Celebrating Environmental Innovation – on Vacation!

During a recent holiday, we had the opportunity to stay at Hotel M in St.-Hyacinthe, Québec.   The hotel claims to be the first LEED certified hotel in Canada, and there are many excellent features to support that claim.  First of all, every room has a wall plaque mounted near the door explaining the significance of Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification.  The guest rooms have hardwood floors.  The bathrooms have cork tiles and flooring.   The linens are all natural fibres.  At check-in, guests are advised that their room card must be inserted in a wall holder to operate the thermostat; the heating and cooling system does not run constantly. 

You might wonder if noise between floors would be an irritant.  We occasionally heard a footstep or shuffle on the floor above us, but the sounds were muffled and not intrusive.  Because the hotel is near a major highway, rooms are equipped with a white noise machine that offers ocean waves, song birds, gentle rainfall, and more.

We began to notice other features.  The building envelope has been designed with care.   The breakfast room not only offers ample recycling, but also leans towards reusable dishes and cutlery. Further travels showed us these standards are not the norm throughout North America! 

There was a touch of humour to our stay as well.  The hotel did not provide written instructions for use of the electronically-controlled thermostat.  It turned out that the control also had a timer to set the lights in the room.  In our enthusiasm, we set that timer and, one by one, every light on the headboard turned on in rotation throughout the night – at 12:30 a.m., 1:30 a.m., 2:30 a.m., and 3:30 a.m. 

Back from our trip, we were so excited to read through the Prairie Spruce Green Features Summary. We’re definitely proud to be part of the movement towards greener, more sustainable homes and lifestyles.


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