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Going Green

In modern times the term “going green” is used all over the world. The question is not are you going green it is have you gone green. Going green refers to you yourself and or your business helping to preserve our environment for later years to come. Hotel are continuously overusing water, creating unnecessary waste, and also wasting energy. In New Mexico going green can lead to tax breaks which in some time can save your business money. Even though it will cost us money in the beginning to work on making our hotel green, we will use a breakeven analysis to plan ahead and see when we will get a return on our investments.

When becoming environmentally friendly there are three major areas in which we will discuss: recycling, water waste, how to save energy and the tax break in which we will receive. In recent times, an increase in solid waste has become a huge concern to many Americans. Solid waste could be anything from paper, food, aluminum, glass and plastic. Everyday, the average American throws away an average of 4. 5 pounds of trash per day (deq. state. or. us). If that statistic is applied to a hotel that has 50 guests, that number goes up to 225 pounds per day (not including employees), and that’s 82,125 pounds of waste per year.

Not only is this a huge problem weighing on the average American’s mind, but companies are getting criticized when they are not doing their best efforts to reduce waste and “go green”. This will show a few steps to reduce solid waste, and make a better world for future generations. (Recycling Paper, Plastic, Glass and Aluminum Products) In a hotel, paper is a huge part of the business. Customer’s bills, interoffice memo’s, financial records and many other everyday items are printed on paper.

In an office, each employee uses approximately one tall Douglas fir tree per year in paper, and paper typically costs $1,000 per ton. 12,000 miles of forest are destroyed yearly by paper mills (deq. state. or. us). With this type of damage to the environment that is basically reversible, it would help if organizations like hotels cut back on their consumption, in order to help the customer, themselves, and other people in this world. A simple paper recycling program could help mend this problem. Set up bins around the office space, which will be clearly marked “PAPER ONLY”.

A small step that could have a big impact is to use email for interoffice memo, and keep many files on disc, so that they do not ever have to be printed to later become paper waste. Guest stationary is also one thing that needs to be recycled. 28% of stationary is recycled into tissue paper! (deq. state. or. us)This is step one in the solid waste reduction plan. Step two is implementing a glass, aluminum and plastic recycling system. Americans throw away approximately 35 billion aluminum cans a year. 75% of the United States glass is used for packaging.

30% of solid waste in any given city is made up of plastic packaging. This is the part that the guests have get involved in. Some may resent the recycling, but the majority will be pleased that recycling has now become easily accessible to them, and it shows that the business is doing more than just focusing on the bottom line. Set up recycling bins, each clearly marked GLASS, ALUMINUM, and PLASTIC. It will help if they are separated because there will be no need to have an employee separate them before they go to the recycling center.

Make it mandatory for employees to participate in this program. Glass is the most important commodity to recycle, for glass can be used again and again, it never wears out. While it may seem very simple, recycling is a process that is very hard to get people on board to when it is more convenient to just throw things into the trash can. Make it easy for the customer. Put different trashcans in the rooms for recycling, make sure that by every trash can there is a recycling bin. If trashcans out number recycling bins, they are more likely to just throw everything in to the trash can.

But the whole process is not just so the business can look better to the customer. This actually has reported savings for hotels. The Westin San Francisco Airport Hotel began their recycling program in 1994. It followed many of the same steps show above. They recycle 6,000 pounds of waste per year, and save $6000 (Green Hotels). Food Waste A large portion of waste in hotels is food waste. A main problem is over preparation of food. This problem is easily solved by donating all of the extra food to nearby shelters.

Also, food scraps and food that has gone back can easily be composted. Compost takes all of your food waste and creates fertilizer out of it. Usually 10% of food is thrown out per year. If the business donates some of this food off before it goes rotten, and composts the rest, they are reducing the amount of waste put into landfills by 21 million full shopping bags of food per year (deq. state. or. us). This very simple recycling plan will raise your company moral, for each person will feel better when they know they are doing something good for the environment.

It will improve business because customers like to see that a business cares about something other than money, including the environment. Recycling is a very simple process to implement in a business, and has the average savings of $6,000 per year. Its very easy. Recycle. Analysis When looking at how much we can save per year if we take the same 50 room hotel and assume that waste is the same as used we can break this down into how many month it will take to get a return on our investment.

IF, sales= fixed cost + variable cost, we can set sells at zero and what we spend is our variable cost, using the amount we save for the project we can find out how long it will take for it to pay off. If we assume that it will cost us 20$ per room to set up recycle bins and another 100$ per month to recycle the product we will have spent a 1000$ to set up the rooms and an extra 100$ to recycle per month we can compute this by 0=1100+500, which will give us -500=1100 we divide 1100 by -500 and get 2. 2 this means that in approximately 2.

2 month we will be saving 400 dollars a month which will give us a saving of 4,800$ per year on recycling alone. Our next topic to discuss is how to save water. As the world become bigger water is becoming scarce. We need to save water because even thought the earth is mostly made of water, salt water is not a good source for drinking water. Every year hotels spend thousands of dollars on their water bills. A large portion of water is used by the hotel in washing bed linens and towels that their guests use. The showers and toilets utilized by the guests also contribute to a vast amount of the water used by the hotel.

The average occupied hotel room consumes 209 gallons of water every day (hotelmotel). One way to conserve water is by implementing a towel and linen re-use program where the hotel could inform guests that no matter the length of their stay the towels and linens would only be changed every three days. Upon checking-in, the guest would acknowledge whether or not he or she would like to participate in this program. If guests wish to have fresh towels and linens daily, they must make this request when checking-in.

This program could drastically reduce the amount of water used to wash the linens and towels. Several studies have found that, for a typical hotel, up to $1. 75 could be saved daily for every occupied room (this includes water, energy, and materials) (economicallysound). In addition to this towel and linen re-use program, the hotel could place decorative cards or small placards in each bathroom requesting their guests minimize their water consumption by taking shorter showers and by not running the water while brushing their teeth.

Three to seven gallons are wasted every minute that a faucet is left running (abcwua). These cards or placards would be a minimal cost to the hotel and could possibly save the hotel approximately ten to thirty gallons of water per room per day. Hotels also can also install more efficient, low-flow toilets and shower heads. Low-flow toilets only use 1. 6 gallons per flush whereas older models use 3. 5 to seven gallons per flush. By switching to these low-flush toilets, each room could eliminate up to twenty percent of average water usage.

Each toilet would cost around $300. For every toilet that is replaced though, the city would give a $125 refund for switching to environmentally friendly toilets along with an $8 credit to the water bill for every toilet. The hotel could also spend around $65 and replace every shower head. These faucets use a maximum of 2. 5 gallons of water per minute while the old faucets use five to seven gallons (abcwua). While replacing these bathroom appliances the hotel could also check and eliminate any leaks that waste water. Leaky faucets can waste up to 15 gallons every day

Analysis Looking at the information above we can breakdown how much water is used per month and estimate how much we will save in dollars just for having low flow toilets and faucets not include the amount of water saved. If we estimated that a fifty room hotel spends around 753 dollars a month on water bills, just the 8 dollar saving from the water company for having these toilets we will drop our water bill down by 400 dollars. We will spend approximately 15000 on toilets and get a 6250 refund, so we will only spend 8750 dollars on the toilets.

If we save 400 a month on just having the toilets we will have paid off our investment in it 22 months just on the 8 credit per toilet saved on our water bill alone. Now the amount of water saved will make our return come even faster depending on how much is actually saved. The graph below shows savings using three different programs. The first program, signified by the blue line, is the savings for lights. This program saved 15,000 dollars a year by replacing indecent light fixtures with fluorescent ones.

The time it took to save back the original investment was 18 months, meaning it cost 22,500 to implement. The second program, signified by the red line, is the savings if your were to wash linen in water that was 149 degree Fahrenheit water compared to 185 degree Fahrenheit water. The study found that it got the linen’s just as clean as the hotter water. Also this program required no initial investment; they just had to turn the water temperature down, giving them an annual savings of 8000 a year.

The third program, signified by the yellow line, is the savings for using a technology that turns off all appliances in a room when a guest leaves, except those that it is necessary for them to stay on (alarm clocks, refrigerator, etc. ). The initial cost for the program was 16,000, while the annual saving were 14000 a year. It took just over a year, 14 months for the program to pay for itself. In one hotel, the La Quinta Inn- San Antonio they decided to save money by reducing there usage of water overall.

They started by using low flow shower heads, which provided savings of 1. 50$ per month, per room. That would amount to about 900$ a year, given the hotel had 50 rooms. The hotel also replaced all toilets with ultra-low flow toilets, at a cost of 3,250$ total. The time it took to save the investment back was 2. 1 years. The biggest factor is that it saved over 180,000 gallons of water annually. There are also ways to save money by reducing solid waste production. One hotel implemented a system to reduce food waste by having chefs regularly check refuge at the end of the day.

They were able to take notice about what was spoiling or what was just being thrown out. They were able to reduce food waste by about 20%. This ended up giving an annual savings of 3,879$. If we were to take the information that we received from our hotel. We would allocate 1000 dollars a year for water consumption and 3000 dollars a year for electricity expenditures. The Chart below gives us the present expenditures in a table format. The graph below shows the predicted saving based on other hotels savings rates compared to our future expenditures.

The Toilet program is based on installing low flow toilets, and the lights program is if you switched from incandescent to fluorescent light bulbs, also assuming that they would last 15 years without having to be replaced ( which what was assumed in the competitors estimations). You can see that the cost even after the total saving from the programs exceeds past energy costs in the first years, this is due to the initial investment to implement these programs. The savings incurred for these programs quickly exceed the costs of initial investment.

The savings being the difference between past energy costs and the cost total after programs. Showing that by doing these programs you can indeed save money. In conclusion, many of the observations and analysis provided above all can relate back to one basic concept: going green saves. The analysis will be implemented into a hotel currently located next to a water park. The new methodologies that help the environment will help attract a new customer base that not only wishes to save money on their lodging expense, but also a customer who wishes to save the environment.

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