Victoria BC Marriott's Green Roof. Photo via Flickr by pnwra
Seems every hotel calls itself "green" if it stops cleaning the sheets and towels everyday. A good idea, but they do save bucks on laundry while saving water and energy. Some places remind guests to turn out the lights on leaving their room, as part of the "green your stay" program. And the latest notion is to skip the gratis newspaper, unless you ask for it. A wise move if guests don't bother reading USA Today or the WSJ. But Marriott appears determined to expand its green hotels. As a chain, it's not "locally operated" - unless you stay near headquarters in Bethesda, Maryland, which is possible. The company boasts that its Inn and Conference Center at the University of Maryland was the first "major" hotel with the U.S. Green Building Council's LEED designation. Now 30 more structures, including headquarters, expect to gain LEED certification by the end of the year and 20 of its architects will be LEED-accredited.
Marriott's "Spirit to Preserve" environmental strategy addresses climate change with plans to green its supply chain. Its series of actions include installing solar power in 40 hotels by 2017, diverting 64 percent of its waste (450,000 pounds) from landfill, switching to biodegradable disposable cafeteria containers, and converting used cooking oil to biodiesel fuel. It's also partnered with Conservation International to restore the Juma rainforest.
Marriott's Fairfield Inn & Suites in downtown Baltimore Downtown is gunning for LEED-Silver status with "eco-suites," bicycle storage, and preferred parking for fuel-efficient vehicles. The courtyard turf is made from recycled tires and rainwater is collected in cisterns of brew barrels reused from the site's original occupant, the Baltimore Brewing Company. Others include the Ritz-Carlton Highlands in Lake Tahoe, Residence Inn in Arlington, Courtyard hotels in Chevy Chase, Portland and Pittsburgh, as well as hotels in Atlanta, and LA will pass LEED requirements.
Besides replacing 450,000 light bulbs with CFLs, hotel key cards are 50% recycled material, 100,000 synthetic pillows were replaced with material made from recycled bottles, and there will be coreless TP. In the U.S. and Canada 47 million pens are from 75% recycled material, 43 tons of plastic laundry bags in the Middle East and Europe are biodegradable, and in Europe, detergent cuts phosphates released into waste water by approximately 220,000 lbs. — so what about the other parts of the world?
If considering a Marriott on your vacation, here are more of itsgreen accommodations: Surfers Paradise Marriott Resort & Spa in Australia snagged a "Sustainable Hotel" nod, Marriot brands (Residence and Renaissance) in Manchester, UK and Okinawa, Japan received recognition from Green Globe, Calgary Marriott Hotel earned Canada's Green Key Eco-Rating, Portland got the Green Seal of approval and Michigan hotels won Green Lodging certification.
More on green hotels:
Fairmont Hotel Joins WWF's Climate Savers Program
Ambrose Hotel First Hotel To Earn LEED For Existing Buildings
7 Romantic Green Hotels to Wow Your Sweetheart
Philips and Starwood Green Up Hotel TVs