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Norwegian Cruise Lines & Dispenser Amenities

Partners for a Positive Environmental Impact

Dispenser Amenities’ AVIVA Dispensers will be traveling all seven seas aboard Norwegian Cruise Line ships.   NCL’s eleven ship fleet travels every ocean and continent on the planet.  Our partnership with them adds more than 15,000 cruise line staterooms to our list of 100,000 already at sea, outfitted by Dispenser Amenities.

NCL ships Breakaway and Getaway are under construction.  Once completed all 2,200 staterooms will be outfitted with both AVIVA Chrome shower dispensers and vanity dispensers.  Breakaway’s home port will be New York City and will set sail in April 2013 followed by the Getaway one year later.  Upon completion the Breakaway will boast the world’s first-ever sea-bound aquapark.  It will also feature a three-story sports complex, a nine-hole miniature golf course, basketball court, and rock climbing wall.

We are so proud to be partnered with this company that has shown such dedication to eco-friendly practices.  “We congratulate Norwegian Cruise Lines on the addition of the spectacular new Breakaway to their impressive fleet,” said Ian Wallace, President of Dispenser Amenities.  “We are honored to be chosen as a partner in NCL’s relentless efforts to reduce waste.”   NCL was the first cruise line ever to receive the United States Coast Guard’s William M. Benkert Marine Environmental Protection Gold Award.  Aside from using AVIVA Dispensers to eliminate plastic waste from guest amenities, NCL has a list of creative environment practices that revolutionize the theory of eco-smart cruising that is way too long to fit into this blog.  Here are just some:

1.  On board every ship, a dedicated Environmental Officer oversees all of the environmental operations and monitors their performance.

2.  Their ships are equipped with the latest emulsion-breaking oily water separators, which perform a multi-step process to ensure that only clean water, which far exceeds regulatory requirements, is discharged to the sea.

3.  Each year, a team of seasoned safety and environmental experts audit their ships to ensure compliance to all company policies, as well as US and international environmental regulations.

4.  Their ships use low sulfur fuels in environmentally sensitive areas throughout the world to lessen the impact of harmful air emissions.

Once the Breakaway sets sail the NCL fleet will consist of twelve ships containing more than 15,000 staterooms, all of which will be outfitted with AVIVA Dispensers for the shower and vanity.  Offering a disposable single-use-bottle guest amenity program to this number of rooms would result in 14.5 million bottles being disposed of annually.  This number illustrates the enormous environmental advantage that our partnership enables.  Dispenser Amenities’ Global Vice President – Warren Hodgson, is a two cruise veteran on NCL ships: 

“My favorite thing about Norwegian Cruises is their unique freestyle cruising scheduling method that gave me a lot more freedom to enjoy my cruise meals and activities in the order that works for me.  The staff’s attention to detail is second to none and the food was amazing!  My favorite port was Roaton Honduras.  This port has a spectacular environment that seems unspoiled and isolated from the commercialized world.  While there, I just spent my time fishing, diving, and snorkeling, in crystal clear waters that allowed me to take in all the beautiful nature below.” 

All other staff, here at Dispenser Amenities, are envious of Warren and hope to one day ourselves #cruiselikeanorwegian!


Need to Clean Up After a Zombie Invasion?

No man on Earth appreciates a good hot shower more than Rick Grimes, the main character on AMC’s hit television series The Walking Dead.  As if his living in a post-apocalyptic world with no running water, and limited hygiene products isn’t enough, having to relentlessly battle his way through zombies keeps Rick in a constant state of untidiness.  So when Rick, Shane and the rest of The Walking Dead squad finally make it to the Center for Disease Control (CDC) in the season one finale, they couldn’t be happier to jump in the showers and wash up with AVIVA Shower Dispensers!

For readers who are not followers of this show, here is a quick summary of season one: The star of the show, Sheriff Rick Grimes, is shot while on duty.  He goes into a coma and later awakes to discover that the world has been overrun by zombies.  Luckily he manages to find his wife and son who have set up camp with his old partner, Shane, and a small group of survivors. 

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However, when their camp is discovered and destroyed by zombies, several of his group are killed during the invasion and Rick’s friend Jim is bitten.  For readers who don’t know, when you are bitten by a zombie you are doomed to become one yourself.  The group starts to panic and there is talk of executing Jim, but Rick won’t have it.  He suggests that they go to the CDC and after some debate, the rest of the group agrees.

Upon reaching the CDC, they are let down to find out that there is only one scientist remaining, and the others have fled or taken their own lives.  Jenner, the remaining scientist, is suicidal himself; there is no cure and no hope.  Jim has since died while on route to the CDC and the rest of the group are on their last legs.  The up side…the CDC is equipped with liquor, food, and hot showers with none other than…Dispenser Amenities’ Shower Dispensers! 


Best Western Plus Kamloops: An Inspirational Presence in the Green Hotel Movement

 BEST WESTERN PLUS Kamloops jumps at every opportunity presented to them, in order to stay on the cusp of the Green Hotel movement.  By putting green objectives at the top of their priority list, BEST WESTERN PLUS Kamloops has become a role model to which we all should pay attention.

 Best Western International has written best practices policies into their corporate guidelines.  It is then up to the individual hotel location owner which policies they would like to implement into their hotel.  BEST WESTERN PLUS Kamloops has picked up this ball and run with it!  In a recent phone interview, General Manager Tim Rodgers let me know what BEST WESTERN PLUS Kamloops has been doing to stay green lately:

“The BEST WESTERN PLUS Kamloops Hotel does everything in our power to conserve the environment.  We use WAVE dispensers in guest washrooms to eliminate the waste that would be caused by single use amenities.  We must still provide guests with the option of using bar soap, but any left-over soap is recycled and sent to third world countries for them to use.  We also use a new ozone based cleaning solution called Lotus Pro that contains 95% less environmentally harmful chemicals when cleaning guest rooms.  All heat used for public areas, hot water and the pool, is generated with Geothermal Technology which allows us to reduce energy use associated with heating by 35%!”.

Aside from all of these things that BEST WESTERN PLUS Kamloops is doing to stay green at their hotel location, they also promote eco-friendly activities for their guests to partake in, when staying there.  Tim Rodgers suggests, “People come to the BEST WESTERN PLUS Kamloops Hotel to stay active.  We get a lot of people that are touring the area to visit local golf courses, like the prestigious Tobiano Golf Course (shown right).  There are also a lot of other activities going on in Kamloops; it’s an area where people come to go out and do stuff.”   Their website details several activities in the area such as: Skiing, biking, fishing, hiking, and sports.  By encouraging people to go out and enjoy nature while there, BEST WESTERN PLUS Kamloops is providing an incentive for travelers to care about the environment and see for themselves what’s at stake, should we lose focus of what’s important!


Taking Shower Liquids to the Next Level

At Dispenser Amenities we have two goals: The first is to help the environment; the second is to save money for our customers.  Our shower and bath liquids are prepared in such a way that allows us to do both simultaneously!

Our shower liquids are packaged for maximum value, with minimal environmental impact.  Just imagine that instead of buying your liquids in 2oz portions, you could buy that same quality of liquid in 30 gallon portions.  The savings accumulated when you switch over from traditional single-use guest amenities is phenomenal.  On top of saving from the quantity discount, you will save the cost of the 70% of the liquid that would be thrown in the garbage had the liquid been packaged in single-use bottles.  Our liquids are available in 30 gallon, 5 gallon, 1 gallon, and cartridge quantities. 

wave bath liquidsWAVE Spa Liquids, are extremely popular with our clients.  This #1 selling brand includes: Citrus and Sea Foam Body Wash, Rosemary and Mint Shampoo, Conditioner, and Lavender and Chamomile Body Lotion.  Although WAVE Spa Liquids are of undoubtedly improved quality over most single use offerings, they will cost you less money because they are packaged in the sensible bulk size to suit your property.

WindRiver Bath Liquids are thick and rich, freshly scented natural liquids that appeal to both Male and Female guests.  This product line includes: Grapefruit and Mint Shampoo, Conditioner, Tropical Blossom Hand Soap, Rainforest Breeze Conditioning Shampoo, Rosewood and Melon Body Wash, and Jasmine and Lilac Hand and Body Lotion.  WindRiver Bath Liquids are available in all five sizes.

Green Tea Shower Liquids are refreshingly light and smooth.  The delicious scent makes you look forward to your next shower!  This product line includes: Green Tea Body Wash, and Green Tea Conditioning Shampoo.  Green Tea Shower Liquid is available in 5 gallon, single gallon, and cartridge sizes.

H2O+  has partnered with Dispenser Amenities, naming us as the exclusive distributer of their Spa and Bath Aquatics products for bulk purchases.  H2O+ is a world class amenity supplier whose products you might be familiar with if you have been to Disney World.  Their Spa product line includes: Sea Marine Revitalizing shampoo, Marine Collagen Conditioner, Sea Salt Body Wash, and Hydrating Body Butter.  Their Bath Aquatics line includes: Body Balm, Shampoo, Conditioner, and Shower & Bath Gel.  All of our H2O+ shower liquids are formulated using natural aquatic ingredients such as marine botanicals, sea minerals, and plant extracts.  Both of the product lines are available in single gallon sized packaging.

We offer top quality liquids, all of which we guarantee to be more cost-effective than individual amenity bottles.  Our liquid brands are quickly becoming the travel industry standard.  We have tested them in the consumer market and had very positive feedback.  If you are curious and would like to test our liquids for your hospitality location, just give Heather a call at 1-800-693-4756 or Email heather@dispenser-amenities.com , refer to this article, and she will send you a samples of all our liquids, along with pricing information.  Also included when choosing Dispenser Amenities as your liquid supplier is the option of us customizing the faceplates on your AVIVA or WAVE Dispensers to coordinate with your liquid choice at no charge (see pictures above).


Mass Tourism without Caution can Spell Disaster

Earlier this spring I learned about a problem in the Maldives that is being referred to as an apocalyptic island of waste.  The Maldives’ Thilafushi Island, better known as Garbage Island, is the world’s largest floating garbage dump.  The issue received international attention this spring when the BBC published a May 19 article and video about it.

Thilafushi Island is a man-made island created for waste disposal purposes in 1992.  Since the tourism industry has flourished in the Maldives, Thilafushi Island now boasts the unsavory title of world’s largest rubbish island.  It is a seven mile long, oceanic platform of stinky, burning garbage.  So much waste is brought to this island; the waste is actually reclaiming land for the Island causing it to grow one square meter per day!  The garbage is burned twenty-four hours a day, in open fires on the island. 

Plastic, oil, batteries, and other toxic materials, are often lumped in with the rest of the trash and burned, producing a highly toxic smoke.  In a 2011 Al-Jazeera video titled “Maldives ‘trashing’ an island”, environmental activist Ahmed Ikram stated “the tourism industry is not ethically or morally doing their work”.  The video sheds light on how the Maldivian Government pays Bangladeshis workers, who pick through the island garbage by hand looking for recyclables to sell, to burn what they don’t pick out. 

By its nature, an island is a very poor choice to locate a landfill.  Garbage is spilling from the side of the island into the sea, and there is much concern that the toxins from the trash leech below the porous base of the island and into the sea.  High tides, waves, or a rise in sea level, could sweep massive amounts of pollutants into the sea.

An estimated 850,000 tourists visited the Maldives in 2011 producing an approximated 3.5kg of waste each, per day they stayed there.  Shina Ahmed of the Thilafushi Corporation works on the island and estimates the garbage coming to the island is about “300-400 tons of trash per day”.    The 300-400 tons per day does not represent the total amount of garbage created by the Maldivian tourist industry.  Garbage, in recent years, has become second only to fish as the region’s most exported good.  Select waste materials are compacted and sold to India for around $175US per ton.

The Thilafushi Corporation runs this Island and their website lists their Components as follows:

1. International Port

2. Warehousing Facilities

3. Industrial Plots for Large Production Facilities

4. National Harbor and Ro-Ro Ferry Services.

The objectives:

1. Establish a commercially viable Industrial Zone in the Greater Male’ Region.

2. Act as a catalyst to growth of the Medium to Heavy Industries, thus promoting economic growth.

3. Reduce cost of products and services via reduction of storage and warehousing costs, and goods import overheads.

4. Reduce congestion in the Capital City Male’, thus improve the quality of in the city.

There is no typing errors or information left out of these components and objectives, they are exactly as written on http://www.tcl.com.mv June 14 2012.  This is a Maldivian Government funded company that oversees the ‘Garbage Island’.  I was very surprised not to see any mention of waste management in their components or any desire for environmental improvement in their objectives.

This waste on Thilafushi Island is not a new problem.  Although the BBC’s short exposé about the island brought much needed attention to the issue, the problem has existed on a catastrophic level for years, and is simply continuing to get worse.  There were several attempts in 2009, on YouTube, and by various media companies, to draw attention to this island.  Now in 2012, it is reported by the BBC that things have not improved.  Perhaps most shocking of all is that in January 2009 The Guardian’s south Asian correspondent Randeep Ramesh reported that, then newly appointed Maldivian President, Mohamed Nasheed’s solution to save his people in the event of an environmental crisis was to start putting aside some of the Maldives’ tourism revenues to buy another homeland.  It is unimaginable what consequences would result from leaving behind Thilafushi Island unattended.

The only way to address issues like this is to demand responsibility from the organizations that create these problems.  There is much talk about what the government should do, and in the Aljazeera video it was mentioned that the international community has for years spoken of providing the Maldives with the proper facilities to handle the waste.  Mohamad Aslam, Maldives Environment Minister said that “the world doesn’t wait for all these procedures and processes to be completed; I think people need to start speeding up and fast track things”.

These solutions are only directing the responsibility for the problem away from where it should lay.  The waste is the responsibility of the corporations that create it.  It is not responsible to build a huge tourist attraction, bring thousands of people to a small island community and expect that a third party should to have to deal with the waste.  This crisis is a matter of financial responsibility.  The waste created that is being dropped on this island is a byproduct of the revenue being generated by the neighboring resorts.  These resorts should be held financially responsible for both repairing what has been done, and providing the facilities to allow the area to sustain further mass tourism.  I understand that in more developed parts of the world, the cost of waste disposal and management does not solely fall on the shoulders of the hospitality location, but in this case it has to be viewed as the additional expense of operating in such a remote and beautiful area.

Hospitality businesses around the world are beginning to catch on to the need for corporate responsibility on their behalves.  I realize that I am probably preaching to the choir considering the likely readers of this blog, but the more we discuss it, the more likely that something will be done about it.  Travelers and tourists need to set the bar by refusing to travel to hospitality locations that are environmentally irresponsible.  There are a million ways to reduce waste at resort and hotel locations, Dispenser Amenities’ products being just the tip of the iceberg.  The beauty of the Maldives and all other locations need to be preserved and enjoyed responsibly with the future of our planet in mind!   


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