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We were chosen to work on the project because of our experience in developing voluntary, pollution-prevention-based recognition programs. For example, Greener Results helped develop Virginia Green, Virginia’s successful program to encourage green practices in all sectors of that state’s tourism industry. We also helped develop Maryland Green Travel which launched a similar voluntary program in 2009. Both of these programs provide recognition opportunities for their participants, but depend upon active consumer involvement to ensure that facilities observe the green practices to which they have committed.
For the full press release on this new program, click here.
Annapolis Green Drinks, along with Virginia Beach Green Drinks, are the at the helm of the coordinated "toast" and call to action, with each Green Drinks group from Pennsylvania to Virginia meeting simultaneously, each in its respective location. To find a location nearest you, click here.
The Virginia Green program was originally developed while Greener Results director Tom Griffin was working for the Virginia DEQ. Greener Results now serves as lead consultant to the program and Tom Griffin serves as spokesperson for the the program and coordinates the efforts of the Virginia Green Advisory Committee. Virginia Green is a statewide program that works to reduce the environmental impacts of Virginia's tourism industry and also provides recognition, guidance, and criteria for all sectors of tourism to self-certify their green activities.
One of the resources that Virginia Green provides is a regular email newsletter, the Virginia Green Gazette, which includes helpful updates, links, and information for any business going green. We'll share a link to each newsletter here as it provides relevant tips and information for anyone passionate about going green. Or, you're welcome to subscribe for yourself.
The study is a lengthy document with the following summary:
"Travel and hospitality consumers are rapidly and enthusiastically becoming educated on the issues, and demanding greater social and environmental engagement from destinations and suppliers. There is a shift in consumer consciousness that is resulting in a rethinking of consumption patterns toward more responsible, earth-friendly alternatives. Tourism and hospitality industry leaders are similarly embracing sustainability to establish competitive advantage, enhance brand value and drive sales. This is moving market share for those taking initial steps."
How are you as a tourism and hospitality professional responding to this shift in consumer consciousness? You first must have an understanding of the green consumer and the CMI study tackles the task of creating a green traveler profile. Not surprisingly, they found there are various "shades" of green travelers. The various profiles are created based on responses to a series of questions and behavior categories including:
- Environmental Awareness
- Green Purchases
- Choosing Money or the Environment
- Use of Environmental Media
- Attendance at Events
Responding to the shift in consumer consciousness is a seemingly overwhelming but necessary process. It is more than a list of tasks to "go green;" it is a parallel shift in tourism and hospitality consciousness. We know this because sustainability is part of our own business--it is something we understand, teach, consult on, develop, guide, implement, and support.
NBC12 goes behind the scenes at The Republic Restaurant and Bar and does a great job at highlighting the green facets of the restaurants as well as allowing owner Rick Lyons to speak to the financial and environmental benefits to going green. See for yourself how easy it is to achieve greener results.
Do you remember litmus paper from chemistry class? Blue to red indicates acid; red to blue indicates a base.…or something like that. In a similar way, basic recycling of cans, paper, etc. is typically viewed as the first indicator of environmental commitment. In the unwritten Rules of Going Green, you shouldn’t exactly be espousing how wonderful your new LEED-rated building is going to be if you haven’t even established basic recycling at your other properties.
Lamp recycling? Well, let’s just say that if you’re recycling lamps, it’s a pretty good indicator that your organization actually understands its regulatory responsibilities AND it’s probably fairly committed to the environment. Not recycling lamps? I’ve been on dozens of hazardous wastes / EPA inspections in my day, and RCRA inspectors just plain bristle up and start sharpening their pencils when they figure out that lamps aren’t being managed properly. Not recycling lamps is a clear indication that you really don’t understand regulatory requirements; that you’re not focused on the environment; and you probably aren’t running a very efficient building in any way!
Lamp recycling is a critical measure of greenness – because if you’re not recycling lamps, there are almost certainly other hazardous materials that aren’t being managed properly. Paint solvents – well they can go down the drain right? Old floor waxes and cleaning supplies - down the drain too or right in the dumpster? How about this bottle of mercury I found in the basement? You’re supposed to recycle batteries?
When I work with a company and I find out that they’re recycling lamps, I know that we have plenty to build upon….and that we can soon help to get that company credit for its efforts. Build in a commitment to recycle more and reduce wastes and energy and water consumption over time; and you’ve soon got an award-winning program on your hands!
Sometimes the greening process begins with a directive from management and a healthy budget; sometimes it’s just a departmental initiative to make changes in the physical plant without affecting the service level or the bottom line. Either way, chances are you can make a big difference. Here are some places to start:
It's enough to make you feel hopeless and depressed. We believe that by working together we can turn things around. We see the proverbial glass not as half empty, but as half full.
Our ancestors came here by water. Many of us live here because of the water. Who, then, has a greater stake in the health of the Chesapeake Bay than we who live in the Sailing Capital?
It was the Summer of 2007 when it hit – the Green Tornado, or better known to her friends as Dawn Schick. Dawn and Albert Schick had been operating Grace Manor Inn in Richmond’s Historic Fan District for just over 4 years. Albert and Dawn had just taken the trash out – again! It was amazing how much waste their 4-guestroom operation generated! That very day, Dawn said, “Albert, we are going green”; and Albert said, “Yes, honey”, and the Green Tornado has been whirling ever since!