Blog, Green Hotel & Travel

Dec 22, 2013

Grand Hotel in Salem Completes Travel Oregon’s Sustainable Business Challenge!

combine_imagesWe are proud to report that the Grand Hotel in Salem has achieved recognition for our commitment to stewardship and sustainability in our business practices in Travel Oregon’s Sustainable Business Challenge program!

The Sustainable Business Challenge is a voluntary reporting program that quantifies and qualifies the commitment of tourism and hospitality organizations to running sustainable and environmentally responsible operations. All tourism-related organizations are eligible to participate.

To participate, an organization must show how they measure up to the 37 Global Sustainable Tourism Criteria (GSTC)  — a global standard for sustainable tourism.

Participants have to currently be 2nd or 3rd party certified by one of the Travel Oregon approved sustainable certification organizations found on this list; or complete the comprehensive survey that thoroughly documents your sustainability practices.  Participants receive special recognition and marketing exposure through Travel Oregon’s advertising network. Learn more at www.TravelOregonForever.com.

Click here to see the list of the other Sustainable Business Challenge Participants and Find out more at www.TravelOregonForever.com.

Our green efforts are led by our Director of Sales Kristi Reed, and each staff member is trained to do their part. For instance, we typically use recycled paper for all printed materials; eco friendly cleaning products and drainage system; Energy Star appliances, white compact fluorescent lighting in all guest rooms and wind power to offset energy usage (the Salem Conference Center now uses Solar Energy Panels)

In addition we also

  • Reduce waste with our extensive composting and recycling programs that includes our participation with “Clean the World
  • Purchase products and food from local suppliers
  • Participate in ECOtality’s push for emissions-free driving. Under The EV Project, electric vehicle (EV) charging stations were installed in various locations our city- including one here at The Salem Block!

The Salem Block has the first hotel, restaurant and conference center in Salem and Marion County to be EarthWISE certified and the Salem Conference Center is LEED® Certified.

Nov 01, 2012

Clean the World Foundation is Making a Difference and Saving Lives

The Grand Hotel in Salem is Proud to Partner with Clean the World to Help Prevent Disease around the World

Soap saves lives.  Most of us take the most basic necessities such as soap and water for granted, yet people all over the world suffer from disease and infections that could have been prevented with proper sanitation. In fact, pneumonia and diarrhea are the cause of death for an estimated 3.5 million kids under 5 each year globally, this is more than more than HIV and malaria combined.

Every day, hotels discard millions of pounds of soap and shampoo that impoverished people around the world could use to prevent these unhygienic diseases, so Clean the World Foundation was formed in 2009 to do something about it. Since then, the organization has distributed millions of soap bars and hundreds pounds of shampoo and conditioner around the world and eliminated over 600 tons of waste.

The non-profit group works to prevent disease and improve sanitation by distributing recycled soap products and educational materials to domestic homeless shelters and impoverished countries worldwide, and we are proud to be the first hotel in Oregon to partner with them.

Since 2010, The Grand Hotel in Salem has helped distribute thousands of bars of soap to children and families in need through our partnership with Clean the World. According to our most recent impact statement, The Grand Hotel in Salem has collected 1317.54 pounds of unused soap products from our guests just in 2012!

Soaps have been delivered to domestic shelters and more than 30 countries worldwide, such as Haiti, Pakistan, Armenia, Dominican Republic, Honduras, Nicaragua, Panama, Uganda, Lesotho, and Swaziland.

How does it work?

  • The housekeeping staff at the Grand Hotel in Salem collects and saves the soap and shampoo not used by our guests and deposits them in bins provided by Clean the World.
  • The products are shipped to a soap recycling plant where it is either re-batched or sterilized.
  • The soap products are then delivered to domestic homeless shelters and impoverished countries suffering from high death rates due to acute respiratory infection and diarrheal disease.

For more information visit www.cleantheworld.com and watch the video below to see the impact this organization is having on our global community:

Jul 28, 2012

The Salem Block continues to “LEED” the way with green and sustainable efforts

Our commitment to environmentally friendly business practices in our daily operations has captured the attention of our guests and community.

The Salem Block (The Salem Conference Center, The Grand Hotel in Salem, and Bentley’s Grill) has been recognized with numerous awards and nominations for our sustainable efforts.

Most recently, The Grand Hotel in Salem was highlighted in the Statesman Journal’s Inside Business series that features one EarthWISE-certified business a month.

The article applauded our ability to provide luxurious accommodations and amenities with a minimal impact on the environment. Click here to read the entire article.

Our green efforts are led by our Director of Sales Kristi Reed, and each staff member is trained to do their part. For instance, we typically use recycled paper for all printed materials; eco friendly cleaning products and drainage system; Energy Star appliances, white compact fluorescent lighting in all guest rooms and wind power to offset energy usage (the Salem Conference Center now uses Solar Energy Panels)

In addition we also

  • Reduce waste with our extensive composting and recycling programs that includes our participation with “Clean the World
  • Purchase products and food from local suppliers
  • Participate in ECOtality’s push for emissions-free driving. Under The EV Project, electric vehicle (EV) charging stations were installed in various locations our city- including one here at The Salem Block!

The Salem Block has the first hotel, restaurant and conference center in Salem and Marion County to be EarthWISE certified and the Salem Conference Center is LEED® Certified.

Apr 18, 2012

Doing our Part to “Clean the World” and Help Prevent Disease

Ever wonder what happens to that unused soap and shampoo in your hotel bathroom when you check out?

As part of our efforts to run a more sustainable and green hotel, we recycle all used soap products from guest rooms through an outstanding organization called  Clean the World.  The housekeeping staff at the Grand Hotel in Salem collects and saves unused soap and shampoo from our guest rooms and ships them to a soap recycling plant where it is either re-batched or sterilized.  The soap products are then delivered to domestic homeless shelters and impoverished countries suffering from high death rates due to acute respiratory infection and diarrheal disease.

The Grand Hotel in Salem is the first hotel in Oregon to partner with Clean the World. Since then, the organization has put over 9.5 million soap bars and 200,000 pounds of shampoo and conditioner back into human use, simultaneously eliminating over 600 tons of waste.  We are happy to report that so far in 2012, The Grand Hotel in Salem has collected 195.93 pounds of soap and 115 pounds of bottled products for the organization- all in all 1045 bars of soap that will be distributed to children and families worldwide.

To understand the powerful impact this project has on the world, just watch this CBS News story. We will never look at hotel soap and shampoo bottles in the same way.

For more information on the process, visit www.cleantheworld.com.

Jan 11, 2012

Say Hello to our Electric Vehicle (EV) Charging Station!

The Salem Block EV Station is getting good use!

In July, Salem Oregon joined communities such as Corvallis, Eugene and Portland in ECOtality’s push for emissions-free driving.  Under the The EV Project, electric vehicle (EV) charging stations were installed in various locations our city- including one here at The Salem Block!

The EV charging stations are publicly available  and located at the following sites:

Salem Public Library
Salem Conference Center
Marion Parkade
West Salem Library
Chemeketa Parkade
Riverfront Park
• The Willamette Heritage Center at The Mill

ECOtality is the project manager of The EV Project and will oversee the installation of approximately 14,000 commercial and residential charging stations in 18 major cities and metropolitan areas in six states and the District of Columbia. The project will provide an EV infrastructure to support the deployment of 8,300 EVs. The project is funded by the U.S. Department of Energy through a federal stimulus grant, made possible by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA)

Aug 16, 2011

Salem, Oregon to Host Second Largest Tandem Bike Rally in the U.S.

Image Credit: nwtr.org Gallery

Salem, Oregon will host the 27th Annual Northwest Tandem Rally, the second largest tandem rally in the U.S. in 2012 and we are honored to be the host hotel!

The 2012 event will take place June 29th through July 2nd on cycling routes throughout the Salem region. The organizer of the rally is Salem NWTR 2010 LLC, a group of about 14 dedicated tandem cyclists living in the Salem area. Salem NWTR will partner with The Grand Hotel in Salem and Willamette University for food services and accommodations.

One of the organizers, Kurt Haas, who races with local Capitol Velo Racing Club, says the group is busy planning routes and locations for events. Eventually they welcome volunteers and sponsors for the rally.

The mission of the 2012 Northwest Tandem Rally is to share the Wonders of the Willamette (WOW) Valley – its hospitality, history, and scenic bicycle routes – with tandem families and friends from the Northwest and across the US and beyond – all at an affordable price.

“Our goal is to involve community in the ride as much as possible,” he said, “to benefit the riders along with the Willamette Valley, the economy, local businesses and community relationships.” He says some of the routes will have stops at local businesses like E.Z. Orchards, Willamette Valley Fruit Company, Bauman Farm and others.

Tandem teams are generally well-educated, affluent, and fit, with participants ranging from 25-60 and frequently include families with their children. The majority of NWTR participants come from Oregon, Washington and Northern California, with representation from across the country and some venturing from as far away as Europe and Australia.

Organizers are excited about the energy the event will bring to the Salem area.

“Most people haven’t seen 300 or 400 tandem bikes rolling down the road together; the rally really brings a buzz to the community,” said Haas who rides tandem on a three-seated bike with his wife and seven-year old daughter.

“Many of the tandem riders are couples and families. This is really a family-oriented activity!”

Excess proceeds from the event will go toward community based nonprofit organizations and to future NWTR events.

Organizers will also host a trade show along with a series of events, planned to increase contact between rally participants and vendors. Cost for a booth at the trade show will be $50.

For more information about the 2012 Salem NWTR, visit their website at www.nwtr.org/2012.

History of the Northwest Tandem Rally
The Northwest Tandem Rally has traveled extensively throughout the Northwest since 1986. The event has traditionally been on Memorial Day weekend but depending on venue and calendar may also be held on Fourth of July weekend. It is produced as an all-volunteer event, designed to be family oriented, grassroots and affordable.

Aug 15, 2011

The Grand Hotel in Salem Distributes 3119 Bars of Soap to Families Worldwide!

We will never look at hotel soap and shampoo bottles in the same way.  Who knew these could be recycled and used to save lives all over the world?    Every day, thousands of hotels discard millions of pounds of soap and shampoo that impoverished people around the world could use to prevent unhygienic diseases.

To do our part, The Grand Hotel in Salem has partnered with Clean the World Foundation, a non-profit organization that distributes recycled soap products and educational materials to domestic homeless shelters and impoverished countries worldwide.

The housekeeping staff at the Grand Hotel in Salem collects and saves the soap and shampoo not used by our guests and deposits them in bins provided by Clean the World. The products are shipped to a soap recycling plant where it is either re-batched or sterilized.

We recently received our impact statement from Clean the World Foundation and we were amazed to see how our efforts are paying off in a big way. So far this year, The Grand Hotel in Salem has collected over 623 pounds of soap and shampoo which have resulted in 3119 bars of soap being distributed worldwide.  WOW!

For more information on the process, visit www.cleantheworld.com.

 

Jun 23, 2011

Introducing the Salem Block “Tree Huggers”

The Salem Conference Center, The Grand Hotel in Salem, and Bentley’s Grill (known as The Salem Block) promotes environmentally friendly practices in our day to day operations.

We have participated in numerous programs and initiatives and most recently have launched the Tree Hugger Program to recognize employees of the Salem Block who demonstrate a committment and enthusiasmm to follow our green initiatives.

Each month the Salem Block “Green Team” will nominate one person from the block to get to join the Tree Hugger family. The Tree Hugger inductees are employees who have lead by example and brought new ideas to the table. Attitude and participation play also a big factor in deciding who will receive this big honor!

Check out our Tree Hugger Awards section located in the “back of house” area of the facility. We had a blast putting it together!   Learn more about our Green Efforts from The Grand Hotel in Salem and The Salem Conference Center!

Jessica Seacrest and Kristi Reed- the Salem Block's "Tree Huggers" make their mark!

 

 

 

 

May 24, 2011

The Salem Block Green & Sustainable Practices

The Salem Conference Center, The Grand Hotel in Salem, and Bentley’s Grill, also known as The Salem Block, is proud of our commitment to environmentally friendly practices in our day to day operations to reduce our impact on the environment.

Our green initiatives continue to grow stronger each year and have been well received by our guests and the Salem, Oregon community.  Here are a few highlights of our efforts:

  • The Grand Hotel in Salem and Bentley’s Grill and The Salem Conference Center is the first hotel and restaurant and conference center in Salem and Marion County to be EarthWISE certified.
  • Earlier this year, the Salem Conference Center announced that it has been awarded LEED® Certification established by the U.S. Green Building Council and verified by the Green Building Certification Institute (GBCI).
  • Just last month,The Salem Block was named “Large Sustainable Business Of The Year” at the 2011 Mid-Valley Green Awards.

To see us in action, watch this Allied Waste composting video that features how Oregon businesses are making a difference with the food waste composting, including the Salem Conference Center:

Apr 25, 2011

“The Block” Named Large Sustainable Business Of The Year at the 2011 Mid-Valley Green Awards!

We are thrilled to report The Block of the Salem Conference Center, The Grand Hotel in Salem and Bentley’s Grill was named “Large Sustainable Business Of  The Year” at the  2011 Mid-Valley Green Awards earlier this month.

The Green Awards are sponsored by the Friends of Straub Environmental Learning Center and ”acknowledge Mid-Willamette Valley individuals, businesses and organizations for their outstanding efforts towards sustainability.”

The Grand Hotel in Salem and Bentley’s Grill and The Salem Conference Center is the first hotel and restaurant and conference center in Salem and Marion County to be EarthWISE certified. The certification through Marion County’s EarthWISE program played a key role in “The Block” being chosen by The Friends of Straub Environmental Learning Center, as Large Sustainable Business Of The Year.

  • Green practices on “The Block” include:
  • Use of recycled paper for all printed material
  • Utilize Earth friendly cleaning solutions and drainage system
  • Supports local economy by purchasing products and food from local suppliers.
  • Operates on Energy Star appliances
  • Sleeping room towel and linen program that allows guest to re-use their bedding and towels.
  • Sleeping room and public area recycling
  • Replacement of all lighting in guest rooms with cool white compact fluorescent lighting
  • Composting throughout entire facility
  • Participates with “Clean the World,” recycling all used soap products from guest rooms.
  • Extensive recycling of all plastic material.
  • Purchase Wind power to offset energy cost

Congratulations to all nominees on your commitment to sustainable business practices!   To learn more about our commitment to sustainable practices, we encourage you to visit the following links:

The Salem Conference Centers Green Practices
The Grand Hotel in Salem & Bentley’s Grill Green Efforts

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