Monday, March 23, 2009

EcoRooms, EcoSuites Adds Nonsmoking Criteria

Of all of the green lodging certification programs I have run across since launching Green Lodging News in 2006, only one has made "100 percent nonsmoking" a criteria for certification—Green Globe Certification since 2001. Anyone who has read my weekly column on a regular basis knows that I believe that no hotel property can truly be green until it has eliminated tobacco smoke. There are three reasons: first-, second- and third-hand smoke. I believe there are ethical and financial reasons for discouraging first-hand smoke. Even with the help of air filtration systems, second-hand cigarette smoke does not just disappear. Housekeepers are most often exposed to this when they clean guestrooms. In hotel casinos, many other employee types are affected. And, as I wrote recently in one of my weekly columns, third-hand smoke—the chemical residue that remains on room surfaces—can be especially harmful to children.

I just learned from Ray Burger, president of Pineapple Hospitality, that he has made being 100 percent smoke free a criteria for qualifying for his EcoRooms & EcoSuites program. The criteria joins seven others listed on the EcoRooms & EcoSuites website. Congratulations to Ray for taking this important step. I strongly encourage all of those who run state-wide, national and international green lodging programs to follow Ray's lead.

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