As Good As Vietnam Gets
Why We Don’t Need As Many Umbrellas in Hue
When I was growing up in Hue, we weathered the winter under umbrellas and ponchos, indoors at games, and generally bundled up against the chill. That was then, and though I still live in the same city, the winter weather in Hue is the most unfamiliar thing about this place. In fact, if you blindfolded me to everything about this city but the current weather reports, I’d be hard-pressed to say it’s the same place.
Today, we may get a day or two of rain like the olds days, but then we get these great bursts of sunshine that endure for days on end with springlike temperatures. This isn’t happening only in Hue, of course. Like everyone else, from here and from abroad, I talk a lot about the weather. My guests from Lyon to Boston to Durban say the same thing — that they just can’t count on the weather to be like it had been.
This is a double-edged sword, of course. Science tells us man is causing massive changes to the environment. That greenhouse gases are heating the planet and changing weather patterns. I’m no scientist but the anecdotes do seem to confirm that what’s happening in theory is happening outside.
This is frightening stuff. Just yesterday, the renowned British scientist Stephen Hawking told the world we’re doomed. That climate change, robots and nuclear weapons were going to change the world in such a way that Earth would be unlivable in about 1,000 years.
I kind of think we’re going to figure out a way to solve these problems. We’ve stared down doom before! At La Residence, we’re doing what we can to make a difference, at least on the climate change front.
We’ve installed solar panels to heat hot water. Thirty nine of our hotel rooms draw water heated by the sun. Good for the Earth, good for La Residence, and good for guests, too. We save about $6,500 in energy costs on that initiative alone.
We’re converting much of our lighting to LED, and we’re encouraging guests to reuse towels and linens, which may seem passive… until you see the utilization reports. These simple little things matter a ton.
As I went through similar reports this fall, preparing my budget for 2017, I saw one other place where we are going to realize some savings this winter: umbrellas.