Friday, August 19, 2011


School districts around the country are notorious wasters of energy. With budgets tighter than ever, many institutions are finding ways to cut back on their excess energy usage.

Holmdel, New Jersey has saved close to $1,000,000 each year though improvements in energy efficiency. With the help of the district’s Energy Manager, William Balicki, the school has made some simple, but effective improvements, to remind students and staff of ways to save energy.

“Anytime we can ask people to physically do it, we do,” he said. “This is pretty much a people-based program. It’s changing behavior.”

Mount Sinai and Yonkers, among other school district, have also found quick, easy, ways to decrease energy spending such as turning off computers overnight and turning off classroom lights when the room is not in use.

For the full article, please visit:


HospitalityGreen (HG) will be offering a “Green Facility Managers Training” for managers and operators to learn how to evaluate and implement sustainable practices in two Massachusetts locations, Pittsfield and Holyoke.

"Green Facility Training for Operations and Management" will be offered at Berkshire Community College’s Intermodal Education Center in Pittsfield on Wednesdays, Sept. 7 and 14, from 9am to 5pm. The course, “Green Facilities Training for Managers,” will also be offered at Holyoke Community College on Sept. 8 and 15, from 9am to 5pm.

The workshops will look at practical approaches to comprehensive facility assessments, developing an improvement plan and conducting a site audit. It will cover topics such as source reduction and usage, purchasing and marketing, contractual negotiations and green assessments. Green meeting standards and the LEED EB program will also be discussed.

The courses use the framework of a national certification program to teach participants how to implement water, energy and source reduction programs, lower their use of toxic chemicals, and source local "green" products and services.

HospitalityGreen (HG) offers an extensive tool box equipped with proprietary measurement and calculators tools as well as access to on line references, guide books and on site check lists through a customized class website. All participants are given a 12-month subscription to the HG Tool Box as part of the training fee.

For information and registration, please contact Mimi Fierle at HospitalityGreen,

(845)-436-6173 or

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Drive with a green foot, not a lead foot (Part II)

With your new, optimized travel route (thanks to the trip planning tips from HospitalityGreen's last week’s post), you are now ready to hit the road. Reducing the number of miles driven certainly reduces fuel consumption, but this week we will provide some helpful hints to save gas while driving.

Here is an interesting misconception. While it is better for mileage to keep the windows down for cool air while driving through town, once you get on the highway (or any road over 45mph) it is actually more fuel efficient to close the windows- to reduce drag- and have the A/C on low.

In addition, traveling between 50-60mph will provide optimal mileage for most vehicles; anything over that will burn fuel more quickly. Keeping a steady pace (hint: cruise control will help with this) instead of rapid acceleration or deceleration will also leave more gas in the tank.

Once you reach your destination, avoid idling the car for more time then you would spend at a traffic light. For any amount of time longer than that, it would use less gas to turn off and restart the car.

Hopefully, these tips will help put you in the driver’s seat of your fuel consumption (pun intended). Next week’s blog will cover green maintenance for your vehicle. In the mean time, check out these awesome Catskill staycation destinations:

Like the outdoors? Try Pepacton Cabins. Located along the East Branch of the Delaware in the Catskill Forest Preserve, this property offers a wide-variety of outdoor activities, including fishing, hiking, bird watching, hunting, snowmobiling, and options for every season.

The spa more your style? Visit Copperhood Inn and Spa in Shandaken, NY. With tons of specialized treatments and programs, it is easy for anyone to feel pampered and at ease. Don’t forget your hiking boots if you would also like to enjoy the natural splendor that surrounds the spa.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Drive with a green foot, not a lead foot

Excited about a staycation in the Catskills, but apprehensive of high gas prices? While purchasing an electric or hybrid car may be an option, there are certainly cheaper ways to save gas (and money!) during your local travels.

Before even getting into the car, think about the day’s various destinations. Are any of the stops within reasonable walking/biking distance? Can you stop at the market on the way home from Suzie’s soccer practice instead of making an extra trip during your lunch break? Or perhaps there is a more logical way to arrange your errands. Using Google Maps will ensure you choose the shortest route as well as avoid any unnecessary backtracking. Any shortened or eliminated trips add up to significant gas savings, which you can use towards a well-deserved weekend getaway.

So ease up on the gas and get the staycation fund started! The Catskills are awaiting your visit.

Looking for an exciting weekend getaway ? Try the Stone House Bed & Breakfast. Nestled in the mountainous Ulster County, this notable property is the oldest building in New York State that is open for overnight stays to the public. Be sure to ask innkeepers Sam and Nadia for a tour of the property’s remarkable architectural and historic highlights.

Looking to hit the green on your local vacation? Check out Christman’s Windham House in Greene County, New York. In addition to a restful night’s sleep at the House, the property’s two spectacular golf courses bring out the true splendor of the Catskills. We recommend the 18-hole Mountain Course for its spectacular views and over 7,150 yards of play.

Stay tuned to our next post from HospitalityGreen for tips on driving with a green foot while on the road.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011


The First Certification Granted by Green Concierge, a Program that Works to Green Tourism and Lodging Facilities throughout the Catskill Watershed Region

June 27, 2011Frost Valley YMCA, a 6,000 acre residential camping, environmental education, and conference center located in the heart of the Catskill Mountain Park is the first to complete the necessary training and assessment to receive Tier 1 – Bronze Certification from the Green Concierge (GC) Project.

Green Concierge, which is conceived of and administered by environmental consulting firm HospitalityGreen, has been working with Frost Valley since December 2010. During that time, 24 members of the Frost Valley staff have participated in an onsite Green Facility Training and the institution has implemented a number of major sustainable practices, including: replacing all light bulbs with energy efficient ones, recycling, composting, disposing of hazardous waste according to state regulations, using non-toxic cleaning products, upgrading sinks, showerheads and toilets to water-conserving models, purchasing recycled-content soft tissues, paper towels and office paper, and sourcing local produce whenever possible. HospitalityGreen’s online Resource Tracking Tool (The RTT) helps them track measurable environmental improvements and target opportunities for reducing costs.

Sustainable living has always been a core value for Frost Valley, and the organization continually strives to be conscientious caretakers of their facilities, natural resources, environment, community and each other. Tom Holsapple, Frost Valley’s Director of Operations, has led the participation in the Green Concierge program. “I’m thrilled at the advances we have made through the Green Concierge Project. Working with GC has formalized our sustainable efforts and presented an opportunity to refresh what was started years ago. Ultimately, it has changed the culture of our organization and our efforts will be passed along to the 40,000 people a year who come to use our facility. Seventy percent of those guests are kids, so we are creating a healthy and sustainable place and environmental awareness for the next generation.”

Evadne Giannini, Principal of HospitalityGreen LLC, says, “Frost Valley is the first of the more than 30 Green Concierge participants to receive certification. It couldn’t go to a more worthy organization. They have infiltrated sustainable practices into every aspect of their operation and really set the bar high for others to follow.”

The GC Certification process is structured in three tiers (Bronze, Silver and Gold) – with each tier providing a realistic benchmark and advancement to subsequent tiers dependent upon a business’ commitment, their ongoing use of the RTT to track resource use, and their dedication to increasingly rigorous sustainable practices. Frost Valley will be working towards receiving the silver certification in 2012.

The GC Certification was recently recognized and ranked by as a Silver Tier Program, placing it within an elite group of national and international third party certification programs.

In addition to the certification program, the Green Concierge Project, through funding from the Empire State Development (ESD) and the Catskill Watershed Corporation (CWC), provides free one-on-one technical assistance to over 150 tourism and lodging facilities in the Catskill Watershed Region to improve their operational economic and environmental sustainability practices.


HospitalityGreen LLC is a New York based consulting firm specializing in environmental and operations consulting services. HospitalityGreen partners with service-based and product-based clients throughout the hospitality, manufacturing and institutional healthcare industries, to implement sustainable business practices.

Established in 1901 as one of the nation's first summer camps, Frost Valley YMCA now provides four seasons of outdoor, experiential and educational opportunities. Frost Valley YMCA is a 6,000 acre residential camping, environmental education, and conference center located in the heart of the “forever wild” Catskill Mountain Preserve and serves over 40,000 visitors per year.

For more information on HospitalityGreen and the Green Concierge Project, visit or call (845) 436-6173.


Samantha Hoover, PR Director


Tel: (917) 337-2979



Denise Owens, Director of Marketing & Communications

Frost Valley YMCA

Tel: (845) 985-2291, ext. 211



Monday, June 20, 2011

Save the money, save the time, save the planet… staycation.

School is out and summer is here. It is about time for that well deserved vacation or just a weekend away. But where to? Florida? Bermuda? How about the Catskills? I know what you are saying, “how can you compare Bermuda to the Catskills?” But have you taken the time to explore this stunning getaway located less than a gas tank beyond your backyard?

Local vacations (also known as “staycations”) are a means of escaping the doldrums of daily living without having to leave your local area. Before the days of convenient and accessible airline travel, New York City residents would take the train into the countryside or down to the shore for a summer holiday. With the rising cost of gas, increasing airfare and shorter vacation periods, vacationing locally is returning as a steadily growing trend. Plus, it is much better for the environment and it gives us the opportunity to become more knowledgeable of the region we call home.

HospitalityGreen LLC is a consulting firm specializing in environmental and operations consulting services located in the heart of the Catskills. Over the past two years, HospitalityGreen has been working on the Green Concierge Project. Through funding from the Empire State Development (ESD) and the Catskill Watershed Corporation (CWC), the Green Concierge Project has enabled HospitalityGreen to provide free operational, economic and environmental assistance to over 150 tourism and lodging facilities throughout the Catskill Watershed Region.

Over the next few months, we here at HospitalityGreen will be providing you with some great tips and suggestions for “staycationing” in the Catskill region. Traveling back and forth to 150 of the regions facilities through the Green Concierge Project has given us a good idea of what the Catskills has to offer and we would love to pass on some of our favorite Catskill destinations, events, and activities to you. We hope that our tips will help you make the most out of this home not-so-far-away from home.

Interested in a staycation in the Catskills? Here are a few links to get you started:

Delaware County Chamber of Commerce

Greene County Chamber of Commerce

Schoharie County Chamber of Commerce

Sullivan County Visitor’s Association

Ulster County Alive!

Thursday, March 31, 2011

HospitalityGreen's Green Concierge Project Seeks Two Summer Interns

Immediate opening for Two Summer Interns to work with hospitality businesses throughout the Catskill Watershed

HospitalityGreen LLC (HG) is providing an excellent opportunity for two interns to learn and gain experience working with owners and operators in the hospitality industry, promoting and implementing sustainable business practices. Our interns assume a diversity of responsibilities including: answering and researching questions regarding sustainable hotel operations, serving as an HG representative throughout the business community, developing informational material for blog postings, conducting on site assessments and trouble shooting.
There are also multiple opportunities for the development of special projects and PT and FT work depending upon the interest and qualifications of the chosen candidates.

• Must have an insured car and a valid driver’s license
• Educational background in the natural sciences, the hospitality industry, sustainability management, environmental education, or related field.
• Previous experience working with businesses.
• Excellent verbal and written communication skills, comfortable speaking with business and facility operators, and a professional appearance
• High level of organizational skills to effectively administer the diverse demands of the job, as well as work independently and keep detailed records and receipts
• Motivated, enthusiastic, creative, and willing to work with large and small businesses and independently travel throughout the Catskill Watershed
• Must be able to execute in depth internet research and be facile in MS Word, excel and ppt.
• Familiarity with the Catskills or map skills a plus and love of mountains and clean streams a MUST!
Position: Green Concierge Summer Interns (2)
Location: 35 Main Street, Mountaindale, NY 12763
Position Dates: late May – late August
Work Schedule: 20-24 hours per week / flexible schedule is acceptable
Compensation: Reimbursement for all travel and client visit expenses, private apartment in Mountaindale, $500 stipend, academic credit, extensive B to B experience, opportunity to attend all HG trainings w/out charge, chance to spend the summer traveling throughout and working in an incredibly beautiful place!
Closing date: April 22, 2011 or until filled
For more information or to apply, please email or mail a resume and a brief letter of inquiry or interest to:
Evadne Giannini, Green Concierge Program Director
HospitalityGreen LLC
PO Box 222, 35 Main Street
Mountaindale, NY 12763

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Spring - Spruce up that Recycling Station

Need Bins?

Great BINS and now SIGNS that you can customize.

Call 1-877-715-1712
Speak to Michele

Make sure you provide her with your Green Concierge ID#.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Berkshire Community College Offers Green Facilitiy Training

BCC Again Offers Green Facility Training

In today’s economy, taking advantage of the cost savings associated with being a “green” business is important to a healthy bottom line. Many Berkshire County businesses have undergone energy audits and started recycling programs, but most facility managers and green leaders need help to institutionalize other sustainable practices.

To address that need, Berkshire Community College is again offering an intensive two-part workshop on “Green Facility Training for Operations and Management.” The class will be held on April 19 and 26 at BCC’s Intermodal Education Center in Pittsfield.

This training provides a comprehensive understanding of sustainability. Resources, information, and practical lessons from professionals will guide participants to complete a comprehensive facility assessment, develop an improvement plan, and conduct a site audit. Topics will include: source reduction; quantifying resource usage; green policy, purchasing, and marketing; immediate results; troubleshooting; and compliance, verifications/audits. Learn how to cut resources and not jobs. Green facility certifications, the new Green Meeting Standards and LEED EB Requirements are covered. Course tuition includes a subscription to on-line checklists and measurement tools.

For more information or to register, call 413-236-5251 or email Berkshire Chamber of Commerce members are eligible for a 15% discount.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Green Concierge Project Update

Many of the 40 Watershed region lodging establishments participating in Phase 1 of the Green Lodging Certification Program attended a January 26 workshop at Belleayre Mountain to meet one another and get information from vendors of environmentally responsible materials. Dory Alport (right) of Aquabella, distributors of water saving plumbing and heating fixtures, described a “twin-flush” toilet mechanism to (l. to r.) Peter Molnar of Margaretville Lodging; Eric Goettsche of the Thompson House, Windham; Ruth Christman of Christman’s Windham Inn and Golf Resort, and Elizabeth Winograd-Iwinski from Copper Hood Inn and Spa, Shandaken. This “Green Concierge” program is funded by the CWC and Empire State Development, and is coordinated by Hospitality Green, a consulting firm based in Sullivan County. Participating businesses are being assisted in implementing environmentally sustainable practices and in promoting themselves to travelers who seek out “green” inns and hotels.
Article Courtesy of the Catskill Watershed Corporation's E Newsletter - February 2011