Kimpton Celebrates with Sweetgreen Fro-Yo

Tasty frozen confections and Green Seal certification. We’ll toast to that!

And you can too when Kimpton hotels celebrate their DC city-wide Green Seal Certification with free Sweetgreen frozen yogurt giveaways at all 11 hotels on May 13th and 14th.

All of the hotels have been awarded Green Seal certification at the Silver Level, which is part of Kimpton’s goal to soon become the first lifestyle boutique hotel company in the U.S. to attain 100 percent Green Seal certification at the Silver Level for its 50 hotels.

Fro-yo loving Washingtonians are invited to stop by one of the area hotels to enjoy a free cone of Sweetgreen frozen yogurt, which will be dispensed at a Sweetflow Mobile–-an environmentally-conscious frozen yogurt truck engineered to run without a generator.

The first 50 people on site when the truck makes its stop will receive a complimentary frozen yogurt cone with the choice of one of Sweetgreen’s signature toppings, including strawberries, granola, or organic chocolate chips.

Visitors can also get the “inside scoop” from Kimpton employees on the company’s more than 80 green products and practices, and enter to win a free overnight getaway at the hotel.

For more information on the Sweetflow Mobile’s exact times and locations, locals can visit the individual Facebook page of each hotel, including:

Washington DC:
Hotel George: 15 E Street, NW:
Hotel Rouge: 1315 16th Street, NW:
Hotel Helix: 1430 Rhode Island Ave, NW:
Topaz Hotel: 1733 N Street, NW:
Hotel Madera: 1310 New Hampshire Ave, NW.
Hotel Monaco Washington DC: 700 F Street, NW
Hotel Palomar Washington DC:2121 P Street, NW;

Lorien Hotel & Spa: 1600 King Street, Alexandria, VA.
Morrison House: 116 South Alfred Street, Alexandria, VA.
Hotel Monaco Alexandria: 480 King Street, Alexandria, VA.
Hotel Palomar Arlington at Waterview: 1121 N. 19th Street, Arlington, VA.

Green Seal certification is an important third-party validation of Kimpton’s more than 80 environmentally responsible operational practices under the company’s EarthCare program, and allows Kimpton to more effectively measure its nationwide reductions in waste, energy, and water consumption.

Relax and Give Back for Earth Day

Feeling stressed out about how to celebrate Earth Day? Nusta Spa has a relaxing solution. Between April 18-24, the country’s first LEED certified spa will donate 10% of all proceeds from spa services and retail sales to Rainforest Alliance, an international non-profit organization dedicated to the conservation of tropical forests throughout the world.

Founder Elizabeth Snowdon opened the spa in May, 2004 after a trip to the Inca city of Machu Picchu. It was in Peru where she found the inspiration to build a luxury “natural” day spa that would honor the principles of environmental responsibility while still catering to Washington’s downtown clientele.

“I was always under the impression that ‘going green’ meant sacrificing the luxuries that we expect at day spas, but after learning more about sustainable building practices, I realized that I could create a warm, healthy environment that still felt luxurious,” says Snowdon.

With the help of a DC architect and sustainable building experts, Snowdon realized her vision with an eco-spa that incorporates virtually all environmentally-friendly materials, including Forest Stewardship Council-certified wood flooring, Energy Star appliances, LED efficient lightening, and more. Nusta even carries its own organic skincare line that is free of allergens and unnatural chemicals.

The Country’s First Green Ballpark

Guest post by Alison Drucker

The Washington Nationals may have disappointed a few fans last year, but at least their stadium’s a winner. Nationals Park was the country’s first major league ballpark to be certified under the LEED green building rating system.

With the new season around the corner, the Nats have a fresh start – and you have another chance to take a look at the small placards throughout the stadium pointing out its green features. For example, efficient lighting uses 21% less energy than typical field lights and water-conserving plumbing fixtures use 30% less water, saving enough each year to fill five and a half Olympic-sized swimming pools.

Recycled materials were used in construction, and 5,500 tons of construction waste was recycled rather than dumped in a landfill.

The park has a 6,300 square foot green roof, and other areas of the roof use highly reflective materials – both features minimize heat gain, which you’ll appreciate on a scorching hot August day at the park.

A unique water filtration system prevents debris and pollutants from entering the sewer system, which is good news for the Anacostia River. The stadium also earns green points for redeveloping a brownfield and being close to public transportation. To top it all off, in 2008 the DC Sports and Entertainment Commission offset 70% of the electricity use at Nationals Park with a purchase of renewable energy credits.

Across all sports and at all levels of play, other facilities are following suit. A search of the U.S. Green Building Council’s list of LEED-registered projects reveals more than 30 stadiums, arenas, and ballparks that high schools, universities, and professional teams around the country are looking to get certified.

Nationals Park led the way in adapting the LEED rating system – more commonly used for office buildings and schools – to the very unique needs of a professional sports facility. Sustainably speaking, at least, the Nats have hit a home run.

Event: The Green Workplace

On Thursday, February 17 at 6 pm, Leigh Stringer will be speaking about her new book The Green Workplace at the American Institute of Architects, Washington Chapter at 1777 Church Street, NW.

The book targets companies, government agencies and NGOs, laying out hundreds of strategies for greening the workplace to help the environment and the bottom line.

Leigh will share best practices from interviews with large and small organizations as well as ways to encourage green human behavior in the workplace through lessons from behavioral science. Register online or call (314) 935-5212 to RSVP.

Leigh Stringer is a LEED Accredited Professional and a vice president at HOK, a global architectural firm and industry leader in sustainability. She lives in Washington DC.

Founding Farmers Opens Soon

DC’s first LEED-certified restaurant, Founding Farmers, which is slated to open in September, will arrive just in time to piggyback on America’s love affair with all things farm-related.

Touting “fresh farm to table American inspired food,” the 8,500 square foot restaurant designed by DC architecture firm CORE (Brasserie Beck, artiZEN Cafe, Greenwood) features farm silo-shaped booth seating made of recycled steel, ‘PaperStone’ countertops in the restrooms, reclaimed barn woods underfoot and for the communal farmhouse tables, green-sourced power, and low-VOC emitting paints.

But what good is a green restaurant without tasty food? No problem–Founding Farmers has that covered. Chef Graham Duncan has created a menu that feature “homemade traditional American classics inspired by the heartland” made with sustainably farmed products and in-season vegetables and fruits. Hearty fare includes fresh-baked breads, rustic farm sandwiches, pot roast, roasted chicken, and pies and desserts made in-house.