Thursday, July 15, 2010

Eco-Friendly Destinations............

Paint the Town Green: Hotel Monaco Seattle - a Kimpton Hotel, Seattle, Washington -



Hotel Monaco Seattle is proud to announce it is officially Green Seal™ Silver Certified, meaning it meets a rigorous set of environmental standards designed to reduce impact on the environment and human health. So rigorous, in fact, that the Kimpton Hotels are the first Seattle hotels and one of only a handful nationwide to be certified. And because certification is granted for only one year at a time, Green Seal will be checking annually to make sure our hotel is vigilant in our eco-friendly efforts.
  • What is Green Seal?
    Founded 20 years ago, Green Seal is a national non-profit organization that develops environmental standards and then certifies products and services that meet those standards. Check out their website at www.GreenSeal.org.
  • Why all the fuss about the certification?
    Getting this coveted certification is no easy task, as evidenced by the small number of hotels nationwide that have it. Green Seal created an unbiased standard for the lodging industry, known as GS-33, which encompasses almost 30 environmentally responsible components required by a hotel – recycling, energy conversation, water conservation, socially responsible purchasing, to name a few. Meeting these requirements means our hotels are substantially reducing our environmental impact and practicing sustainable leadership.
  • What's really involved in earning Green Seal certification?
    Although we are celebrating our Green Seal Silver Certification, we are serious and committed in our ongoing goal towards sustainable, eco-friendly and socially responsible practices. Here is just a summary of the criteria we must meet in order to receive this prestigious certification. (You can also read a full overview of the GS-33 requirements at Green Seal's web site (pdf)).

Waste Minimization, Reuse and Recycling

  1. Recycling in public and administrative areas, with recycling containers clearly marked.
  2. Amenities (soap, shampoo, etc.) are packaged in recyclable materials and unused portions are donated to charity.
  3. Hotel uses double-sided copying.
  4. Products are purchased in bulk, such as concentrated cleaning products.

Energy Efficiency, Conservation and Management

  1. In-room, office, and heating/air conditioning equipment is either already energy-efficient, or on schedule to be replaced with energy-efficient equipment.
  2. Indoor lighting is energy-efficient, where compatible. (Historic, display and specialty lighting may be exempt.)
  3. Systems and appliances are on a preventative maintenance schedule.
  4. Energy-efficient windows are used as windows are replaced.
  5. Programmable on/off timers and/or sensors are used for lighting and HVAC in low traffic and low occupancy areas.

Management of Fresh Water Resources

  1. Showerheads, faucets and aerators use low-flow, water-conserving fixtures or retrofits.
  2. Exterior landscaping uses local plants and watering is scheduled to retain maximum water.
  3. Sidewalks are swept or washed with "graywater" – waste water from laundry or bathing.
  4. Towel and/or linen reuse option is available for guests.

Waste Water Management

  1. Chlorinated chemicals are used only where there is no less toxic alternative.
  2. Automatic dishwashing detergent is biodegradable and does not contain NTA, a harmful water softener, or chlorine bleach.
  3. Laundry detergents and cleaning products are non-phosphate, nontoxic and biodegradable, and used in concentrated liquid or powder form.
  4. Organic insecticides, fertilizers and biocides (used for pesticides and antimicrobials) are being researched.

Hazardous Substances

  1. Hazardous substances are being replaced with less hazardous alternatives.
  2. Chemical storage and mixing areas have appropriate space, plumbing and ventilation.
  3. Storage containers are clearly marked and property uses spill containment measures.
  4. Architectural paint does not contain heavy metals or toxic organic substances.

Environmentally and Socially Sensitive Purchasing Policy

  1. Hotel has established an environmental purchasing policy led by a steering committee.
  2. Printing and writing papers contain a minimum of 30% postconsumer material content or tree-free fiber content; coated paper contains a minimum of 10% postconsumer material content or tree-free fiber content.
  3. Toilet tissue is made from at least 20% recycled fibers; facial tissue from at least 10% recycled fibers; and napkins and paper towels from at least 40% recycled fibers.
  4. Durable goods are of sufficient quality to allow reuse, refinishing and/or reupholstering.
  5. Products such as paints and cleaning products meet Green Seal's low VOC guidelines. (VOCs are volatile organic compounds, and can result in air pollution.)
  6. Preference is given to suppliers who provide reusable packaging and shipping pallets.
  7. Preference is given to environmentally responsible service suppliers.

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