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Environmental Champion Demonstrates Greener Ideas

In a press release from the NH Lodging & Restaurant Association in May 2008….

Concord, New Hampshire – The New Hampshire Sustainable Lodging & Restaurant Program encourages continual evaluation of member operations for more environmentally sensitive ways of serving guests. Kevin Johnson, owner of the Gale River Motel took the program’s goals to heart. The Gale River Motel became a member of the program in March of 2006. Since then, Kevin has worked to address environmental issues in his motel’s operations. He is creative in educating guests and has gotten the attention of many other lodging operators around New England with his clever poems and guestroom placards.

The NHSLRP asks that applicants commit to environmental actions in five focus areas; energy efficiency, water conservation, waste reduction, hazardous waste reduction and education. Environmental Champions must show leadership in environmental initiatives within the industry.

The Gale River Motel uses energy efficient lighting in almost all of its lighting fixtures. Window draperies with southern exposure are left open in the winter to allow light to warm the rooms. Northern draperies are kept closed to insulate the rooms. The motel replaces appliances with Energy Star models, as needed. A new heating system is being installed next month to reduce the motel’s heating fuel use.

Water is conserved through the installation of low-flow faucets and showerheads, but the owner went further developing shower hangers that explain a shut-off valve that can be used during a shower to conserve water, without changing the temperature. Landscape watering is limited to early mornings when necessary and native plants and perennials are used to limit the need for irrigation. The motel is also fully dedicated to recycling, having calculated waste and cost reductions achieved through their recycling efforts. Gale River also employs composting, double-sided printing, reusable mugs in guestrooms, furniture reuse or donation, and the reuse of downgraded guestroom towels to pool towels or cleaning rags to reduce waste.

Gale River Motel is committed to proper disposal of fluorescent lighting, the reduction of hazardous waste products, environmentally-sensitive cleaning product, participation in hazardous waste collection and reducing its use of chlorine.

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