Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Green. Verde. Grün. 녹색. Vert.

Chicago will be seeing green this Saturday in celebration for St. Patrick’s Day.  Here we don’t just wear green to avoid getting pinched… we add 100 pounds of green dye into the Chicago River to add to the festivities! The question is, how “green” is this tradition? Prior to 1966, the green dye was oil based, which sparked complaints by environmentalists who pointed out that the oil was detrimental to living organisms. Thanks to them, the green dye was changed to a vegetable based dye. So our crazy tradition has been environmentally friendly since 1966!
Green Dye into the Chicago River

At HI-Chicago we are getting greener…and not just for St. Patrick’s Day! This week we have implemented a new protocol for check in that cuts sheets of paper used per guest by 33%!
Instead of printing out the HI-Chicago rules for each guest to sign, the guidelines are now displayed on the front desk, and the guest’s signature to affirm that they will abide by them is captured on their receipt. Over time this will significantly decrease our paper usage and reduce our waste!

Let’s picture it this way – Considering the number of check-ins we had in 2011, and eliminating one sheet of paper per check in, we can estimate how much paper we can save in this upcoming year. From numbers in 2011 we estimate that 29,760 sheets of paper can be saved, and since one tree can make about 8,350 sheets…we will be saving 3.5 trees per year!  

Other Green Events to be aware of…
Earth Hour is coming up on March 31st at 8.30 pm. Across the globe people will be shutting off their electricity for ONE HOUR. Last year, More than 5,200 cities and towns in 135 countries worldwide switched off their lights for Earth Hour 2011. HI-Chicago will be participating in this event, and so should you! Check out  for more information!

Earth Day on April 22, 2012 Learn how you can participate in activities to help the earth at

Green Festival @ Navy Pier in Chicago on May 5-6th. Don’t miss this event, a project of Green America and Global Exchange. There will be over 125 visionary speakers, hands on workshops, green shopping, family activities, organic food and a lot more (including an HI-Chicago table!)
There are opportunities to volunteer! Just log on to   

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