Two Shows in Two Weeks—Both Offering New Green Products, Services

5/11/2012 By Glenn Hasek

This is a busy time for trade shows. This past week I attended the National Restaurant Association Restaurant, Hotel-Motel Show in Chicago. Reflecting the improving economy, the event posted strong growth in both attendee and exhibitor numbers. The Show attracted 61,000 people from all 50 states and more than 100 countries—a 6 percent increase over 2011. From May 14 to 16 I will be in Las Vegas at Hospitality Design Expo & Conference. More than 900 exhibitors and 7,000 attendees are expected. I will be leading one of the four “green conversations” on the trade show floor during HD Expo (Tuesday, May 15, 10:30 a.m., Booth 3836.) The focus: “What are We Teaching Our Students and What Can They Teach Us?”

In Chicago there were more than 1,900 exhibitors in attendance so it was not an easy task to talk to every “green” vendor but I was able to get a sense of what is “green hot” in food service operations. It seemed like everywhere I turned there was a different company selling eco-friendly food packaging, tableware and utensil products—for “to go” purposes, breakfast and other occasions. Whether made from sugar cane, potatoes, corn or bamboo, these items were touted as being more readily biodegradable and compostable than products traditionally used in food service. Have you made the transition to these types of items yet?

Also hot topics, as in years past, were cooking oil and grease. Numerous companies were on hand offering their cooking oil and grease collection services. Companies also offered innovative oil storage containers that minimize mess and deter theft. One company was in attendance with its cooking oil recycling system—a machine that filters used oil so that it can be reused. If you are not getting paid for the oil and grease that is collected from your property, it may be time to check out other vendors. One company said it is now paying from 60 cents to a dollar per gallon for used cooking oil. Of course used cooking oil and grease can be recycled into biofuel.

Hand Dryers a Big Hit

Energy-efficient hand dryers were big again this year. Seems like most vendors now have dryers powered by what seem like miniature jet engines that dry hands in a few seconds. Are you still providing paper towels to your guests? These hand dryers make paper towels unnecessary—saving you money and a lot of paper waste.

Still using petroleum-based chafing fuels? I came across four or five vendors selling fuels made from alternatives to petroleum. Some of the products are endorsed by the Green Restaurant Assn. and/or carry the new USDA Certified Biobased Product label. One vendor’s gel is made from sugar cane alcohol (ethanol). These new gels are safe and will not run if a container is tipped over.

Each year it seems there are an increasing number of companies selling flameless candles. That was true again this year. I am amazed at how realistic these are now. When used with rechargeable batteries, these candles that feature LED bulbs can eliminate a lot of the waste associated with wax candles.

Items ranging from energy management systems to construction systems to Energy Star rated food service equipment were also featured at the Restaurant, Hotel-Motel Show. If you would like the names of any of the vendors that were at the Show selling any of the products mentioned above, send me an e-mail at editor@greenlodgingnews.com.

Be sure to watch Green Lodging News this coming week for coverage of the HD Expo & Conference and to learn about some of our industry’s latest design-oriented green products and services.

GLN Adds Harris Pillow Supply Case Study to Website

Green Lodging News has added a new case study to its website. The case study focuses on the Hilton Concord in Concord, Calif., and its success using the Pillow-Vac pillow renovation machine from Harris Pillow Supply. The Hilton Concord’s cost to purchase new pillows is $18.00 to $24.50 per pillow, depending upon the size and style. The overall average cost of a new pillow is $20.70. The average cost of renovating a pillow with the Pillow-Vac is $8.56, providing an average net savings of $12.14 per pillow. This includes labor, energy and other associated costs associated with the operation of the Pillow-Vac. The annual savings from the Pillow-Vac is estimated to be $15,842, a return on investment of approximately three months. To read the complete case study, click here.

Who is Your Company’s Green Champion?

Every two or three weeks Green Lodging News features a sustainability/green champion in its Personnel Profile section. I am currently seeking suggestions for individuals to profile. Got someone to nominate? Contact me at (440) 243-2055, or by e-mail at editor@greenlodgingnews.com.

Looking for Guest Columnists

Every two weeks Green Lodging News posts a new guest column on its website. (Click here for examples.) The guest column also appears in the weekly e-newsletter. Green Lodging News is currently in need of industry experts to contribute occasional guest columns. Experts may include consultants, architects, designers, suppliers and those who own or operate green lodging establishments. Columns may be articles that take a stance on a particular subject or be strictly educational in nature. Columnists benefit by having their photo included along with a one paragraph description of their company. Interested in writing a column? Contact Glenn Hasek, publisher and editor, at (440) 243-2055, or by e-mail at editor@greenlodgingnews.com.

Planning Advertising for 2012?

Green Lodging News is accepting reservations for advertising spots for 2012. Many excellent spots are available on the website and in the weekly e-mail newsletter. Many Green Supplier Spotlight dates are also available. Interested in receiving a 2012 media kit? Be sure to contact me as soon as possible at (440) 243-2055, or by e-mail at editor@greenlodgingnews.com. A media kit can also be accessed by clicking here. Thank you to all of those companies that consistently support Green Lodging News.

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