Texas, ISSA and Kids are on My Mind

From our Monthly Newsletter:
Sorrow and Excitement

Before we discuss the ISSA trade show, which starts next Monday, September 11, in Las Vegas, I must express my heartfelt sorrow for our friends in Houston and the surrounding areas hit by Hurricane Harvey.

 They are victims of one of the worst storms – and indeed the worst flood storm ever – in the history of the U.S.

As of this writing, more 50 inches of rain poured down on the city and surrounding areas; more than 60 people have lost their lives; approximately 100,000 homes and one million vehicles have been destroyed; and tens of thousands of people have been left homeless with no jobs or schools to return to.

With a price tag approaching $200 billion, both the financial and human toll is great and further complicated with Hurricane Irma barreling towards Florida.

So with such great needs, please consider supporting the ISSA Foundation which has partnered with several different organizations to lend a hand to help get Houston back on its feet.

Tips for Greening Your Trip to Las Vegas

For those of you heading to Las Vegas, I hope to see you there. As a reminder, I will be working out of ISSA Resource Center Booth 4900 supporting their Distributor Efficiency, Analytics & Learning program (DEAL).

I hope you’ll stop by to say “hello” and learn more about it and the other things we are doing to make the world a cleaner and healthier place.

In addition, I wanted to share with you some tips on making this the greenest ISSA convention ever:

*   Energy: It will be hot in Las Vegas so when leaving your hotel room, turn off or at least turn-up the thermostat. There is no need to cool the room (and waste energy) while you’re at the convention. Also, close window blinds to reduce the greenhouse effect and don’t forget to turn off the lights, TV, radio and other electronic devices.

 *   Water: Drink lots of it (I know this is a discussion about environmental conservation, but health takes precedence). Consider taking a refillable insulated bottle which saves water, materials/packaging and money – and it keeps the water cold. Also, change hotel towels and bed linens only as needed. And be conscious about water-use during showering, brushing teeth, shaving, etc. Remember that every drop matters as there will be 16,000 of us in Las Vegas.

 *   Support Housekeepers: If any group is going to appreciate housekeepers it is us. So as you would tip the servers at a restaurant or bar, please consider leaving a tip for your housekeepers. Include a note thanking them for keeping your room clean and healthy.

 *   Food: One of the biggest environmental impacts is the food choices you make and how much you eat. Unnecessary consumption is bad for the planet and your waistline. And don’t forget to eat some greens which have a lower environmental footprint compared to meat, and it’s good for you.

 *   Transportation: Walk and use public transportation as much as possible. ISSA offers shuttle buses to the convention center and Las Vegas has a tram which could be convenient depending where on the strip you’re staying. And if you have to drive or take a cab, share it with others.

*   Dematerialize (source reduction): Try to minimize the brochures that you take from the exhibitors. Instead, ask them to email the information to you which will save a lot of trees, and is a means to observe the vendor’s responsiveness. Think about it – if it takes them 3 months to email you a brochure, how response do you think they’ll be if you really need something?

*   Innovation: Specifically ask exhibitors what they are doing that is green (further reducing potential negative impacts on health and the environment). Now that Green Cleaning products are widely available, ask what’s new and innovative (from a Green perspective).


The Green Tour on the Exhibit Hall Floor

At this year’s convention, I am spending a lot of time working with the Healthy Schools Campaign. Take a look at the short videos in the right-hand column which are there to remind us why our work is so important.

It’s not only when there are natural disasters, but our kids deserve healthy and clean schools all the time whether they are rural or urban schools, affluent or impoverished.

Our industry should help them. Since the vast majority of our kids in K12 schools don’t vote nor pay taxes, they are often the losers when competing with other special interest groups — especially when there are huge needs and limited resources. But we can and must be their voices. 

As part of this year’s convention, in addition to all the great educational programs, members of the Healthy School Campaign and others plan to tour the exhibit hall, asking attendees and exhibitors what steps they are taking to incorporate Green and sustainability initiatives in their business operations.   

The goal is simple: to send a clear message that green and sustainability issues are important for our industry, the facilities we service, our kids, our country, and the world.

I look forward to seeing you in Vegas!