Hotels love Earth Day. The annual celebration of our big blue marble is a chance to tout a property’s LEED green certification, brag about its tiny carbon footprint, and offer test-drives of groovy little electric cars. Guests love green.
This year, one of our favorite initiatives comes from Edition Hotels. The Ian Schrager-led boutique brand has smartly tapped the passion of its VP of Brand Experience, Ben Pundole, to launch Stay Plastic Free, which he describes as “a campaign helping to take single-use plastics out of the hotel industry.”
To that end, Edition announced a partnership with upstart bottled-water company Just, whose sustainably sourced H2O arrives in paper-based “bottles” with wide-mouth cap structures made from biodegradable sugarcane-derived plastic. Very notably, unlike common polyethylene terephthalate bottles, which if refilled can leach toxic chemicals, Just bottles are made to be reused.
Pundole promises that by Earth Day 2018 (that’s this Sunday, April 22), every hotel in the Edition collection will be 90 percent free of single-use plastics—things like drinking straws, coffee-cup lids, to-go containers, and, of course, water bottles—and 100 percent free of them by the end of 2018.
If you’re in South Florida this weekend, Pundole will be talking up the Stay Plastic Free program at the Miami Beach Edition. The hotel is planning a daylong Earth Day event, including a 2 p.m. beach cleanup and an array of eco-friendly activities, art exhibits, and poolside vegetarian treats by chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten. There’s a $30 suggested donation (for which you’ll get a drink token and a raffle ticket), with all proceeds going to the Miami chapter of an ocean advocacy group, the Surfrider Foundation. Guests are encouraged to bring used denim for apparel brand Madewell’s “Blue Jeans Go Green” campaign, through which the fabric will be upcycled as housing insulation for in-need communities.