Hotels’ Earth Day Promotion Lets You Pay With Plastic Bottles

Eco-Travel, Travel News — By David Chalk on April 20, 2010 at 5:20 pm

Starwood’s eco-friendly Element Hotels are celebrating Earth Day weekend with a recycling-themed promotion. Give them 10 empty single-use water bottles and they’ll give you a free night’s stay from April 22-25 and a free Element-branded reusable water bottle.  Before you go chugging Evian though, the offer started April 5 and is only open to the first 100 people to call 1-877-ELEMENT and mention the promo code GOGREEN.

The promotion is whimsically named “I Am Not a Plastic Package.” The press release proclaims Element as Starwood’s “new [launched in 2008] eco-chic boutique brand” that is “trailblazing in eco-conscious hospitality,” and says the promotion is in response to guest requests:

“We thought this would be a fun, timely way to engage guests on recycling, which has been in practice at Element from day one,” said Brian McGuinness, Senior Vice President, Specialty-Select Brands, Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc. “Element guests keep telling us they want to take an active role in our efforts around environmental responsibility, and this is a very rewarding way for them to do it.”

Element quotes Northern Illinois University on why plastic bottles suck:

Americans use 4 million plastic bottles every hour, yet only one bottle out of four is recycled. The rest end up in landfills or incinerators. Recycling plastic bottles plays a critical role in protecting the environment; when buried, some plastic material may last for 700 years. Although they account for only eight percent of the waste by weight, plastics occupy about 20 percent of the volume in a landfill due to their low bulk density.

It seems like the people who’d be asking their eco-chic boutique hotel for ways to participate would already know that though.  But Element does practice what it preaches in at least some ways — notably, filtered drinking water is available at their hotels rather than plastic water bottles.

More Element eco-credentials:

  • first major hotel brand to mandate that all its properties pursue the US Green Building Council’s (USGBC) Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification for high-performance buildings
  • eco-friendly materials are used whenever possible
  • natural light is maximized throughout the hotels
  • guest room bathrooms are equipped with amenity dispensers
  • kitchens are supplied with silverware and glassware instead of plastic utensils and paper cups
  • recycling bins are available in guest rooms and public areas
  • low-flow faucets and fixtures, compact fluorescent light bulbs, and energy-efficient appliances
  • the ubiquitous “Do Not Disturb” sign has been replaced with an environmentally-friendly magnet
  • installed electric car charging stations at all its currently open properties to contribute to the development of the infrastructure needed in anticipation of the number electric vehicles expected to be on the market over the next several years

Element hotels are currently open in Lexington, MA, Las Vegas, Baltimore, Denver, Dallas, Houston and Ewing, NJ. Element Times Square opens in October 2010, and Element Omaha in November 2010.

[Image: Fanciful Gift Baskets]

Tags: Earth Day, eco-chic, eco-conscious, eco-promotions, Element Hotels, I am not a plastic package, plastic bottles, recycling, Starwood Hotels

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