Daniel Ruben is the executive director of Boston Green Tourism, which helps hotels reduce energy, water, waste and toxins. We are lucky to have Dan joining us as a panelist at our Apple Peels and Leftover Meals event on Wednesday January 21. Check out this quick Q&A and sign up for Wednesday’s event to hear more from Dan.
What inspired you to pursue a career in sustainability?
I was a health care administrator and came to realize that in my free time, I didn’t think about how to improve health care. Instead, I thought about environmental protection and humanity’s future. So, I decided to change my career to reflect my passion
What’s the most interesting/most fun/most challenging aspect of your job?
The most fun part of my job is identifying important new green products and services, and fostering their adoption by the hotel sector. For example, I closely follow the use of energy storage by hotels in California and Hawaii. Some hotels there store energy in batteries at night and release it during periods of peak demand. Hence, they reduce the need to engage their region’s dirtiest power plants to meet peak demand, and they reduce the need to build new fossil fuel power plants. As soon as energy storage becomes viable in MA, I will introduce it to hotels and publicize the first hotels to use it.
What advice would you give to those looking for a career with a positive social or environmental impact?
I encourage people to start their own business. I’m not a natural entrepreneur. But I started Boston Green Tourism anyway, because I identified a need that wasn’t being addressed.
Why is food waste such an important issue to tackle when it comes to sustainability?
When food waste goes to landfills it creates methane, a harmful greenhouse gas. When it gets incinerated, it pollutes our atmosphere. But when it’s composted and anaerobically-digested, it preserves our soil and provides clean energy.
Individuals can also do their bit to reduce food waste – what is your favorite tip to help our members reduce their waste?
I compost in my house, using worms. I love showing my compost bin to children, because it communicates the value of living a greener lifestyle. I also have outdoor compost bins that process the leaves from my condo association and the food waste generated by neighbors and friends.
Come to the Massachusetts Clean Energy Center on Wednesday January 21, 6-8pm, to hear from Dan and other professionals in the food waste arena. Panelists include representatives from the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (MA DEP) and Bootstrap Compost.
Sign up today – see you on Wednesday!