The Director of Boston Green Tourism shares how the Greenovate award reinforced his work with green hospitality.
The Greenovate community is a vast network of Boston leaders making a difference in climate action. Read below for our conversation with a winner of the Greenovate Awards in our series Where Are They Now?
Dan Ruben won the Greenovate Award in 2007 for Green Business. You can nominate an individual, business, or any kind of group or organization to be considered for the Mayor’s Greenovate Awards.
Dan Ruben, Director, Boston Green Tourism
Tell us about your work and how it impacts Boston.
Boston Green Tourism (BGT) helps Boston hotels reduce energy, water and waste, improve indoor air quality, and offer green transportation options. We also organize green hotel workshops for hoteliers across the United States. We help qualified green businesses engage with the hospitality sector too.
What did winning the Mayor’s Greenovate award mean to you?
We are proud of achieving this award and appreciate the City of Boston for recognizing the value of our work.
What leaders or organizations have influenced you the most? Why?
Gary Cohen, President and Co-founder of Health Care Without Harm, inspires my work in the hotel sector. He envisioned the potential for greening hospitals, which make up a large portion of the world economy. Then, he created an organization that has had great success in achieving its mission.
What do you believe is the most pressing environmental issue of our time?
I believe that climate change will overwhelm our society if we don’t address it successfully. In my view, climate change is both a problem of its own, and it also compounds other environmental problems. Some examples are species extinction, desertification, and freshwater depletion.
What actions do you suggest people take today to get involved to act on climate?
I believe that the first step is to green what we control the most -- our own lives. We should ask: how can I reduce my own carbon emissions by 10% next year, and 50% in the next ten years?
By achieving these goals, people gain an understanding of how their workplaces, schools and cities can achieve similar goals — and the standing to participate in their transformation. Beyond that, we should find other ways to green our world. Some examples: participating in environmental organizations and campaigns and influencing our city, state, and the federal governments to provide leadership on climate.
Did this award reignite your motivation to continue your work?
Yes, the award provided a boost, and reinforced my feeling that greening hotels is important work.
Boston Green Tourism won the Mayor's Greenovate Award in 2007 for Green Business. If you would like to learn about our most recent cohort of 2017 Mayor’s Greenovate Award winners, you can read more here.