I suspect that only the ultra-green Scandinavians could have thought up a wheeze such as this …
A luxury hotel in Copenhagen is offering a free meal to any guest who’s willing to produce electricity for the hotel on an exercise bike attached to a generator. At least 10 watt-hours would need to be delivered to qualify – roughly 15 minutes of cycling for someone of average fitness.
The Crowne Plaza in Copenhagen says the idea is to get people fit and reduce their carbon footprint. The luxury hotel already produces renewable energy with solar panels on its facade.
“Many of our visitors are business people who enjoy going to the gym,” said hotel spokeswoman, Frederikke Toemmergaard. “There might be the odd person who will cycle just to get a free meal, but I don’t think people will exploit the initiative overall,” she added.
Copenhagen has a long-standing bicycle tradition, with about 36 per cent of locals cycling to work each day – one of the highest percentages in the world. “Because Copenhagen is strongly associated with cycling, we felt the bicycle would work well as a symbol of the hotel’s green profile,” said Ms Toemmergaard.
by Andy Moreton
Perhaps you want to leave the gym behind and simply relax when you jet off to Denmark … take a look at Luxique’s selection of luxury and boutique hotels in Copenhagen
The Maldives has said it’s introducing a new environment tax on all tourists who use its resorts.
The low-lying archipelago has been at the forefront of efforts to mitigate climate change because rising sea levels are forecast to submerge most of its islands by 2100. In March, President Mohammed Nasheed announced plans to make the Maldives the world’s first carbon neutral nation within a decade.
If approved by parliament in the capital, Male, the tax will be $3 (£1.80) per tourist per day. At a rough estimate, the measure will bring in $6.3 million (£3.8 million) a year.
President Nasheed has said he can’t afford to go the climate change summit in Copenhagen in December, much as he’d like to. The Maldives would be represented only if someone offered to pay for his trip.
He hoped the Copenhagen summit would come out with positive plans, like renewable energy promotion, rather than stressing what he called negative ones such as capping carbon emissions.
by Andy Moreton
The Maldives is famed for its high-end luxury resorts and white sand atolls, and Luxique can guide you towards some of the best secluded places to stay, including the Banyan Tree and the award-winning Four Seasons resort at Kuda Huraa.
I spent a day in Paris a couple of weeks ago and was impressed to see the cycle-renting service Vélib working very effectively, in spite of problems with theft and vandalism.
Cities all over the world are making big efforts to go green and encourage people to cycle rather than drive. Amsterdam has always been in the vanguard of this, but Copenhagen is making a bid to become the world’s friendliest city for cyclists. It has good reason - the Danish capital is hosting the UN climate change summit at the end of the year.
At present, about a third of people in Copenhagen already cycle to work, school or university – there are 217 miles of cycle routes. “The city has worked consistently to improve things for cyclists,” said Andreas Rohl, who’s in charge of the city’s cycling programme. “For people here, going on a bicycle is a bit like brushing your teeth, you don’t think much about it!”
Two of the city’s main bridges have recently had a makeover to encourage more people to cycle. One is now completely car-free, the other includes double cycle lanes on both sides. Other cycle-friendly measures are being considered.
Barcelona and London are among the other European cities openly committed to improving cycle routes.
by Andy Moreton
Luxique can offer a choice of five of the best luxury hotels in Copenhagen - from the Nyhavn 71, ‘a rustic warehouse conversion’, to the smartly refurbished Avenue Hotel.
A report says the Great Barrier Reef faces catastrophic damage from climate change and chemical run-off.
The reef, which stretches for 1,200 miles off the north-east coast of Australia and has World Heritage status, is already showing the impact of climate change, according to the report by the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority.
“While populations of almost all marine species are intact and there are no records of extinctions, some ecologically important species, such as dugongs [large grey mammals], marine turtles, seabirds, black teatfish and some sharks, have declined significantly,” the Authority writes.
Coral disease, outbreaks of toxic blue-green algae and infestation by pests such as the crown-of-thorns starfish appeared to be becoming more frequent and more serious, it added.
The report concluded that climate change, declining water quality from coastal run-off, development and illegal fishing were the biggest dangers to the reef. The Australian government responded with a plan to cut the amount of pollution reaching the reef in the water run-off from agricultural land.
David Adam, writing in the Guardian, says: “Coral reefs are doomed. The situation is virtually hopeless. Forget ice caps and rising sea levels: the tropical coral reef looks like it will enter the history books as the first major ecosystem wiped out by our love of cheap energy.”
by Andy Moreton
For a luxury hotel close to the Great Barrier Reef, check out the Hayman Island Resort on the Whitsunday Islands.
The President of the Maldives has made a bold, green statement – the islands will become carbon neutral within ten years.
Mohamed Nasheed said this would be achieved by switching completely to renewable energy sources like wind and solar power.
He said the Maldives understood better than most what would happen if the world failed to tackle climate change; his tiny country – made up of some 1,200 tropical coral islands - is one of the lowest-lying on earth and extremely vulnerable to rises in sea level.
He said that going green would cost a lot of money, but refusing to act now would ‘cost the earth.’
“We don’t want to sit around and blame others, but want to do whatever we can; hopefully our carbon neutral plan will serve as a blueprint for other nations to follow,” said the President.
by Andy Moreton
For those who want to taste a little bit of paradise, Luxique offers ten luxury hotels in the Maldives.
Prince Charles has said the tourism industry will have to make efforts on a ‘heroic scale’ to minimise the impact of travel on the environment.
The Prince, who’s known for his forthright views on many aspects of the modern world from GM crops to architecture, sent a video message to the annual convention of the Association of British Travel Agents in Gran Canaria.
He said much was being done, but if care were not taken, the wonders of the world that inspired people to travel in the first place would be threatened.
He said he applauded the initiatives already taken by the travel and tourism industry. “There is, however, so much more that can be done and if we are to continue to enjoy the benefits of travel while at the same time safeguarding natural treasures, we must, I fear, redouble our efforts.”
Prince Charles was specifically concerned about the danger to the world’s remaining tropical rainforests, the decline of coral reefs - partly caused by pollution from hotels - and the damage to wetlands caused by the demand for water to supply tourist facilities.
“The travel sector, probably better than most industries, understands that there can be no secure long-term economic growth if the environment continues to be degraded, and that the only sustainable business strategy is to become low-carbon and resource-efficient,” said the Prince.
by Andy Moreton