Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Earth Day 2009

Happy Earth Day! While Earth Day should be every day, I've decided to take this opportunity to share how the Hotel Boulderado strives to be as green a property as possible. Here's just a taste of what we do.

Office paper, cardboard, newspapers, plastics, glass, cans, coat hangers, carpets, carpet pads, batteries, computers, copper and metal pipes, wood crates, wood products, motor oil, cooking oil, and more are recycled. What we cannot recycle on our own, we take to Eco Cycle or Green Mountain Recycling. We use recycled paper products, and we also use old linens for rags.

We donate towels, sheets, blankets, and pillows to homeless shelters and local charities, along with furniture, mattresses, lamps, case goods, partially used shampoos and other amenities. Leftover food from catered events are given to the Boulder Community Food Share Program. Eyeglasses and sunglasses left behind that remain unclaimed are donated to Habitat for Humanity and charities for Tibetans and Jamaicans. Partially used bath amenities, like soap, shampoo, and conditioner, go to the Cheyenne River Lakota/Sioux Reservation in central South Dakota. And when we renovated our Events Center in 2008, we donated over 100 light fixtures to Habitat for Humanity.

Our cleaning products are as environmentally friendly as possible. All of our carpet cleaning products are green. Our drain cleaners use a natural enzyme instead of harsh chemicals. All of our solvents and soaps are biodegradable. No oil-based paints are used anywhere in the hotel. And our dry cleaner, Art Cleaners, uses non-toxic, environmentally friendly products.

We use a water recovery system to clean outside and our patios, and we have thermal blankets on our water heaters. Our toilets are the low-flush variety, and we use aerators in the showers. We use CVL light bulbs in rooms and common areas where appropriate. We encourage guests to re-use towels and linens throughout their stay. We've eliminated plastic and paper cups in guest rooms, electing instead to use china and glass. We place newspapers in common areas, like our lobby, instead of in every guest room. Our employees are encouraged to use alternate methods of transportation by offering free Eco-Passes and bike racks outside.

All these efforts happen year-round. Here at the Boulderado, Earth Day truly is every day.