Seattle Sustainable Hotel
In Seattle, it isn’t important that businesses and people think and be green (environmentally speaking), it’s nearly a mandate. The fact is, the city of Seattle’s substantial efforts at sustainability are evident everywhere. So, when Cedarbrook Lodge proudly outlines its sustainable efforts, it understands it is part of something way bigger. Environmental conservation is an essential element of Cedarbrook’s mission and vision. The hotel embraces green practices across all departments, acknowledging that green initiatives are not only environmentally responsible, but economically beneficial too.
Kermit the Frog was oh so wrong when he sang, “It ain’t easy being green!” It can be when an organization chooses to be. And management and staff at Cedarbrook Lodge continue to work toward decreasing its hotel global footprint by implementing the following environmentally sustainable features, products and practices (by hotel division):
Food & Beverage
The Food & Beverage team leads the way in the administration of Cedarbrook Lodge’s sustainable initiatives. The commitment to sustainability and diminishing its carbon footprint is evident on many fronts. You can literally count the ways!
- To-go food items at Cedarbrook are packaged in a very untraditional, currently cutting edge 100% biodegradable and compostable sugarcane tableware product produced by Nature Friendly Products. NFPCO is committed to the reduction of environmental waste. Their plates, bowls, cups, service trays and take-out boxes are environmentally-friendly and made from sugar cane fiber-based renewable resources and are completely compostable within 50-100 days in properly managed composting facilities.
- Also used extensively is the 100 % biodegradable and compostable bio resin cutlery which uses a plant-based biopolymer. These spoons, forks, knives, sample spoons, soup spoons, and sporks are made from proprietary biodegradable resin and are completely compostable within 50 – 100 days.
- What about Cedarbrook’s to-go hot and cold cups, lids, straws and containers? 100% biodegradable and compostable (of course!) And made from corn-based PLA-renewable resources. Polylactic Acid (PLA) is a biodegradable polymer derived from lactic acid. It is made from 100% renewable starch-based resources. Just like the tableware and cutlery, these to-go items are completely compostable within 50-100 days.
- Americans produce more than 200 million tons of municipal solid waste per year. U.S. landfills are filling up, garbage incineration is becoming increasingly unpopular and alternative waste disposal options are difficult to find. Which is why composting is such a popular and practical solution to this environmental problem. Composting extends municipal landfill life by diverting organic materials from landfills and providing a less costly alternative to conventional methods of waste disposal. Composting enriches the soil, helps prevent pollution, reduces the need for water, fertilizer and pesticides, and are a low cost alternative to standard landfill cover and artificial soil amendments.
- Cedarbrook Lodge has developed its very own on-site composting (soil management system) in order to provide home-grown nutrient-rich enhancements for its on-site kitchen garden. Three bins have been constructed. By the end of March, trimmings (and other waste) from out of the Cedarbrook kitchen will have been introduced and ready to mature for autumn use. This evolutionary phase involves the mixing of leaves and foliage from the surrounding 18 acres of wetlands. This composting or soil management system is the essence and core of the food and beverage program.
- Utilizing the enriched soil from the on-site compost area, let the planting and growing of the by-season cycle farm products begin! Fresh baby carrots, green beans, turnips, beets, strawberries, mixed lettuces, tomatoes and herbs to name just a few. Four distinct growing areas will be singularly dedicated to producing much of the fresh produce, vegetables, herbs and accompaniments used in Cedarbrook’s familiar farm-to-table cuisine both in Copperleaf Restaurant & Bar and in group and local social/corporate meal events. There’s the trellised herb garden located just off the Copperleaf Restaurant & Bar’s outdoor dining patio where scents of rosemary, thyme and other herbs waft. Viewable – though in the distance — from Copperleaf patio there is a quarter acre (we call it the grassy patch!) where guests may come to participate in the planting or the harvest or simply get in touch with their roots and relish the farm/garden view from benches. This area even includes a potting shed! Beyond the grassy patch, there is yet another 2,000 square foot raised planting bed (in quadrants). For food items which require a cooler, shadier spot. Consider the mushroom area that resides here.
- Speaking of mushrooms, they are involved in yet another of Cedarbrook’s food and beverage sustainable practices. That is, the purification and breakdown of toxins from the property’s water runoff to the wetlands. In the growing of mushrooms and in the inoculation with mycelium of the wood/hay that covers the mushrooms, a natural filtration system is created. And the on-site mushroom garden has been strategically located (naturally) near the edge of the wetlands such that the water runoff will be forever naturally purified before it returns to the wetlands . . . and keeping the wetlands beautiful and restored in the process.
- Oh yes, about the water runoff! On the southwest side of Cedarbrook’s grounds there is a half acre water reclamation pond… built into the ground so as not to be unsightly. Its function is to capture all the gutter water which drains automatically its way. It acts as a reservoir to provide the property with its non-fresh water needs. What does that mean? No fresh water is used in the sprinkler system or to water the “farm,” gardens and lawns. The water is 100% recycled!
- Though grease and water don’t mix, grease does follow water in this F&B list! As you might imagine, a hotel kitchen produces its fair share of grease… in Cedarbrook’s small operation – 100 gallons a month! In January, 2010, Cedarbrook entered into a monthly agreement with a local company, General Biodiesel to haul away its used grease/fry oils to be converted into useable biodiesel fuel used locally in an effort to reduce its carbon footprint. Cedarbrook Lodge has been designated a “Certified Green Partner” by supporting this waste-to-energy program… just another way to lower its carbon footprint.
- As you might expect in Cedarbrook’s pursuit of sustainability, our food and beverage dish machine uses only Auto-Chlor System’s Green Kleen products. These products contain plant-based ingredients, are fragrance and perfume-free, biodegradable, contain no dyes and are packaged in reusable containers. Defined for the environment, these Green Seal products have, among other benefits, dramatically reduced the hotel’s water consumption. Cedarbrook Lodge and Copperleaf Restaurant are the first to implement this new line of products and remain committed to Auto-Chlor’s overall Earth Care Program.
- And here’s something else. By January, 2012 Copperleaf Restaurant & Bar will begin bottling its own filtered (re-usable) water (flat/still and sparkling/carbonated) for guest consumption! Cedarbrook’s vendor partner in this effort is family-owned, Sweden-based Nordaq FRESH. Founded in 2003 together with owners of Aquapal, Nordaq FRESH has been considered a specialist in purification systems since the early 1970s and helps deliver purer water and cleaner air to agriculture and industry. After successful implementation in Copperleaf Restaurant & Bar, it is expected the three-stage filtering process program will roll out into the banquet operation as well as all guest rooms and two living rooms. At that time all Cedarbrook Lodge guests will enjoy the ultimate FRESHness of the filtered water – both in quality and taste.
- Featured in all Cedarbrook Lodge guest rooms are Green NATÜRA bath products — the first amenity program specifically designed for environmental sustainability. This innovative toiletry collection features bottles made primarily from Plastarch Material (PSM), a corn-based biodegradable material and other environmentally sensitive packaging. The coordinating accessories are also made primarily from PSM and packaged in natural recycled paper cartons printed with soy based inks. The vegetable based soaps are cruelty-free, and contain no animal far or byproducts. All ingredients have been thoroughly tested and are not environmentally harmful in their expected usage and drainage to sewers and treatment plants. Using PSM significantly reduces environmental impact and promotes a sustainable future.
- Even Cedarbrook housekeeping staff uniforms are environmentally friendly while maintaining a sense of fashion and function! Made of 100% post-consumer drinking bottles, the uniform fabric – Greenplus® – saves natural resources and helps keep waste out of landfills. This specific polyester is a product of Chung Shing Textile, Ltd. and distributed through Shiny River International Corp.
- Speaking of housekeeping, our Cedarbrook staff uses only Green Seal Certified cleaning and paper products.
- Linen and terry re-use options are the choice of all Cedarbrook Lodge guests daily.
- Recently replacing all traditional in-room notepads and pens were 100% recycled stock notepads and pens made from 97% recycled plastic and other materials.
- Recycling bins are a staple in all guest rooms.
- All guest rooms boast low-energy use 42″ HDTVs.
- Arriving guests are issued Green Earth reNEW Key Cards. They are made from corn and other plant materials. In fact they are 100% biodegradable. The idea? To help Cedarbrook Lodge guests’ footprints to be just a little smaller! Our guests literally hold the key to a GREENER earth.
- Partnering with ECOtality and the EV Project, Cedarbrook boasts on-property Electric Car Charging Stations. The EV Project, in concert with ECOtality, is the largest deployment of electric vehicles and charge infrastructure in history.
Engineering Departments are critical components of successful hotel sustainable practices. That is certainly true at Cedarbrook Lodge. Its Engineering team successfully replaced existing light bulbs throughout the property with compact fluorescents. It is presently investigating a system whereby the hotel grounds’ water sprinkler system will be controlled by satellite. In fact, energy efficient lighting has become a standard throughout the property as has high-efficiency plumbing.
And as for the wetland restoration program – it is an ongoing work in progress.
Sales & Marketing
Sales & Marketing’s salute to sustainability comes through its use of paperless, online promotional sales tools such as eMeetings & Events Guide and Weddings eBrochure. Once paper-trail staples, no more!
Cedarbrook Lodge is in the process of becoming a Green Key Member… a designation awarded by The Green Key Eco-Rating Program. It is based on a graduated rating system intended to recognize hotels, motels and resorts committed to improving their environmental and fiscal performance. The Green Key Eco-Rating Program online audit encompasses:
- Corporate Environmental Management
- Food & Beverage Operations
- Conference & Meeting Facilities
and relates to these areas of sustainable hotel operations:
- Energy conservation
- Water conservation
- Solid waste management
- Hazardous waste management
- Indoor air quality
- Community outreach
- Building infrastructure
- Land use
- Environmental management
Cedarbrook Lodge eagerly awaits the outcome of its audit. Additionally, the Cedarbrook leadership team is working on achieving its Energy Star rating as a precursor to seeking LEED Certification.