Tina Trenkner is the Deputy Editor for GOVERNING.com. She edits the Technology and Health newsletters.E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
A consortium of New York tourism and environmental groups came together to help certify lodging and restaurants as green establishments.
The next time you visit Montauk, New York City or the Finger Lakes, it may be easier to dine or sleep greener. Within the last year, New York Governor David Paterson's Green Hospitality and Tourism Partnership, a consortium of public and private groups led by the Department of Environmental Conservation, helped create two green-certification initiatives to identify environmentally friendly establishments. New York is now joining a handful of other states with green-hotel certification programs. Forty-three hotels, subsidized by a grant from the New York State Pollution Prevention Institute, will complete a 52-page self-assessment of its own green efforts and undergo site visits to learn ways to improve. Audubon International will be the third-party group to assign hotels and inns ratings based on its GreenLeaf Eco-Rating system. All of the self-assessments, site visits and ratings are targeted to be completed by mid-March 2010. Prior to the green-hotel program, the partnership facilitated a relationship in which the New York State Restaurant Association (one of the partnership's member groups) will work with the Green Restaurant Association to rate restaurants, becoming the first state association to do so. GRA is already working with more than 100 restaurants in New York State.