Three Properties Gear Up for March 31 Earth Hour

by Glenn Hasek March 13, 2012 04:30

Earth Hour will take place in just a little more than two weeks (March 31). As part of Earth Hour, businesses are encouraged to turn off their lights for one hour to take a stand against climate change. I have already heard from several properties that will be participating in Earth Hour. At Auberge du Soleil in Rutherford, Calif., between 8:30 p.m. and 9:30 p.m., artificial light will be replaced with candlelight in the Main House. An invitation, along with a complimentary aromatic Espa candle and additional candles, will be placed in each room inviting guests to choose candlelight during Earth Hour. The Auberge Spa will be offering a special Earth Hour massage to by enjoyed by candlelight during the 8:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. time period. A special Earth Hour robe will be sent to each guest’s room that is theirs to keep as a gift. No computers or phones will be active at the spa during Earth Hour.

Toronto’s Fairmont Royal York hotel will turn off its lights and light up more than a thousand candles in support of Earth Hour. Guests will have the opportunity to partake in this global initiative by participating in the hotel’s “green” inspired activities when the lights go out for sixty minutes beginning at 8:30 p.m. At 8:30 p.m. The Fairmont Royal York’s neon rooftop sign will go dark, signalling the hotel’s “Green Team” to power down the exterior awning and canopy lights in unison with millions of Earth Hour participants worldwide. Inside the hotel, the volunteer team of more than 30 eco-minded colleagues will light candelabras and hundreds of tea lights are to be placed throughout the lobby and pool area of the hotel. Guests can relax in the hotel’s whirlpool or swim in the pool, illuminated by the glow of surrounding candles. Guests will be encouraged to participate in the environmental activities by turning the lights out in their rooms by way of a World Wildlife Fund bookmark accompanying their key cards and at the evening “turndown.” Guests residing in Toronto area will be offered a special Earth Hour rate.

In the spirit of Earth Hour, Turnberry Isle Miami will offer Glow-in-the-Dark Solar Drop cocktails from 5 p.m. to 11 p.m. in the main Lobby lounge. A candlelight-only dinner will be offered at Cascata Grille. It will be a three course dinner infusing freshly picked ingredients from the on-site chef’s garden. A complimentary astronomy presentation will be presented at the resort’s tranquil Cascata Pool with guest Astronomer Dr. James Webb, director of the SARA Observatory at Florida International University. A telescope will be on hand for guests to further explore the night sky.

What is your property planning for Earth Hour? Be sure to let me know by leaving your comments here or by writing to editor@greenlodgingnews.com.

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Coming Soon to Your Community: Earth Day, Earth Hour

by Glenn Hasek February 21, 2012 05:15

In just two months--April 22--people around the world will celebrate Earth Day. The first Earth Day occurred in 1970. The idea came to Earth Day founder Gaylord Nelson, then a U.S. Senator from Wisconsin, after witnessing the ravages of the 1969 massive oil spill in Santa Barbara, Calif. Here at Green Lodging News, I have reported each year on what hotels and hotel companies have done for Earth Day. If your property is planning to mark the day in any way--with a tree planting, special rates, volunteer activity, etc.--I would love to hear about it. In an article last year I wrote about some of the activities that were planned. Many of them were very unique. In New York and Chicago, The James properties gave away complimentary MTA and CTA transportation cards for guests upon request. At the Hotel Monteleone, a press conference was held on Earth Day to unveil an ecological quilt, “Beyond the Horizon,” commissioned by civic activist Penny Edwards. At the Embassy Suites Houston-Downtown, management purchased renewable energy credits for every room that was occupied on April 22.

At Bucuti Beach Resort in Aruba, Earth Day began with guests and employees joining to pick up litter along the beach. Guests received a free Bucuti T-shirt for participating.

In less than two months on March 31, Earth Hour will be marked around the world. In 2006, World Wildlife Fund-Australia inspired Sydney-siders to show their support for climate change action in the first ever Earth Hour event. Then in March 2007 in Sydney, 2.2 million individuals and more than 2,000 businesses turned their lights out for one hour to take a stand against climate change. In 2008, the plan was to take Earth Hour to the rest of Australia. But then the City of Toronto, Canada, signed up and it wasn’t long before 35 countries and almost 400 cities and towns were part of the event.

Last year Earth Hour was marked at many lodging establishments around the world. Starwood Hotels & Resorts participated for the third consecutive year. Individual Starwood properties turned out the lights--as many as they could--for an hour. At the Sheraton New York Hotel & Towers, every guest received an Earth-shaped chocolate lollipop with a message attached encouraging participation. Fairmont Hotels participated for the fourth consecutive year last year. The Fairmont Chicago, Millennium Park offered a special cocktail, the HUMing Bird, made of organic botanic HUM liqueur, freshly squeezed lemon, organic puree and ginger. A dollar from every cocktail was donated to the Grant Park Conservancy, the hotel’s Eco-Signature Project. These are just a couple of examples of Earth Hour activities.

Contact me to let me know how your property or company will be celebrating Earth Day and Earth Hour this year. Leave your comments here or write to editor@greenlodgingnews.com.

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About Me

Glenn Hasek is the publisher and editor of Green Lodging News. He has more than 20 years of experience writing about the lodging industry. He can be reached at editor@greenlodgingnews.com or by phone at (813) 510-3868.