Thursday, April 1, 2010

Element's Message in a Bottle

Starwood Hotels and Resorts Worldwide's Element hotels throughout the United States will be celebrating Earth Day weekend in a unique way this year. Guests who bring in 10 single-use plastic bottles April 22 to 25 will get a free night during that weekend. The "I Am Not a Plastic Package" promotion is limited to the first 100 guests who book through the brand's toll-free number and mention the word "GOGREEN."

Element Hotels, Starwood's 100 percent LEED certified brand, currently has hotels open in the following cities: Lexington, Mass.; Las Vegas; Baltimore; Denver; Dallas; Houston; and Ewing, N.J. Additonal Elements will open later this year in New York City and Omaha, Neb.

Starwood's promotion is a great way to bring attention to the waste problem associated with water sold in plastic bottles. As written about in one of my previous columns, about 60 million water bottles are discarded daily. Only about 12 percent of them are recycled. Producing those bottles burns 1.5 million barrels of crude oil annually. Bottled water is 500 to 1,000 times more expensive than tap water and not necessarily safer to drink.

"We thought this would be a fun, timely way to engage guests on recycling, which has been in practice at Element from day one," said Brian McGuinness, senior vice president, Specialty-Select Brands, Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc. "Element guests keep telling us they want to take an active role in our efforts around environmental responsibility, and this is a very rewarding way for them to do it."

As part of the "I Am Not a Plastic Package," Element will also offer a complimentary reusable water bottle at check-in as part of the package.

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