Westin spearheads sustainable hoteling

Travel can turn even the most Prius-like consumer into a gas-guzzling SUV, according to a survey of frequent travellers commissioned by ELEMENT Hotels, a new Westin-inspired extended-stay brand from Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc. In fact, a majority of frequent travellers [59%] admit to letting their ‘green routines’ slip when on the road. This disparity is why ELEMENT Hotels will be pioneering a new, smart approach to sustainable hoteling when it opens its doors in 2008. Instead of dictating responsibilities to guests, ELEMENT properties will be designed to make environmentally friendly choices intuitive.

Key smart design features include:

* Clean and green: Shampoo and conditioner dispensers will eliminate multiple mini-bottles.

* Stemming the tide: Low-flow sink faucets and dual flush toilets and/or low gallonage toilets will allow guests to optimise water use during their time away from home. This small change conserves an estimated 4,358.6 gallons of water per room each year.

* Smart materials: The ELEMENT design incorporates eco-friendly materials wherever possible, from the floor, which will feature carpets with up to 100% recycled content and recycled carpet cushions, to the walls, where art will be mounted on a base made from recycled tires and where low VOC paints will improve indoor air quality for guests and staff.

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* Recycling reminder: About 50% of the waste generated in hotels is recyclable, but most hotel rooms don’t have recycling bins. ELEMENT guest rooms will include bins to help guests maintain their home recycling ritual.

* A bright idea: CFLs (compact florescent lamps) light bulbs will be used throughout the hotel instead of incandescent light bulbs. This small change will result in up to 75% less energy used.

* Nature’s best: Biophilic design, which maximises natural light and sightlines to the outdoors, will help guests thrive and connect with their surroundings.

* Staying smart: An education programme will help guests make smart decisions for the environment while travelling and at home. These small changes are motivated by the ELEMENT brand’s commitment to creating an environment where guests can thrive and be at their best, from their room to their world.
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