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'Green Seal' Teams With Hotel To Help Environment


Many businesses are adopting green practices and products, and business owners say not only is it good for the environment, it is also good for their bottom line. One Los Angeles hotel is saving money by going green, and is helping the planet.

Near the busy Los Angeles International Airport, five hotels are participating in a program of recycling and conservation. They use environmentally safe products and do sustainable waste disposal.

The largest of the five, the Hilton Los Angeles Airport, has more than 1,200 guest rooms, and general manager Grant Coonley said he has saved money.

“The lighting retrofit [saved] almost 200,000 [dollars] a year from last year until this year. Waste removal is down 10 percent from a year ago.”

As costs are cut, energy and water use have dropped. Reservations, though, are up. Coonley said guests are more likely to book a hotel like his, with a conservation program.

“There are a lot of groups requesting this. They're requesting the recycle bins,” he said.

The hotel uses low-energy lights and water-efficient toilets.

Coonley said the staff is on board with the program. “Because for the most part, I think even at home, a lot of people are recycling by the three different garbage cans that might be at your house. So they wanted to know what the hotel's doing too.”

The hotel is working with Green Seal, a non-profit group that certifies environmentally sound products and practices. Green Seal president Arthur Weissman said getting the certification requires careful tracking by a restaurant or hotel. “Looking at the energy it uses, the water it uses, any of the waste that it produces, the chemicals that it uses,” he said.

Weissman said the Hilton LAX is meeting the standard for Green certification.

Green Seal certifies a range of products, in addition to services like hotels.

“We do paper products, cleaning products, paints, other building maintenance products. We do windows - we also do windows,” said Weissman.

Weissman said, today, green practices are good for business, but there are more important reasons for going green. He has written a recent book exploring the issues.

“I call them moral values, our care and concern for others. Other people, other nations, and indeed other species,” he said.

Weissman said most businesses and governments have not yet modified their wasteful and polluting practices. “But I hope ultimately they will, because they'll see it's in their best interest to do that, that we're all here together - all the stereotyped images of the spaceship earth, but it's all true. We're all in this world together and we all have to survive in it together.”

He said the stakes are high - our well being and the health of our planet.

Local leaders here agree. Los Angeles has implemented a green business and lodging program in partnership with Green Seal and other organizations.

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