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PACIFIC CITY, ORE.—The Craftsman Bed and Breakfast announced that it is offsetting its carbon emissions with Carbonfund.org. By joining Carbonfund.org’s CarbonFree Partner program, The Craftsman B&B has joined a national movement of businesses and organizations that are leading the fight against global warming.
BURBANK, CALIF.—The Walt Disney Company announced a landmark set of strategic environmental goals and challenging three to five year targets to reduce emissions, waste, electricity and fuel use, and its impact on water and ecosystems. The goals are part of Disney’s 2008 Corporate Responsibility Report, which details the company’s approach to critical corporate responsibility issues ranging from charitable giving to nutrition and from online safety for kids to workplace diversity. The interactive multimedia report provides a detailed snapshot of the company’s philosophy and activities in five areas.
NATIONAL REPORT—Historically, owners of lodging establishments throughout the United States and Canada have ignored the sun as a source of potential energy to heat water. Whether because of concerns about cost or misperceptions about how solar thermal technology works, solar hot water heating systems are rare. That is all beginning to change, however, thanks to improving technologies, tax incentives and rebates, creative financing, better education about solar thermal heating, an increase in the number of developers interested in building to Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) standards, and an increase in the number of qualified vendors that sell and install solar hot water heating systems.
ARCOLA, ILL.—With the second wave of construction on Green Mill Village (GMV) set to begin within the next few months, developers are certain the project will provide an economic boost to Arcola and the surrounding communities. Feutz Contractors, Inc. of Paris, Ill., completed infrastructure work on the roads, sewer and water lines and storm water control in December. The construction of the hotel, conference center, spa and restaurant will begin this spring along with the GMV Retail Center. A service station and out lot restaurant are also planned for this phase of construction. “In order to boost the local economy, GMV will utilize as many local contractors as possible during each of the construction phases,” said Bob McElwee, developer/partner.
SAN DIEGO—In an effort to support and enhance its local farming communities, Loews Coronado Bay Resort announced the introduction of “Farmers, Foragers and Fishermen,” a seasonal dinner series that allows guests to dine with the folks who produce, harvest and catch the ingredients they enjoy on a regular basis. “We believe today’s dining experience extends far beyond chefs and wineries,” said Ellen Burke Van Slyke, Loews Hotels’ corporate creative director of food and beverage. “It starts with the source—the farmer—and these dinners are designed to showcase them and their similar passion for sustainable practices.” Similar to a winemaker’s dinner, “Farmers, Foragers and Fishermen” will pair Loews Coronado Bay Resort’s chef Martin T. Batis with one local purveyor for an informative four-course dining experience.
ALEXANDRIA, VA.—ASTA recently provided assistance to the Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS) in launching its new publication, “Getting There Greener: The Guide to Your Lower Carbon Vacation,” by translating the group’s findings into real-world examples of carbon-friendly vacations that consumers could take without sacrificing fun or excitement. “This guide is a useful tool for travel agents looking for hard data on the carbon cost of various types of travel,” said Chris Russo, ASTA president and chair. “By utilizing this data, travel agents are better equipped to assist those clients wishing to reduce the carbon imprint of their vacations.”
ALICE SPRINGS, AUSTRALIA—The Crowne Plaza Alice Springs hotel set a new benchmark for Australia’s business sector and hotel industry when it switched on the largest building-mounted solar photovoltaic (PV) system in the Southern Hemisphere and began its $50,000 in-house energy efficiency program. The $3.3 million PV installation will reduce the hotel’s energy consumption by 40 to 80 percent.
BETHESDA, MD.—In a move to help improve the climate, Marriott International, Inc. is launching a new way for guests to “green” their hotel stays. Now, when guests book rooms on Marriott’s website, they can offset the carbon generated during their stay for as little as $10, or $1/day for 10 days. As part of Spirit To Preserve, Marriott’s five-point environmental strategy, guests can contribute to a Brazilian rainforest preservation fund already supported with a $2 million commitment by the company. “Conserving rainforests—the lungs of the Earth—is one of the most important things we can do to improve the climate,” says chief financial officer Arne Sorenson, who co-chairs Marriott’s Executive Green Council.
NEWPORT BEACH, CALIF.—A new company, Cozy Green, is providing new life to old hotel towels and linens. Cozy Green utilizes spent towels and linens to create logo recognized, contemporary retail products. Ideally, the company seeks towels with logos on them, and then “upcycles” them to new branded product for their hotel partners.
ROCKVILLE, MD—Clean Currents, LLC announced that it has successfully brokered an arrangement with the Legacy Hotel and Conference Centre to switch 100 percent of its electricity consumption to wind power in an effort to reduce dangerous greenhouse gas emissions and to encourage energy independence.
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