Agencies to host green tourism workshop for smaller hotels

Staff Report

SOUTH LAKE TAHOE, Calif. — The Tahoe Water Supplier Association, Sierra Business Council, the Tahoe Regional Planning Agency and Western Nevada College are partnering with greenUP! to offer a free green lodging workshop for small to medium hotels, lodges and the hospitality industry.

The workshop, which is made possible with grant funding provided from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, aims to grow environmental protection and sustainability efforts in the Tahoe Truckee region.

“Sustainability experts from across the Lake Tahoe Region will be representing at the Tahoe Truckee Green Lodging Workshop on May 11 and 12,” said Donna Walden, President of the greenUP! Board in a press release. “This is an interactive workshop and the vision is to help businesses preserve Lake Tahoe and other tourist destinations for future generations.”

While the organizers are targeting small to medium hotels and lodges around the Lake Tahoe region and vicinity, any hospitality establishment or industry professional may attend the virtual event to learn best practices for operating at the highest environmental operational efficiency.

“Everyone has a chance to make a difference in protecting the environment locally as well as to support addressing larger issues like climate change,” said EPA Pacific Southwest Land, Chemicals and Redevelopment Division Director Jeff Scott. “We hope that Nevada hospitality leaders will be able to both reduce their environmental footprint and improve their bottom-line as green businesses.”

The Sierra Small Business Development said it is encouraging hotels and lodges to join the California or Nevada Green Business Networks.

“This is not a requirement to attend but will help facilitate easier adoption of actions necessary to become a green establishment,” said Kristin York from the Sierra Small Business Development Center.

The workshop also explores ways to get tourists engaged in sustainable practices when they come to the region.

“For over 50 years, agencies and organizations in the Lake Tahoe Region have taken actions to enhance our beautiful lake and surrounding regions,” said Devin Middlebrook, sustainability program manager for the Tahoe Regional Planning Agency. “Hotels and the hospitality industry play a large role in making Tahoe more sustainable.”

“Tourists and hotel guests and their destination decisions play a huge part in the sustainability of our region,” said Madonna Dunbar, resource conservationist, Incline Village GID and executive director of the Tahoe Water Suppliers Association. “Tahoe guests can become environmental stewards and contribute towards making Tahoe a clean destination for this millennium and the next.”

Over the day two workshop, attendees will be able to watch four panels; Food Waste Diversion for Hospitality, Moving Forward with Sustainable Transportation, Customer Experiences to Engage Stewardship and Green Business Certification for Lodging.

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