Traveling back to the U.S. from Greenland, I spent two nights in Copenhagen, Denmark. I stayed at Wakeup Copenhagen, a modern, stylish and easy-on-the-pocket hotel near the center of the city.
But what is more fascinating to me about this hotel is that it is “Green Key” certified. Green Key is the largest, global eco-label for leisure accommodations in the world. This means Wakeup Copenhagen has made important decisions to exhibit its respect for the environment.
The first sign of the hotel’s commitment to environment was the fact that without inserting my room key into a device on the wall the power in the room would not even come on. Also, if the key is removed from the device, the power times out and shuts off after only a few moments. All of this I learned through experience.
Many other hotel attributes and activities are aimed at protecting the environment.
- Green roofs with plantings (doubles as a peaceful rooftop park)
- Water saving devices in all rooms (guests use 1/2 the normal water consumption)
- Energy-efficient lighting
- Only using environmentally-certified cleaning products
- Serving eco-friendly food in the hotel restaurant
- Bicycle rentals
- Providing guests with maps to public transportation
- A consolidated “ironing room” in the basement
On average, hotels in America spend more than $2000 per room on energy each year. When you’re traveling do your part and look for hotels that are Energy Star certified (or Green Key certified abroad). Most travel sites now have information about eco-friendly accommodations, or visit the green accommodations site http://www.istaygreen.org/ (Twitter: @iStayGreen).