Walt Disney World's Contemporary, Old Key West and Saratoga Springs Resorts were designated Tuesday by the Florida Department of Environmental Protection as the 34th, 35th and 36th Florida hotels in its Florida Green Lodging Program.
The program is a voluntary state initiative that provides the hotel industry with technical assistance and encourages it to adopt cost-saving "green" practices that reduce waste and conserve natural resources.
Among the measures taken by the three Disney hotels are a formal communication program between staff and guests, promoting environmental education and public feedback. In addition, the hotels conserve water through towel and linen reuse programs and low-flow toilets, faucets and other fixtures, and conserve energy with programmable thermostats, indoor and outdoor lighting sensors, a computerized energy management system and high energy-efficient lighting.
Waste is reduced by recycling office paper, newspaper, aluminum and steel cans and corrugated cardboard, purchasing products with 30 percent post consumer content and instituting policies such as bulk purchasing and reduced packaging. Indoor air quality is improved by utilizing high quality air-conditioning filters, using environmentally preferable cleaners and following a preventative maintenance schedule for all air-conditioning systems.
The state program was launched in March 2004. It establishes environmental guidelines for hotels and motels to conserve natural resources and prevent pollution. As a reward for designation, the state recommends facilities within the Green Lodging Program to companies and trade organizations seeking environmentally conscious lodging and convention facilities.
The state says more than 80 Florida hotels in are currently in the review and inspection process.