to your commercial building that are easily overlooked:

Increased Energy Savings

A good, high-quality tint will prevent warmth from escaping during the winter and keep the heat out during the summer. This means an easier load on your facilities’ HVAC systems and a reduction on your monthly fuel and electric costs. Imagine the savings reaped from applying this method in conjunction with Energy Management System technologies such as Verdant’s Occupancy Sensors!

Increased Comfortability

It’s important that your building is comfortable for all of your guests and employees. Not only does commercial window film provide a stable climate for all to enjoy, but it screens out significant amounts of UV rays, heat and glare from entering softening the light, balancing the temperature and maintaining a comfortable environment all year-round.

Increased Safety 

Window films not only keep extra money in your pocket and provide a comfortable environment, they also provide extra security for your visitors and workers alike. Glass panes are always vulnerable to shattering or breaking, whether by force or by accident. Commercial window films come in thick security film versions which hold glass in place and prevent shards from spraying into the building and potentially injuring anyone. These films increase safety by reducing the chances of burglary, property damage, and also personal injury.

New Hotel Technologies That Will Keep Your Guests And Your Wallet Happy

Microwave Motion Sensors

Applying Integrated Automatic Motion Sensors (IAMS) to your existing lighting is a sure-fire way to improve your electrical efficiency and reduce your energy costs. It’s particularly useful for your parking lot lighting as it will dim your lights to a lower setting unless the presence of a person is detected, lowering your overall power usage. Additionally, it acts as a deterrent against burglars effectively acting as part of your security system and won’t cost you a fortune!

Smart Thermostats (Occupancy Sensors)

Using Energy Management Systems and Smart Thermostats such as Verdant Thermostats allows you to save even more on energy costs! With their patented thermostats and occupancy sensors, the temperature is allowed to drift when the room is unoccupied and significantly reduces HVAC runtime when guests are no longer in the room.

7 Things You Didn't Know about LED Lighting!

7. LED bulbs can be six-seven times more energy efficient than conventional incandescent lights and cut energy use by more than 80 percent!

6. Good-quality LED bulbs have a lifespan of 25,000 hours or more – this is more than 25 times longer than traditional lights. Even if you never turned your lights off, this means your bulbs will last more than 3 years.

5. Incandescent bulbs release 90 percent of their energy as heat. LEDs are far more efficient and give off much less heat; this means they are safer to handle as well!

4. LEDs are everywhere! LEDs are used in a wide range of applications because of their unique characteristics, which include compact size, ease of maintenance, resistance to breakage, and the ability to focus the light in a single direction instead of having it go every which way.

3. Save the Earth, use greener energy! LEDs have a smaller environmental impact than incandescent bulbs. They also have an edge over compact fluorescent lights (CFLs) which has only grown over the years as LED technology steadily improves.

2. The first LED was invented by Nick Holonyak, Jr., while working for GE in 1962. A lot has changed since then as the technology for LEDs continues to get better with technological advancements and its cost has only dropped! This makes LEDs a viable and affordable lighting solution. By 2030, it's estimated that LEDs will account for 75 percent of all lighting sales.

1. In 2012, about 49 million LEDs were installed in the U.S. -- saving about $675 million in annual energy costs. Switching entirely to LED lights over the next two decades could save the U.S. $250 billion in energy costs, reduce electricity consumption for lighting by nearly 50 percent and avoid 1,800 million metric tons of carbon emissions. Imagine what it can do for you!