Earth Hour 2011: Going Beyond the Hour

We’re happy to share a guest post from Maureen Meehan of Earth Hour Illinois. At Hotel Felix, we’re turning off all our non-emergency lights for the hour.  Elate Restaurant, the delicious hot spot adjacent to us, is doing the same plus adding extra candles in honor of Earth Hour.  Let us know what are you doing to celebrate Earth Hour and the environment.

Chicago’s skyline will be going dark this Saturday, March 26th from 8:30-9:30 p.m. The city’s skyscrapers will join millions around the world in turning off their lights in honor of Earth Hour. Hosted locally by ComEd, Earth Hour encourages citizens to take simple steps — turning out the lights — in a symbolic gesture of solidarity to create a more sustainable future for our planet.

Earth Hour began in Sydney, Australia in 2007, when two million people switched off their lights in an effort to raise awareness about climate change. By 2010, Earth Hour had created history as a landmark of environmental action, with participation across 128 countries and throughout every continent. Last year, some of the world’s most recognized landmarks participated in this historic event, including China’s Forbidden City, the Eiffel Tower, Buckingham Palace, the Golden Gate Bridge, the Great Pyramids of Giza, Table Mountain, the Christ the Redeemer statue in Rio de Janeiro and Sydney’s Opera House.

This year, Earth Hour organizers are encouraging supporters to go “beyond the hour.” In addition to turning their lights off for one hour, participants are asked to take additional steps in their daily lives to help conserve energy. This could mean biking to the office once a week, starting a recycling program at school or at work, or simply being more mindful of electricity usage.

Once again, Chicagoans have taken Earth Hour 2011 to a creative level. Restaurants are offering specials prepared using minimal energy, bars are mixing up “green” and Earth Hour-themed cocktails and families are hosting lights-out game nights. For more ideas on how you can get involved and go beyond the hour, visit BeyondTheHour.org or ComEd.com/SmartIdeas. Be sure to share your participation stories with Earth Hour Illinois on Facebook and Twitter. For additional resources, check out EarthHour.org.

St. Patty’s Special

Happy St. Patrick’s Day Chicago! We’re celebrating in a big way with our St. Patty’s Special, stay with us for rooms starting at $169/night plus tax.  With all the excitement in Chicago, from St. Patrick’s Day celebrations to March Madness, make sure you have a spot to recharge.  Make your reservation by phone, 1-877-848-4040, or online.

“May flowers always light your path and sunshine light your day,

May songbirds serenade you every step of the way,

May a rainbow run beside you in a sky that’s always blue,

And may happiness fill your heart each day your whole life through.”

-Irish Proverb

Wishing you lots of cheer and safe celebrations. Sláinte!

Wow! Our General Manager Wins the Inaugural “NOW Revolutionary of the Month” Award

We’re honored and thrilled to say our very own George Jordan, general manager at the Hotel Felix, has won the NOW Revolutionary of the Month Award. George received the award in recognition of his quick-thinking and call to action during the Blizzard of 2011 that buried Chicago this winter. George designed a special blizzard rate, planned to have extra staff on hand to serve stranded guests, and even had staff members brave the snow to venture to nearby Whole Foods to replenish the food supply when stock ran low. George and the Hotel Felix’s social media agency worked to spread word on the special one-time rate via Twitter, Facebook, and yours truly, Happy Naturally. It paid off – 41 rooms were booked almost instantly and Chicagoans had a safe, comfortable (and eco-friendly to boot) place to ride the blizzard out.

Check out the full article on George’s NOW Revolutionary of the Month Award here. Congratulations George and thank you to Convince & Convert for the recognition.

To learn a little more about Jay Baer, co-author of The Now Revolution and his company, check out this link.

Sustainable Shopping

One delicious way to go green is to support your local farmers and buy your groceries from them. This Saturday, grab some reusable grocery bags and head down to the Green City Market for fresh, in-season fruits, veggies, and more. Chicago’s only year round farmer’s market, the Green City Market, is located in the South Gallery of The Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum and is open from 8 a.m. – 1 p.m.

Image credit: Green City Market

To up the green ante, opt for public transportation. You can take the following CTA bus routes to Green City market: 22 Clark, 36 Broadway, 76 Diversey, 151 Sheridan, 156 LaSalle. The closest train stop is the Fullerton Brown, Purple, and Red line (walk east on Fullerton to the Museum). Alternately, free parking is available at the Diversey Harbor Parking lot across from the Museum on North Cannon Drive.

Image credit: Green City Market

Spring Blooms at Navy Pier

Image credit: Chicago Flower & Garden Show

The Chicago Flower & Garden Show (Navy Pier, March 5-13, Monday-Saturday 10 a.m. – 8 p.m., Sunday 10 a.m.-6 p.m.) kicks off tomorrow and serves as a welcome reminder that spring is indeed on it’s way. Splashes of color and beauty will abound as the top landscape designers in the Midwest interpret their variations of this year’s theme, “The Sport of Gardening”.

Image credit: Chicago Flower & Garden Show

Although flowers are certainly the main focus, the show will also include cooking demonstrations, free daily educational seminars (including one on organic gardening), and activities geared towards kids like bug exhibits and a lesson on the science of worm composting. There will even be a Marketplace on site where guests can peruse and purchase everything from organic furniture and solar technology to organic wine and natural herbs.

Image credit: Chicago Flower & Garden Show

Tickets for adult weekday are $17, weekend $15, children $5 (age 4-12) for weekday/weekend and can be purchased here. If you’re as ready for spring as we are, we’ll see you there. Don’t forget to share your beautiful photos on our Facebook page!