Thursday, March 05, 2009

Being Green at SleuthFest

Today's post is a bit different. I'm one of a small group of "ambassadors" for a new website, Go Green, Read e. I'll be bouncing around the blogosphere for the next 12 weeks, discussing the concept of Green.

The concept is far from new. Way back when I was in high school and college, Ecology was the 'new' thing. The buzzword then was simply "conservation." Now it's "green," but the premise is the same. There are only so many resources on the planet, and if we want there to be anything left for future generations, we have to look beyond ourselves and farther into the future than next week.

Example: Gas prices skyrocketed. Gas guzzler car sales plummeted. People stayed at home more. But what happens when the prices drop? Do people consider that maybe their Hummer isn't the best vehicle on the road from a conservation standpoint, or do they simply sigh with relief that it doesn't cost an entire paycheck to fill it up and go back to their old ways?

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I've been talking about SleuthFest this week. Conferences usually take place at hotels, and since I live in a state that depends a great deal on tourism for its economy, there are a lot of people staying in hotels year round. As a matter of fact, about half the visitors to the state stay in hotels. Most of these folks want to enjoy what Florida has to offer – beaches, nature preserves, and the great outdoors.

On the wall by the registration counter of the Hilton in Deerfield Beach, where SleuthFest was held, was a certificate stating that the hotel was a participant in Florida Green Lodging. This is a program under the Florida Department of Environmental Protection. It's designed to reduce waste and conserve natural resources, enabling everyone to enjoy what they came to Florida for—not just today, but way down the road.

When you go to a hotel, especially if it's one on the higher end of the spectrum and you're paying major bucks for your room, you expect luxuries. But how many do you really need? The Hilton makes it clear that unless you request otherwise, they're only going to change your sheets every 3 days. They also encourage you to re-use towels.

What does the hotel have to do? Some things to look for: recycling in guest rooms, the lobby, vending or eating areas; compact fluorescent light bulbs (CFL’s) throughout the hotel; low flow toilets, showerheads and faucets; linen and/or towel reuse programs; the use of “green” cleaners and Energy Star rated electronics and appliances. Each hotel has a slightly different program, but they have to meet with the approval of the DEP before they can be designated a "green" property.

Perks for the hotels who participate? Our governor requires that any state meetings be held at a Green Lodging hotel. In addition, they're listed on the DEP website, so anyone who's looking for environmentally conscious properties can find them.

And, as part of my agreement to be an 'ambassador', I'm required to close with the following:

Terry Odell is a romance author and avid eBook reader, blogging this month for All Romance eBooks' Go Green/Read e Campaign. Find out more about the Go Green/Read e Campaign at To learn more about Terry, visit her website at You can find Terry Odell's ebooks and thousands of other eBooks on-line at


Dara Edmondson said...

Love the post! This is a topic near and dear to my tree-hugging heart. I'm a recycler all the way and I see more folks doing the same. Each month I see a growing number of people carrying their reusable bags into the grocery or drug store and I see more and more CFLs everywhere.
Very cool that you're doing this program!

Terry Odell said...

Thanks, Dara. I'm supposed to be blogging in various places over the next 12 weeks or so. I'll post links when they're up.

I love going to the store where they know me as the 'bag lady' because they say "paper or plastic" and I say "No."

Ray said...

Florida is very strict on clean water. I remember meeting with a representative with the Florida Dept. of Environmental protection when he came aboard to inspect our sewage system to make sure that what was being pumped into the sewage system was properly treated and the waste water looked as pure as drinking water as he took samples to make sure there was no bacteria that could enter the waterways.

In addition to water conservation and conservation of washing compounds changing sheets ever third day instead of daily saves sheets from wearing out as fast.

I like the Go Green Read e website. I need to buy more e books. If they weren't so expensive I would probably buy a kindle. I can't read on my computer. I get distracted too easily. I have several e books in my queue.


Terry Odell said...

Ray, I have the eBookwise. It's not as fancy as the Kindle, and there are some limitations, but it's a heck of a lot cheaper!

Anonymous said...

While the concept is new to the USA, Sweden has always been 'green.' I take my cues from them. To Swedes, recycling and conservation is a no-brainer and they do not understand why other countries are not the same.

Besides recycling/reusing everything, unplugging electronics, etc... we also travel Green. One of the best resources we've found is Environmentally Friendly Hotels

They have yet to let us down when looking to book at a Green hotel.

Lisa S.

Parisiscott said...

Like the post very much. Here is another good resource for eco related queries

Terry Odell said...

Thanks for the heads up, Paris -- timeley since I'm off to Canada for a week shortly.