Browsing Tag

living green

Embracing the impact of more green moves

October 3, 2019
living green

You’ve likely seen the headlines. Last month Marriott International announced that it’s moving away from single-use bath amenities in its hotel properties around the world. Since these plastic bottles of shampoo, conditioner, and bath gel often end up in landfills, Marriott instead will equip its guest baths with larger, pump-topped bottles – also known as bulk dispensers.

It’s big news in our industry for a couple of reasons: First, according to the company’s August 28 announcement, this environmental stance is expected to prevent about 500 million tiny bottles annually from going to landfills. That’s about 1.7 million pounds of plastic, a 30 percent annual reduction from the iconic brand’s current amenity plastic usage. Secondly, Marriott’s not the only hospitality leader to launch bold sustainability plans.

Building on environmental momentum

In fact, IHG® (InterContinental Hotels Group) made a similar pledge earlier this summer. IHG will switch to bulk-size bathroom amenities in all of its properties by the end of 2021. And earlier in the summer, the Radisson Hotel Group™ introduced a series of environmentally and socially responsible initiatives at its beachfront resorts in Asia.

Radisson’s steps included replacing plastic straws as well as plastic bottles. Marriott began phasing out disposable plastic straws and stirrers in its properties last year, and IHG promises to remove plastic straws from its hotels by the end of 2019. Hilton has also made paper straws a brand standard in its properties.

“As a product supplier to Marriott, IHG and Hilton, we absolutely support and celebrate these major initiatives,” said Deidre Schwartz, Director of Design & Sustainability at American Hotel. “But we also view their announcements as a call to action to the industry as a whole. For us, that means strengthening our ability to identify and offer more environmentally responsible products to help our customers be true stewards of sustainability.”

A rallying cry for sustainable practices

To that end, our Living Green collection of eco-friendly products has grown to more than 4,600 items in a variety of categories. This includes bulk amenity dispensers. As a product manager at American Hotel, Katie Schultz works closely with hotel customers who happen to share IHG and Marriott’s renewed focus on bath amenities.

“Yes, we are seeing more interest in our bulk dispensers, but we have also helped customers choose amenities that are made of natural ingredients, are paraben free, and use recyclable packaging,” said Schultz. “By partnering with our suppliers as well as customers, we are offering more alternatives every year that support new sustainability goals.”

As a hospitality source with more than 150 years of industry expertise, American Hotel has always guided its hotel customers through the challenges and opportunities of change. Being a partner in support of environmental change is no different.

“There is no question the way all of us operate is changing forever,” said Schwartz. “And there is no question we, as a hospitality supplier, are positioned to make a dramatic difference for our customers and for our communities. This is a call to action we embrace, because it’s our collective responsibility to make sure future generations are afforded the same opportunities we have.”

3 small ways your property can make a big environmental impact

July 31, 2019

Sustainability has become a priority for hotels in recent years – not only because of its importance, but also because travelers are demanding it. According to the 2019 Sustainable Travel Report, almost two thirds of U.S. travelers intend to stay at least once in an eco-friendly or green accommodation when looking at the year ahead.

Yet becoming more eco-friendly can be a long, complicated and costly process, especially for larger hotel chains. However, there are some easy changes properties can make to go green.

1. Replace plastic straws with paper ones

Many organizations are taking steps to remove plastic straws from their properties and replace them with paper ones. In fact, some cities and states across the country have started implementing their own plastic straw bans, which can impact the hotels that do business there. To make a change like this one more attainable, start slowly and set a long-term goal for their removal.

2. Encourage recycling

Recycling is a practice that has been around for a long time, yet not all properties have fully embraced it. Start by simply adding recycling receptacles to common areas, making it easy for guests to recycle. Also, encourage employees to be more eco-friendly by giving them a quick training on what can and can’t be recycled.

3. Use compostable can liners

Even if you succeed in setting up a recycling program at your property, it won’t mean as much if your can liners aren’t compostable. Consider investing in the Pitt Plastics BioStar compostable can liner, which is made with a Star Sealed compostable plastic that can help keep your facility eco-friendly and support your mission to protect the environment. The liners are made with 1.0 millimeter fiber content that prevents leaks and ensures durability, and are perforated with 150 bags per case to keep supplies well stocked. They come in a variety of sizes to fit your needs, including:

While it may not be easy to completely overhaul your current practices and replace them with greener ones, by making these small changes, you’ll help the environment and also attract sustainable-minded guests.

Live Green to Wake Up to A Better Tomorrow

May 30, 2013

go green hotel energy efficiency

We have already written about steps that the hospitality industry is taking to provide greener facilities: Green Lighting for the Hospitality Industry and more recently, Green at Heart: One Brand’s Commitment to the Environment. In this post, we will get more into the details and find out why this is such an appealing, important, and critical move to make.

Before embarking on a quest to renovate your hospitality facility into an environmentally responsible one, or develop an environmental management system, it is necessary to understand some of the motivators in embracing the environment.

Providing a green hospitality facility not only saves you money, it helps preserve the environment and attract more visitors. Additionally, the EPA lists the following benefits of going green: hospitality facilities can reduce costs, achieve environmental results, gain recognition, win new business, and be more attractive to employees.

Although the majority of hotels built today take advantage of conventional design and operation methods common to North America, many of those hospitality facilities are beginning to take advantage of environmental trends in the industry as well.

Unfortunately, many environmental endeavors often do not extend beyond this gesture and only a small number of hospitality facilities have been specifically designed to be environmentally efficient.

Currently, any visit to most hotel rooms will turn up a notice asking the guest to reduce laundry pollutants by identifying the towels used each day, or reduce overall use of certain products that do not necessarily need to be changed daily (if you need these helpful items, just visit our site). But for many hotels, this is usually the extent of their efforts.

It should be acknowledged that hotel guests are usually happy to assist hotels in their green efforts. In fact, guests find this to be incredibly appealing in influencing where they choose to stay. This recent study cites three categories that matter most to consumers: water, energy, and waste reduction.

By taking measures to cut down on all three, you’re not only saving money and helping the environment, you’re attracting more customers. What steps can you take? Consider the following ideas:

  • Use Energy Star appliances
  • Use filtered water
  • Provide recycling bins for employees and guests
  • Provide toilets that are dual-flush
  • Consider showers that are low-flow
  • Provide shampoo and conditioner in bulk dispensers
  • Clean your pool with saline salt solution instead of eye-burning chlorine
  • Install green lighting throughout the facility
  • Encourage guests to turn out the lights when they leave their room
  • Turn off air conditioning units when not in use, and be sure to turn them on so the room is comfortable before guests arrive
  • Encourage guests to reuse towels

You don’t have to go all in when just starting out, but small steps will have a big impact. What are you doing to go green?

Green at Heart: One Brand’s Commitment To The Environment

April 24, 2013

sunbeam green

For the Sunbeam® Hospitality team, being sustainable, smart and responsible doesn’t mean giving up any of the comforts we’ve come to know and love while traveling – just being sensible about how we use them.

Anyone want to admit to skipping showers to conserve water?

Don’t look at us – and we don’t recommend you do it, either.

In fact, it’s not even necessary, thanks to the greensense™ line of eco-friendly in-room amenities from the Sunbeam® Hospitality brand.

Launched in 2009, the greensense™ product portfolio has been a guiding light (the low-wattage kind) for the hospitality industry, leading the way with products such as LED dimmable
night-lights and flow-rate-regulating showerheads, potentially saving millions of gallons of water and thousands of hours of energy usage along the way.

Jennifer Hansard, Group Marketing Manager for Sunbeam® Hospitality, loves talking up the line wherever she goes: “I’m constantly amazed at how changing little things – like changing a faucet aerator, for instance – makes an enormous impact on our use of natural resources.”

Hansard isn’t the only one enamored with the lineup. Hotel managers that took part in the test launch had good things to say about the products – and the savings they were able to achieve from usage. Plus, their guests now had yet another reason to love staying at those particular hotel chains.

“It would be great if all hotels thought like this,” wrote one guest. “Going ‘green’ just makes so much sense on so many levels, from environmental stewardship to the financial savings that hotels can pass along to us as guests.” In fact, an average 150-room hotel can save up to $26,000* annually – in water and energy savings – just by converting to the current ensemble of greensense™ products.

As we all continue to share the responsibility of conservation, it’s nice to know that, thanks to brands like Sunbeam® Hospitality, we won’t have to give up any of the conveniences we’ve grown accustomed to – especially the showering.

*Savings based on average energy and water use of a 150-room hotel with 67% occupancy converting to a greensense™  showerhead, aerator, iron, hair dryer and night-light.

Green Lighting For The Hospitality Industry

February 1, 2013

green lighting for hospitality hotels

Lighting is a powerful design tool that can craft a space and affect emotions. Hospitality is one of the original commercial areas that always understood the importance of proper lighting design. To this end, hospitality projects can be some of the most creative and inspiring to take part in, but there is more to consider than design and creativity.

According to the U.S. Department of Energy, lighting represents 40% of the average commercial building’s electric bill. Furthermore, according to the EPA Energy Star Program, U.S. hotels spend close to $4 billion on energy costs each year and are the fourth most intensive users of energy in the commercial sector. Lighting accounts for nearly 25% of electricity consumed by hotels and for more than 40% in guest rooms alone.

Wouldn’t it be a bright idea to reduce energy costs?

Green lighting and energy-efficient products are not exclusive to 2013. Most if not all of us are quite familiar with them, but let’s take a look at some of our options.

Incandescent & Halogen

While the legislation debates continue feverishly, the fact remains that we will lose some of the more inefficient filament lamp types soon. Where incandescent or halogen lamps may still be preferred due to aggressive dimming or color requirements, make sure to use the highest efficiency version available. Halogen lamps are more efficient and last longer than incandescent lamps. Infrared-conserving halogen lamps are even more efficient.

Fluorescent Systems

Linear fluorescent systems are the workhorse of back-of-house spaces, as well as many common areas and bathrooms. With very high efficiency and lamp life ratings now achieving 60,000 hours, these systems are outstanding, cost-effective solutions for any area.

Induction Fluorescent Systems

A newer technology, some early induction lighting installations have outperformed their 100,000-hour predicted life rating. Available in a wide range of colors and power packages, the high-color rendering induction lighting systems are ideal for extended-use applications, such as in lobbies, atriums, parking lots, and signs, particularly where luminaries are mounted at great heights.

American Hotel Register and You – Working Together to Go Green!

April 10, 2012

At American Hotel Register Company, we recognize the importance of instituting environmentally friendly practices into all aspects of our business. Our Living Green program is designed to support the environmental responsibility of the hospitality industry by developing and sourcing environmentally preferred products and packaging, by educating customers about environmental issues, and by making our corporate headquarters and regional distribution centers as environmentally efficient as possible.

Going green conserves the environment and saves money! Today there are hundreds of products available to support your sustainability program and a variety of tips that can be implemented to increase your hotel’s environmental awareness while saving money.

Here are just a few:

  • When thinking about saving electricity with lighting, not only should you convert to more sustainable lightbulbs in lamps, but convert overhead commercial lighting as well. Compact fluorescent bulbs last 10 times as long as incandescent bulbs and use 75 percent less energy— meaning that one bulb can save you $25 over the lifetime of the bulb.
  • Use refillable soap and shampoo dispensers. Eliminate those little plastic bottles and wasted product!  Please consider donating opened toiletries to organizations in need rather than discarding.
  • Provide 100% RainforestAllianceCertified Coffee for your in-room coffee program. Guests will love the superior flavor – and each cup brewed ensures local coffee farmers fair wages and working conditions.
  • Why not offer beverage glasses in guest rooms rather than disposable plastic cups? Not only will you reduce your carbon footprint, you’ll save money on supplying hundreds of new cups every day.
  • Purchase pre-laundered towels and sheets and eliminate initial laundering expenses. You’ll enjoy reduced energy, water and labor costs, too!

We invite you to take a look at more of our great Living Green tips on our website. By implementing a few easy changes, together we can make a difference in conserving natural resources.

Don’t Throw Out Those Old Televisions!

January 17, 2012

television recyclingAs many hotels, extended stay properties, and other hospitality venues strive to meet the growing demands of travelers by furnishing rooms with flat-panel televisions, the disposal of old televisions is posing a great risk to the environment.

Many of the components inside a television are toxic, including mercury, lead, cadmium, arsenic, and other harmful substances. In a landfill, these toxins seep into the ground and eventually into the water supply. While one or two televisions may not cause irreparable harm, discarding dozens or possibly even hundreds at a time could make a severe impact. Multiply that number by the total number of hotels that are making the switch and you can imagine the effects that may take place.

John Shegerian, CEO of Electronic Recyclers, Inc., estimates that there are currently 268 million televisions in the United States. 80 million of those will be thrown away in the next two years.

If you are ready to toss away those old televisions, what are your options? First, for non-functioning televisions, many communities have drop-off locations for electronic waste, also known as e-waste. Watch for announcements from local government offices. Another reliable source for finding drop-off sites is, which includes a search engine for drop-off locations and agencies that might take used televisions.

Even though the digital broadcast signal changed in February 2009, older functioning televisions can still be useful. To generate some additional cashflow for your property, try reselling them on websites like eBay, Craigslist, or LiquidationConnect.

Schools, after-school programs, shelters, and nonprofit organizations may be interested in your TVs. Other avenues for donating include, a website that allows users to donate or locate unwanted equipment. The Computer Recycling Center in California is a third-party company that will take donations, make any needed repairs, and find new homes for televisions.

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Save Green By Going Green

December 26, 2011

save money by going greenYou’ve probably seen more than one article on how to save money while making your property greener. In today’s tough economic climate, these ideas are more relevant than ever. Here are a few:

  1. Convert lighting to compact fluorescent lighting (CFLs ). There are an average of five bulbs used in each guest room alone. Have you reviewed your lighting needs lately to ensure you are maximizing CFL usage and reducing energy costs? According to Energy Star, qualified bulbs like CFLs use about 75% less energy than standard incandescent bulbs and last up to 10 times longer.
  2. Install ceiling fans to circulate the air. This allows you to raise the temperature on your air conditioning.
  3. Reset thermostats. You may be surprised to find out that you can increase or decrease the settings a few degrees without anyone noticing. Also, do you have the thermostat set the same 24 hours a day? Is there a reason for that?
  4. Adjust temperature limiters on PTACS to save energy and money.
  5. Install low-flow faucet aerators and showerheads to limit water flow. Most guests won’t notice this, but making the switch will reduce overall water usage.
  6. Keep your money from going down the drain! Make sure toilets are working properly. Install new flappers or fill valves. Some systems can save up to 3,000 gallons a year!
  7. Display linen re-usage signage. Placing reminders in guest rooms asking guests if they need their linens washed every day is a simple, but effective way to reduce laundering costs.
  8. Don’t just use Energy Star-qualified lightbulbs, switch to Energy Star appliances as well for significant energy savings over the life of the product.
  9. Use microfiber products for cleaning. They clean effectively with fewer chemicals and can remove up to 98% of surface bacteria.
  10. Switch to concentrated forms of sustainable cleaning products versus ready-to-use. This saves money since you aren’t paying higher shipping costs for the increased volume of product, and it reduces your carbon footprint too.


If you’re already putting some of these “green” money-saving ideas into practice, I applaud you! If not, please consider incorporating as many of them as you can into your daily, weekly, or monthly maintenance schedules. You’ll be amazed at how easy it is to include them, and the savings can really add up.

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