Those of us who travel know being on the road has its fair share of limitations, especially when we’re trying to be environmentally conscious. Opportunities to do right by the environment are few and far between…until now. aloft, a Vision of W Hotels, has announced a “see green” program with guest awareness in mind.

The aloft “see green” program was created to introduce and promote ecologically friendly products and services, and highlights options both inside and outside the hotels. Guests will notice the elements of the program before they even enter the hotel…the aloft landscaping plan takes what used to be the standard parking lot and re-imagines it as a outdoor park-like environment, with a variety of deciduous trees and shrubbery. Depending on the location, the plan also includes a grassy area appropriately named the “backyard.” Together, these elements help to reduce noise pollution and provide guests with an opportunity to stop and take a breath of fresh air.

The “see green” program also features a special area of parking spots that will be reserved specifically for hybrid cars, raising awareness of the benefits of environmentally friendly vehicles. To take it a step further, the aloft team is currently in discussions with a number of car companies to provide a hybrid aloft “house car” at each location, available to interested guests. Whether you drive a hybrid or not, all guests can take advantage of aloft’s self-service car-washing station, aptly named, rinse. When guests want to tidy up their cars, they’ll be provided with eco-friendly cleaning agents as well as reusable cleaning cloths instead of paper towels.

A major portion of aloft’s eco-friendly approach lies inside the hotel and starts with the guest rooms. Instead of offering the typical bathroom amenity packaging, which usually comes in individual plastic bottles, all aloft guest rooms will feature eco-friendly dispenser units in the oversized showers. The dispensers hold shampoo/conditioner and body wash – created specifically for aloft by blissTM – and help to reduce the use of non-biodegradable plastic materials. Of course, the aloft “see green” program allows guests to conserve water by simply indicating whether they want to re-use their guest towels and change the linens daily. The brand has also chosen eco-friendly construction materials like recycled teak wood which is used throughout the property in both the guest rooms and the public space.

The aloft team didn’t stop at the front of the house and have implemented ecologically minded solutions for the back of house. Each aloft hotel has its own laundry facilities where Seventh Generation eco-friendly detergent has been established as the brand standard. The “splash” pool will be cleaned with Clarity Water Products or Sal-Chlor cleaning agents.

“Our vision is to empower each guest to make ecologically-responsible choices and to provide the operators the tools to help reduce our overall impact on the environment," says Brian McGuinness, vice president of aloft hotels. “aloft raises awareness of eco-friendly options, and offers a refreshing alternative to what’s currently available.”

aloft, with its’ friendly “aloha” vibe, aims to take care of guests during their stay …and take care of their future as well.

Carrying the DNA of W Hotels, aloft delivers stylish design, accessible technology and a hip urban attitude to another outdated hotel segment. Starwood anticipates the first aloft hotels to open in early 2008, with 500 properties worldwide expected by 2012.