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TGIFF – Thank goodness it’s freshstay Fridays!
The FreshStay apparel will be designed and produced by Vermont Clothing Company, which specializes in organic, recycled, Earth-friendly clothing. As an added bonus, a portion of the proceeds from the apparel will donated to the American Cancer Society and American Lung Association.
"Going smoke free is good for guests, staffs, and now also for anyone whose life has been touched by cancer or heart disease. Donating a portion of FreshStay.com apparel sales the American Cancer Society and American Lung Association not only is the right thing to do, but it underlines our commitment to healthier living and desire to combat diseases that go hand-in-hand with smoking," Burger adds.
FreshStay (www.FreshStay.com) is an online directory and integrated booking process for more than 3,500 non-smoking lodging facilities in the United States, Canada and elsewhere around the world. FreshStay is dedicated to promoting the improvement of Indoor Air Quality (IAQ) for "Frequent Breathers" worldwide who seek fresh air accommodations at resorts, hotels, motels, inns and B&Bs.
"Going 100% smoke-free is a great way for hotels to save money. It eliminates related smoking damage to guestroom carpets, furniture, bed linens, curtains - you name it. It also makes it a lot easier for service staff to clean rooms," Burger says. "The wholesale switch to nonsmoking also helps boost occupancy and repeat business from guests who prefer to stay in smoke-free rooms - a rapidly growing group which today represents the overwhelming majority of business and leisure travelers.
"Putting some of those savings back into the FreshStay.com clothing line will help raise awareness to the importance of being smoke free, and will contribute to funding important research in the battle against cancer and lung disease," Burger adds.
A Refreshing Change
Don Miller, General Manager of the Clarion Atlanta Airport, was one of the first to sign on to FreshStay Fridays.
Since the hotel converted to 100 percent non-smoking about three months ago, he's eager to bring his message of "butting-out" out into the open.
"I don't think there's anyone who is not paying attention to what we have to do to help save the planet," Miller says. "All of us have to work together to do our part. Not only have we converted to a smoke-free property, we're also implementing more green policies and practices into our operations. It's a natural progression."
Miller says guests will see the hotel staff wearing the FreshStay clothing and will ask what it's all about. That gives staff the chance to explain the benefits of going smoke free. If they get enough people asking questions, Miller said he may print out a card and leave it in the guestrooms explaining why the hotel is taking the stance against smoking.
Especially since he comes from the South, that kind of education is important for guests who aren't use to smoking bans.
"Not only is smoking bad for the environment, it's bad for us as human beings," Miller notes. "You don't have to be a rocket scientist to figure out what's written on the label of a cigarette package."
The hotel asks guests to sign a registration card during check-in explaining the smoking policy. There have been a few guests who have abused the no smoking policy and been charged a $250 fee. But most not only are observers, they're also are big fans. Miller credits his employees for making the transition a success.
"The staff were really the ones who jumped on this as a great idea. They were really excited to be a part of it," Miller says. "They understand, the more people who go smoke-free, the better it is for everyone. If we help just one or two people change their minds on smoking each year, then the FreshStay Fridays program will be a complete success!"
A Perfect Partner
Vermont Clothing Co., which likes to boast that it was "Green Before Green Was Cool," was the perfect choice to partner with for the FreshStay Fridays promotion.
"Beyond the health reasons for not smoking, there's an obvious link between carbon emissions and air quality," says Patrick Decelles of Vermont Clothing Co. "Those are issues we are very committed to. Donating money to the American Cancer Society and American Heart Association gives us that much more motivation to continue our mission."
The FreshStay apparel will be available in short and long sleeved shirts printed with eco-friendly ink and soy products, as well as organic cotton polo shirts.
Aside form using organic and other natural materials, Vermont Clothing Co. operates its facilities using "cow power" - generating renewable energy from cow manure. Vermont also converted a large commercial dryer from electricity to cleaner burning natural gas. The company also purchases carbon offsets to ensure that the company has a zero carbon footprint.
"We're doing more eco-friendly business each day, even with companies that don't have a natural tie to the environment," Decelles says. "More and more companies are just realizing it's the right thing to do."
"Of course, tying in to Pineapple Hospitality and FreshStay.com is a natural fit for us, as they share our mission to leave this world a little greener," he adds.
Smoking & the Environment
If you consider the paper used to make cigarettes, the forests cleared for large-scale tobacco planting, plus the fuel needed to process and dry tobacco, one tree is destroyed for every 300 cigarettes. More so, the growing of tobacco involves the use of large amounts of fertilizers, herbicides and pesticides. Many of these are toxic and some contain known carcinogens.
Smoking also contributes to air pollution and to some extent also pollutes the ground. Approximately 4,000 chemicals are present in cigarettes, which are breathed out and released into the atmosphere. This indicates that an enormous quantity of pollution is being released in the atmosphere every day - nevermind the trash that comes from cigarette packaging and discarded butts littering our planet. So in many ways, stopping smoking not only helps save lives, it also helps save the environment, too.
Headquartered in Saint Charles, Missouri, Pineapple HospitalityTM is The Co-Founder and Host of the ANNUAL GREEN HOSPITALITY CONFERENCE, an EPA ENERGY STARTM partner bringing fresh ideas to hospitality guests' doors and owner/operators' bottom lines - including FreshStay® (www.freshstay.com), EcoRooms & EcoSuites (www.EcoRooms.com) Environmentally Sensitive AmenitiesTM, EO®, Neutrogena® and greenSPATM amenities and AVIVA dispensers, Energy Efficient Lighting and Controls, Custom Linen & Towel Re-Use Programs, Green Key Cards, Energy Management Systems and Controls, High Performance showerheads, the Nature's MistTM deodorization system, Zero Odor, and dozens of other products and programs. For more information, please visit www.pineapplehospitality.net, or call us at 636-922-2285.
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