Keeping up with the Green Scene
It’s a pretty sweet idea. W Minneapolis – The Foshay is now home to more than 14,000 bees and by the end of this summer anticipates being able to harvest the honey and use it in exclusive guest amenities, such as honey filled bonbons, as well as explore uses for it in signature cocktails and desserts in the W Living Room bar and Manny’s, the hotel’s destination restaurant.
W Minneapolis – The Foshay is the first hotel in Minneapolis/St Paul to serve as a host to the honeybees, according to Susan Brown of City Workers, the company that manages the hives and harvests the honey.
Two hives initially installed on the hotel’s rooftop each contained one queen and 7,000 worker bees. But that number is expanding rapidly with the queens laying up to 1,000 eggs per day. At their peak the hotel’s rooftop apiary will be home to roughly 120,000 bees. The hives should be ready for harvesting by late July, early August and by the end of the season the hotel expects to produce about 100 pounds of honey.
The decision to host the bees was an easy one for W Minneapolis general manager Susan Mabry, who actually sought out Brown. “There are a number of reasons this is a great idea for the hotel,” explained Mabry. “We love the idea of supporting local agriculture. It’s good for the diversity of the bee population. And, frankly, it’s fun and fascinating for our staff and our guests. It takes the concept of ‘eat local’ to a whole new level. This is hyper-local!”
Gourmet Honey-Filled Bonbons: The honey-filled bonbons that the hotel will be offering guests will be created by local chocolatier, Mademoiselle Miel and labeled to note that that they are made from W Minneapolis-The Foshay honey. Each bonbon will be made from 99% cacoa, filled with pure honey, and the finished chocolate will then be covered with edible gold leaf.
W Minneapolis recycles all paper, plastic, aluminum cans , cardboard and grease. All trash is carefully sorted. The hotel also enforces a batter and light bulb recycling program.
W Energy and Resourcing
W Minneapolis has and advanced state of the art lighting system that controls the illumination of the hotel and dims lights based on light hours. We have installed LED & CFL light bulbs wherever possible throughout the hotel. Toilet “Tummies” have been installed in all historic tower guest rooms to reduce the amount of water utilized when toilet is flushed. Aerators and water shaving shower heads have been installed in all guest room sinks with the expectation of reducing water use by 30%. W Minneapolis is also going through the Energy Star Review process.
W Waste Control
W Minneapolis Style staff leaves partially used amenity bottles in occupied guest rooms ( new ones provided but partially used ones not removed) All used Bliss & soap products are sent to “Clean the World” - Starwood Global Partner. Glass and china (non disposable) serving ware with the exception of “To-Go” orders are utilized for food service. The W uses cloth napkins wherever possible and is sourcing napkins made with recyclable paper for bar and “To-go” service.
W Environmentally Responsible Purchasing
W Minneapolis sources cleaning products that do not introduce toxin into the air or water, hotel does not use VOC paints, and purchases paper 50% recycled.
W and our Community
W Minneapolis has introduced “Green Meetings” options for event planners. The hotel’s culinary team purchases local produce and meats, organic where possible. Linens are donated to local non-profit organizations. Furthermore, W Minneapolis-The Foshay has created a “Be Green” Committee. 2011 and 2012 W Minneapolis participates with 16 community event with organizations such as Project Homeless Connect, Simpson Housing, People Serving People, Feeding my Starving Children, March of Dimes.
W Future Green Projects
W Minneapolis newspaper recycling containers will be placed on each floor and/or separation containers placed on our maid carts to improve newspaper recycling in the hotel, install solar thermal panels to heat hotel water (one of the greatest sources of energy use for hotels), Director of Engineering will achieve LEED certification, develop and introduce a new “ Green Room’ guest room concept that tis allergen free, reduces waste and supports a sustained environment, provide secure bike storage area for our employees, and enforcing a towels and sheet re-use program, changing every three days unless requested otherwise by guest.
NO PUFF ZONE
We strictly enforce a 100% no-smoking policy throughout all guest rooms and indoor public spaces. There will a $250 fee applied to any guest room that doesn't adhere to this policy.