Inside the Green Room
Published: May 2009
By Darrell Hartman
A behind-the-scenes tour of the latest in eco-hotel design.
Who says an environmentally responsible hotel room should seem to be right out of Robinson Crusoe?Or that sustainability needs to be written on the (leaf-patterned) wall?Not the Terra Resort Group, a new sustainable-hotel brand that will open its first eco-boutique property in December. At a glance, the standard room at Hotel Terra Jackson Hole (800/801-6615; hotelterrajacksonhole.com; doubles from $395) resembles your typical luxury setup. But take a closer look—the green is in the details.
Natural-latex mattress is encased in unbleached, undyed cotton and has recycled-steel springs
Low-VOC carpeting emits the fewest harmful chemicals of any standard flooring
Desktop, wastebasket, bedside and TV console tables, and hangers are made with renewable bamboo
Desk notepad is 100 percent recycled paper
Organic bathroom amenities are in refillable, recycled-glass containers
Towels, bath mats, and robes are made from fair-trade organic cotton grown in India
Dual-flush toilets and low-flow sink fixtures reduce water use by 35 to 40 percent
Compact fluorescent bulbs use 75 percent less energy and produce 75 percent less heat than standard incandescent bulbs
Concrete walls are made with 20 to 50 percent fly ash, a coal-burning by-product that uses less water than cement
Oversize windows admit abundant natural light, saving electricity; low-emittance (Low-E) coating reflects radiant heat, reducing heat flow