Archive for the ‘Go Green!’ Category

It’s Easy Being Green – Even on Vacation!

Thursday, September 4th, 2014
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In 2014, just about everything has a touch of green thrown in. Not outfits mind you, but environmental protection and sustainability. From the food we eat and the cars we drive to the packaging of our products to the water we drink, everything is about making the world we live in a better place for us, our children and our children’s children. While much of our green practices are undertaken at home where we have the most control, a growing number of travel destination are also joining the effort.

The Portola Hotel & Spa is at the forefront of this movement on the Monterey Peninsula. As one of Central California’s first U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) Silver LEED®-EB (Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design for Existing Buildings) Certified hotels, the Portola has implemented a host of initiatives focused on the well-being of the environment and is one of the region’s most environmentally-friendly places to stay and eat! Learn more!

LEED Certification refers to a rating system by the USGBC that considers everything from the materials used to build a building to the way a business disposes of their garbage. Everything is taken into account and the staff at the Portola has embraced these initiatives. The hotel’s entire food service operation, which includes Jacks Restaurant & Lounge, Peter B’s Brewpub and their room and event food service teams participates in the Food Scrap Program. Scraps have traditionally been taken to the local landfill, but now, as part of the Monterey Regional Waste Management District’s Organics to Energy compost program they are repurposed. Each week, over 2000 lbs. of food scraps and other organic waste is diverted from landfill disposal and after inspection, is mixed with mulch and turned into compost. The methane gas produced during the process is captured and used as fuel to produce energy and the compost is used by local farmers and winemakers to help grow their crops. In addition, all the cooking oil is specially recycled and turned into bio diesel fuel.

The hotel and its restaurants also participate in the Monterey Peninsula Water Management District’s Water Wise Best Management Practices Program.  Each room is outfitted with water efficient fixtures including showerheads and sink aerators, as well as high-efficiency toilets. Display cards in every room also remind guests to help conserve water and energy by hanging up towels that they want to reuse during their stay. The Portola has also installed water efficient clothes and dish washing machines and multiple water saving devices in departments throughout the hotel. These water wise practices not only help to reduce the hotel’s carbon footprint, but also save water during the current California drought.

Throughout history, visitors to the Monterey Bay area have continually marveled at its beautiful scenery and environment. Don’t you owe to yourself to help preserve that gift for generations to come? Stay GREEN at the Portola Hotel & Spa.

Peter B’s Brewpub Goes Green

Wednesday, August 6th, 2014
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While most of the news in the foodie world revolves around new trends at the table and from the bar, there is a growing movement behind the scenes to move towards a greener restaurant scene and not just the vegetable kind. Peter B’s Brewpub, behind the Portola Hotel & Spa, is at the forefront of this movement and incorporates these environmentally friendly practices just about everywhere.

One of the most visible green efforts from Peter B’s is the sourcing of local, sustainable and responsibly grown ingredients. Executive Chef Jason Giles and Head Brewer, Kevin Clark work diligently to make sure what is served is the best not only for their guests, but for the environment as well. Participation in the Monterey Bay Aquarium’s Seafood Watch Program® is also a critical component of the restaurant’s sustainable and green focused efforts. With a location so close to the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary, it’s only natural that Peter B’s focuses on the best sourcing of seafood possible. Furthermore, all to-go containers and cups are Bio-Pak, which is a compostable material.

Clark takes these green practices to new heights with upgraded brewery equipment and plumbing resulting in a savings of 41,000 gallons of water per year, an important initiative during California’s drought. In addition, he has implemented unique uses for the leftover spent mash utilized to brew his award-winning craft beers. Peter B’s has created a seal-shaped custom dog biscuit for the hotel and restaurant’s furry friends and also donates the remaining mash to local farmers for cattle feed, a process that elongates the use of the material and reduces the carbon footprint of producing the beer.

Most of us would be happy that the food and drinks we are being served are an environmentally responsible choice, but Peter B’s takes it a step further with their Food Scrap Program. Once you have finished that delicious meal, what happens to the scraps? Traditionally, scraps were taken to the local landfill, but Peter B’s, Jacks Restaurant & Lounge and the Portola Hotel & Spa participate in the Monterey Regional Waste Management District’s Organics to Energy compost program, where each week, over 2000 lbs. of food scraps and other organic waste is diverted from landfill disposal and after inspection, is mixed with mulch and turned into compost. The methane gas produced during the process is captured and used as fuel to produce energy and the compost is used by local farmers and winemakers to help grow their crops. In addition, all the cooking oil is specially recycled and turned into bio diesel fuel.

So the next time you are enjoying a fantastic meal or house-brewed craft beer at Peter B’s, take a moment to thank your server. Not only for the great food and drink, but for doing everything they can to make the Monterey Peninsula a happier, healthier and greener place!

Green Meetings at the Portola Hotel & Spa

Thursday, June 27th, 2013
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Many organizations have taken the first step toward a greener workplace – switching out the traditional cases of break room plastic water bottles for a reusable one, offering rewards for those who carpool to work and many other initiatives.  The pressure for companies to be aware of their carbon footprint is only continuing to grow, which is why the Portola Hotel & Spa created its Monterey Green Meetings program.

The Monterey Green Meeting program at the Portola Hotel is designed to work closely with professional meeting and event planners, as well as private parties, to provide all the tools needed to ensure a successful event that will have a minimal impact on the environment.

Many event and conference facilities offer green options when it comes to menu and décor, but what makes the Portola a stand-out, is that they take it one step further, offering a truly unique event experience that is green from the ground up.  One of the most environmentally friendly places to stay on the Central Coast, the Portola Hotel is a U.S. Green Building Council’s Silver LEED®- EB certified hotel property.

 

The Portola Hotel’s LEED certification is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to providing a sustainable and eco-friendly conference experience. The Monterey Green Meetings team works closely with meeting and event planners to offer a delicious food and beverage selection from sustainably grown, organic and locally sourced ingredients. That includes fresh seafood from the Monterey Bay Aquarium’s Seafood Watch® Program. Planners also have the option of selecting earth-friendly plastic and paper goods, or for a zero waste option, China, glassware and silverware can replace the use of to-go cups and other waste. All events “wrap-up” with the composting of all post-consumer items.

 

Many people don’t realize that technology and green conferencing go hand in hand. For guests that are unable to attend in person, the Portola Hotel is fully equipped with the latest in video conferencing technology. And for groups looking for innovative and green-themed team-building activities, the Monterey Green Meetings team can create fun and eco-friendly itineraries for guests and event/conference participants.

 

Green is good, and Monterey’s Portola Hotel is as good at it gets!

Earth Day is Every Day at the Portola Hotel & Spa

Thursday, April 4th, 2013
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With Earth Day right around the corner, many businesses and organizations start talking about being green. It’s a positive step in the right direction and every little bit helps. The green movement has made its way into the hospitality industry as well. While many hotels are beginning to go green, the Portola Hotel & Spa is one of the most environmentally friendly places to stay not only on the Monterey Peninsula, but throughout California’s Central Coast. As one of Central California’s first Silver LEED®-EB Certified hotels, the Portola has implemented a host of green initiatives focused on the well-being of the environment.

LEED Certification refers to a rating system that considers everything from the materials used to build a building to the way a business disposes of their garbage. Everything is taken into account and the entire staff at the Portola has embraced these initiatives. Some of the more innovative green practices are utilized in housekeeping. These include 100% organic cotton mattresses that are hypoallergenic and an Ozone Laundry System that utilizes an enzyme based laundry detergent for sanitizing linens and towels. They also include a green cleaning program that uses H203 system to clean and disinfect guest rooms without any harsh chemicals and guest room carpets that meet with the Carpet and Rug Institute’s plus program for low VOC material and paint that meets low VOC standards as well.

Not to be outdone is the group sales department. They have implemented the Monterey Green Meetings program that works with meeting and event planners, as well as private parties to plan green events and environmentally conscious team building exercises. Food and Beverage is also heavily involved in the movement by offering sustainably grown, organic and locally sourced ingredients as well as repurposing waste from Peter B’s brewery operation.

The Portola Hotel & Spa is continuing to strive for environmental excellence by going through a LEED recertification process by the U.S. Green Building Council. So as Earth Day draws closer, residents of and visitors to the Monterey Peninsula; can rest assured that one of the area’s premiere hotel and spa destinations, and their restaurants are leaders in the protection of our precious environment.

HER Helmet Thursdays

Thursday, May 3rd, 2012
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In a world where multi-tasking is not just a word, but a way of life, what if you could do something good for your body, your wallet and the environment all at once? You can do just that, and more, by participating in HER Helmet Thursdays. HER Helmet Thursdays is a wonderful program that offers discounts to bicyclists, every Thursday, at participating businesses throughout Monterey County.

H-E-R, stands for H: Hotels/other lodging, E: Entertainment venues and Educational attractions and R: Restaurants/other food and beverage service – including related places like wineries. One of the great aspects of the program is that there is no coupon, punch card or special code needed to get the discount, just show your helmet as evidence that you biked to the business. To obtain the discount at lodging establishments, you’ll need to bring your own bike or rent a bicycle anywhere in the county.

The program started in 2009, helps to promote Monterey County as a bike-friendly destination in addition to offering an eco-friendly and healthy alternative to driving. Known as one of the top biking destinations in the state of California, Monterey County offers great scenic, trail and road biking and now everyone, from the casual to competitive rider can get a little something back from these participating businesses.

As Monterey’s first and only LEED®-EB certified hotel, the Portola Hotel & Spa has fully embraced the program and its merits. With your helmet, you’ll receive a 10% discount at the newly renovated Peter B’s Brewpub, located right behind the hotel (excluding alcohol) and 10% off your room rate at the Portola Hotel (please contact hotel for details).

A trip to the Monterey Peninsula offers so many things to do. Why not take in the site and experience the beauty of the area while going something good for the environment and yourself? Multi-tasking has never been so much fun!

Next week participate in the 18th Annual Bike Week, May 7th -13th, 2012.