As Ogunquit’s first and only environmental leader hotel, we have a group of us here called the MRET – Meadowmere Resort Environmental Team. It’s a requirement of our certification to have such a team and our task is to stay on top of green trends, implement new eco-friendly programs, provide education about living green and basically be the cheerleaders of our green hotel.
So you can imagine the irony when I was reading Rich Brook’s blog about How to Catch People Stealing Your Copy, then begin looking for the latest on green efforts in Maine online and discover our friends up the street had added a section to their hotels’ website very similar to ours. Hmmm . . . I thought ‘The copying shouldn’t really bother me – After all, isn’t that flattery?’ but then it occurred to me that just copying a website is a problem. It doesn’t truly support Maine’s Environmental Leader program. This new webpage even goes to far so to link to Maine’s state program, giving the illusion that the hotels are certified. Certification takes work and more than just a webpage link.
Becoming green was a year long process and an ongoing part of our culture at the Meadowmere. We have switched chemical vendors, waste management companies, amenities, added recycling bins resort wide, joined Project Planet’s towel reuse program, developed eco-packages and more. Being an eco-friendly hotel is more than a webpage.
If every Ogunquit hotel was certified as an Environmental Leader, I would be thrilled – we have a great community and the greening of Ogunquit is our responsibility to our village and our visitors. However, adding a webpage is not enough.
So in a sense, I’m with Rich – all one can do is call them on it. And hope that certification follows. People need to trust the standards in place and know that when a hotel in Maine say that they are green, that the resort, inn, bed & breakfast, hotel or motel have reached a certain certified level, not just added a webpage. When I studied with an advisor to Alan Greenspan in college, she called this transparency in the marketplace. I hope our friends up the street help raise the bar in Ogunquit – and wish them well in their eco-efforts, even if they are following suit.
Head Tree Hugger
Meadowmere Resort – Ogunquit First & Only Environmental Leader