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?
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 www.gogreenreade.com. To learn more about Terry, visit her website at www.terryodell.com. You can find Terry Odell's ebooks and thousands of other eBooks on-line at www.allromanceebooks.com.