Friday, August 28, 2015

Scottsdale Shows Its Green Side

As a premier travel destination located in one of the world’s most delicate natural environments, the Sonoran Desert, Scottsdale has a deeply rooted commitment to sustainability and green practices. Going green is no longer just the “in” thing to do – it’s an economically and socially responsible way to help communities and travelers do their part while visiting, too!

In addition to making a commitment to preserve one-third of the city’s land in the Scottsdale’s McDowell Sonoran Preserve (, Scottsdale also is the nation’s first city to adopt a goal that all new municipal buildings should be LEED™ certified at the gold level. This initiative ensures that the city is mindful of environmental resources and energy.

Over the past several years, the destination’s hotels and resorts have strived to implement green practices that keep Scottsdale top of mind among environmentalists.

The staff at Royal Palms Resort and Spa ( is committed to upholding the hotel’s sustainable practices. With the Destination Earth program, the resort implements and monitors all earth-friendly practices. Among the hotel’s green practices are the use of organic and environmentally safe supplies, purchasing sustainable and locally grown foods, and using water-saving and energy efficient devices. To top it off, Royal Palms has two on-site gardens that provide food and herbs to its incredible restaurant and bar, T. Cook’s and The Mix Up Bar.

The Fairmont Scottsdale Princess ( has made an effort to make every aspect of the resort sustainable, such as offering valet discounts to drivers who arrive in hybrid vehicles. Particular programs have taken the green efforts even further. Through the BioDiesel Program, the resort partnered with AZBioDiesel, a local manufacturer that collects its used cooking oil and converts the grease to biodiesel. The effort helps prevent carbon dioxide from entering the atmosphere and provides power to fuel diesel vehicles. And the Fairmont-wide Carbon Management Program allows the Fairmont Scottsdale Princess to monitor, track and report its progress toward achieving significant carbon dioxide reductions.

FireSky Resort & Spa – A Kimpton Hotel ( is certified by Green Key Global, an international organization that promotes green practices specifically for the leisure and tourism sector. A recipient of four Keys out of five, FireSky features recycling bins in every guest room, a complimentary shuttle for guests to carpool to nearby locations in downtown Scottsdale, electric car Blink stations, LED lighting for energy saving, and all-new one-gallon low flush toilets. The resort also donates unused soaps and gently used bedding to local shelters and composts all materials at Green Organics Recycling. In addition to green amenities such as free bicycles and the all-organic Jurlique Spa, FireSky guests enjoy environmentally-friendly wines in drinking glasses made from recycled bottles used throughout the resort and in its on-site restaurant Taggia – a dining spot that grows organic herbs and sources some ingredients locally.

Hotel Valley Ho ( in downtown Scottsdale utilizes non-toxic cleaning fluid, water-saving guest room features, and energy efficient fluorescent light bulbs. In addition, the property saved 20,000 tons of landfill waste and debris by using the original, nearly 60-year-old structure instead of tearing it down and starting from scratch when it underwent an $80 million renovation in 2005. Gently-used linens are donated to local domestic violence shelters and heavily worn linens are donated to local animal shelters. And the hotel also participates in the Clean the World program. That means all soap, shampoo and other in-room amenities are collected, cleaned, and recycled for use in developing countries. Overall, Hotel Valley Ho recycles nearly 4 tons of material per month.

Talking Stick Resort (, located on the Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community, incorporates green building elements using locally manufactured recycled steel and renewable materials like cork flooring. The hotel also utilizes eco-friendly practices including the use of nontoxic cleaning products, locally grown organic foods, and low emission fabrics in guestroom and resort furniture.

Home to a 5,600-square-foot organic garden, the Boulders Resort & Spa ( produces a variety of vegetables, fruits, herbs and spices for use in its restaurants and spa. Eco-friendly clothing and items like body care products and custom-blended organic soaps are sold in the resort boutique. Additional efforts include low-water-use grasses on golf course fairways, the use of non-toxic chemicals for landscape maintenance, and organic offerings at the Spa at the Boulders. For its efforts, Boulders Resort & Spa has been awarded the Urban Land Institute’s Environmental Award of Excellence and the Valley Forward Association’s Crescordia Award of Environmental Excellence.

The Hyatt Regency Scottsdale Resort & Spa at Gainey Ranch ( has an environmental program that focuses on reducing energy use, water consumption, chemical additives to man- made water features, and the amount of waste the hotel generate. Educational activities also are offered through the Native American Learning Center and Hyatt Regency Scottsdale’s Lagoon Pond, which inform visitors of the benefits of sustainability and preservation of culture.

Stay at one of the Four Seasons Resort Scottsdale at Troon North’s ( 30 environmentally conscious rooms and suites that highlight the property’s commitment to offering a true sense of place in the sensitive Sonoran Desert environment. Each room is outfitted with green amenities and appointments, such as bulk amenity dispensers in the bathroom (with the same luxurious L’Occitane products offered in standard guest rooms, of course), LED lighting, reusable spa slippers and a recycling bin. And all guests staying in the green rooms will automatically be included in the property’s linen conservation program, where linens are changed every third day of the guest’s stay.

Celebrate the holidays on an eco-friendly ice skating rink at the W Scottsdale’s ( festive holiday event, CHILL. The celebration features a hybrid, eco-friendly ice skating rink on the hotel’s rooftop. The rink is made from a recyclable polymer compound that won’t melt under the Arizona sun. It requires no electricity and creates zero emissions, providing a green alternative to traditional ice rinks. In addition to the ice rink, W Scottsdale takes steps to conserve energy, minimize waste and host sustainable meetings every day of the year. The hotel has eliminated Styrofoam from the property, and its recycling efforts have reduced its waste by 30 percent.

With a neighbor like the beloved Camelback Mountain, how could Sanctuary on Camelback Mountain Resort and Spa ( not vow to protect its surrounding environment? Conservation efforts like eco-friendly purchases, drought-tolerant landscaping and recycling initiatives ensure that the resort stays eco- friendly. The restaurant and bar utilize Scottsdale’s 330-days of sunshine for lighting during the day time, and the resort offers organic, paraben-free amenities in guest rooms. Plus, the rest has a staff incentive program to encourage environmental friendliness. And getting around Sanctuary on Camelback is easy in the electric golf carts used resort-wide.

Eco tours are a great way to learn more about the Sonoran Desert’s delicate environment. Windwalker Expeditions ( offers tours that cover topics like American Indian history and archaeology, desert flora and fauna, and area geology.

Hummer and eco-friendly are not generally found in the same sentence, but Stellar Adventures ( makes this ride guilt free by offering biodiesel-powered vehicles for desert exploration. Take part in the thrill of an off-road adventure, getting a glimpse of the desert’s Old West history as well as its beautiful foliage, without worrying about leaving a mark on nature.

Even a night on the town in Scottsdale can be eco-conscious thanks to Tour de Tavern (, a company that leads excursions to downtown’s bars and restaurants on a 16-seat bicycle that’s as long as a vehicle. The “party on wheels” navigates the packed streets using nothing more than pedaling man power. Why drive around downtown when you can speed along on a Segway? Scottsdale Segway Tours ( offers a unique way to get around Scottsdale on a transportation device that’s more efficient than a car.

Hosting one of the world’s finest collections of desert and arid adapted plants, the Desert Botanical Garden ( showcases 55 acres of cultivated open air. The garden harvest rainwater through bio-retention basins in the parking lot medians, which direct rainwater to plants, while filtering out debris and pollution.  By increasing recycling opportunities and providing recycling bins throughout the area, the garden also diverts significant amounts of material from the solid waste stream and reduces waste generated by its own operations.

Learn about cherishing Mother Earth from the very man who handles the compost for Scottsdale resorts, golf courses and even nearby Arizona State University.  Ken Singh and his wife Lee took an infertile plot of land on the Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community and transformed it into their tree-top canopied paradise, Singh Farms ( At the weekly farmer’s market during the fall, winter and spring, pick up fresh produce plucked straight from the earth that morning. Or purchase compost and heirloom seeds from Singh to start an organic garden of your own.

Laura McMurchie, VP of Communications
Phone: 480-429-2253 

Megan Neighbor, Director of Communications
Phone: 480-889-2716

Stephanie Pressler, Communications Manager
Phone: 480-889-2719

from Official Travel Site for Scottsdale, Arizona |

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