Earth Day is just a little more than two months away (April 22). What is your property planning for that special day? For any lodging establishment, Earth Day is a great opportunity to demonstrate a commitment to the local community and to the environment. Done right, Earth Day can be an opportunity to generate positive publicity for your property. It is also an opportunity to create a unique weekend package for guests. "Arrive in a hybrid and get a free dinner for two" or something along those lines would work. Why not make a donation to a worthwhile environmental organization for every guest who checks in during Earth Day weekend?
Here are just a few examples of what hotel companies and individual hotels have done in the past (see Green Lodging News for other examples):
*At the Balsams Grand Resort Hotel in Dixville Notch, N.H., associates there planted trees, helped clean up area road sides and held a barbecue. Guests driving to the hotel in hybrid vehicles received a free lunch. The Balsams is managed by Delaware North Companies Parks & Resorts.
*The Doubletree Hotel & Executive Meeting Center Portland-Lloyd Center chose its Green Star Employee on Earth Day. In fact, the hotel stretched Earth Day into Earth Week and held a banquet at which the hotel’s sustainability efforts and green team leaders were recognized.
*Hotel Indigo celebrated Earth Day 2008 by announcing its partnership with Earth Share, a nationwide network of the United States’ most respected environmental and conservation organizations.
*The Willard InterContinental Hotel celebrated Earth Day last year with a park cleanup and light bulb exchange. The Willard offered the public the opportunity to trade in standard light bulbs for more energy efficient CFL bulbs.
This is just a sample of the activities that have taken place during previous Earth Days. Be sure to let me know what your property is planning this year by writing to firstname.lastname@example.org. I will include the best ideas in an upcoming column. I will look forward to hearing from you.