In the days of old and eco-oblivion, you could travel the world, sleep anywhere with 5 stars and be assured of a restful, luxurious, guilt-free experience. In the 90s, smaller “boutique” hotels began to crop up – but pampering, not green, was still the priority.
If you’re a frequent traveler who happens to have acquired an eco-consciousness, 5 star and boutique are not where your concerns lie. You want environmentally-sound sleepovers – and avoiding the miniature toiletries or stopping by Terra Pass seems woefully inadequate.
Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide (of W Hotels fame) recently announced its newest brand – ELEMENT hotels, the first major hotel brand to commit to the U.S. Green Building Council’s (USGBC) LEED certification.*
Green to the core, they won’t leave travelers in the eco-chic lobby, either. Guest room basics include energy- and water-efficient appliances, bins for recycling paper, plastic and glass, filtered water and shampoo shower dispensers. The hotels will use low-VOC paints and 100% recycled and anti-microbial carpet pads to improve air quality and minimize exposure to toxins and pollutants. Oversized windows will create an abundance of natural lighting and an indoor-outdoor “natural” experience.
Pack your eco-attitude and visit the first ELEMENT hotel expected to open this August in Lexington, MA, followed by Irving, TX, Las Vegas and Baltimore, MD.
*According to the USGBC website, LEED is “…the nationally accepted benchmark for the design, construction and operation of high performance green buildings. [It] gives owners and operators the tools they need…[and] promotes a whole-building approach to sustainability…”
Images: ELEMENT hotels