Wednesday, October 14, 2009

The Boulderado Green Team

Earlier this year, the Hotel Boulderado employees formed a Green Team to make sure that we are doing everything possible to be as green as we can. You might remember an Earth Day blog post where I shared some of what we do to be a green hotel. The Green Team is kicking these efforts up a notch as we try to become a certified green business. They've been working with the Environmental Protection Agency on a waste reduction program -- hopefully, this will lead to certification from the EPA and PACE (Partners for A Clean Environment). The Green Team has focused on three main areas: resource management, energy efficiency, and water conservation, but is keeping in mind that no change is too big or too small.

Monthly energy evaluations measure how much gas, electric, and water/waste the hotel uses, which helps us to keep an eye on these levels. The hotel recently reconfigured our recycle and waste disposal program, and by doing so, we are able to recycle at least 25% more than before and reduce waste by 25%. This was accomplished by converting our old Glass & Can and Cardboard recycle bins into one Single Stream dumpster, where we can also recycle things like phone books, milk and juice cartons, brown paper bags, and aluminum foil. The kitchens at the Boulderado (both from the catering department and Q's Restaurant) are now partaking in composting. (And big thank you to Pete, our banquet chef, for researching special composting bags!)

Some upgrades and replacements are also taking on a greener tint here at the Boulderado. We purchased six new HVAC units on the roof of the historic building. The old units were very inefficient, being over 25 years old. (Commercial units are measured in SEER units to rate their efficiency -- the removed units rated an 8, while the new ones are rated as 13, with higher number indicating more efficiency.) As exit signs need replacement, they are repalced with LED exit signs, and the maintenance department has replaced about 30% of the signs to date. All T-12 fluorescent bulbs have been repalced with T-8 bulbs with electrical ballasts.

What else are we doing? Over half our employees have and use (and love!) an Eco-Pass. The Sales Office, which uses more paper than any other department in the hotel, tries to use recycled paper whenever possible to use up both sides of each piece of paper, and also switched over to paper that contains 30% post-consumer waste. Computers are turned off in offices overnight and during the weekends.

Way to go, Green Team! I will be sure to keep everyone posted on their work as we move the Hotel Boulderado into a clean, green world.