One of the “greenest hotels” in the world, the Crowne Plaza Copenhagen Towers, has an interesting new option. If you ride one of its new electricity-generating exercise bikes long enough to generate 10 watt hours or more of electricity (not long), you get a free meal worth about $45.
The bikes have iPhones on the handlebars that can tell you how much power is being produced and fed into the hotel. Fun!
The hotel didn’t want to make this a Lance Armstrong challenge — they want to get as many people using the bikes as possible. Cycling for one hour at 30km/hour (18.64 miles/hour), a guest can produce 100 watt hours of electricity. At that rate, it would only take someone six minutes to reach the 10 watt hours target they need to hit for a free meal. However, once you’re on there having fun, getting fit and watching the iPhone as you race against the building’s solar power system, you might want to stay a little longer.
“The electric bikes offer our guests the chance to get fit and help power the hotel at the same time,” said Allan Agerholm, the Copenhagen Crowne Plaza Towers’ general manager. “It will be interesting to see how many guests take part and how much electricity we generate.”
One person riding to create only 10 watt hours of electricity may not do much for the environment — that would only power a 100 watt bulb for six minutes. However, if you get enough people riding for long enough, it could make a significant difference. Plus, you are capitalizing on an activity numerous guests would be engaging in anyway. That makes me think: maybe a similar program connected to the bed springs of hotel room beds would make more sense and be a good next step! However, it would have to be sensitive about its marketing and would require another technology that might not be fully ready yet.
This bicycle pilot program will run for a year. If successful, it could spread to all Crowne Plaza hotels.
Image Credit: Lars O. via flickr/CC license