Hostelling International Boston wins 2011 GreenBest award

Deborah Ruhe, second from left, executive director of Hostelling International USA, accepts the Metro Boston GreenBest Award from Boston Metro Sales Director Neil Curran and Jim Hunt, Boston's chief of Environmental and Energy Services.

Through its design, hostelling is more environmentally friendly.

But Hostelling International Boston has taken green living even further and next spring will open in a new location that it plans to have LEED certified by the U.S. Green Building Council.

That’s why HI-Boston was named the Metro Boston GreenBest 2011 Award winner at this weekend’s GreenFest held on City Hall Plaza.

“We work hard to operate a hostel in a responsible way to minimize travelers’ footprints,” said Deborah Ruhe, executive director of HI-New England.

The GreenBest Award finalists were judged on a set of criteria as well
as a written statement that highlighted the qualities of the
organization.

Some of the criteria included the organization’s
promotion of social justice, commitment to the           environment
that goes above and beyond the competition and educating the consumer as
well as employees.

At its 205-bed hostel on Hemenway Street, the organization has implemented recycling programs, installed low-flow shower heads and displayed posters to educate visitors about living green during their stay.

Some of those methods will carry over to the non-profit’s new, 468-bed building on Stuart Street. That building is being renovated and will accommodate 40,000 travelers each year.

The new location will also feature a green elevator that recaptures energy as it moves, energy-efficient washing machines and large windows to maximize daylight and reduce electricity use.
 
The education component will also continue with green logos highlighting and explaining the sustainable design and features so travelers can take that knowledge with them after their stay, Ruhe said.

“Our vision is that hostelers become caring world citizens … who are stewards of the Earth,” Ruhe said.



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