Bored guests at a certain Crowne Plaza hotel can now skip the pricey mini-bar and hop on an exercise bike, generate some electricity, and earn some meal vouchers. The hotel in Copenhagen started the free meal idea as a way to boost guests’ fitness and shrink their carbon footprint, according to the BBC.
The bikes are hooked up to generators that require guests of average fitness to pedal for about 15 minutes to create 10 watt-hours of electricity. iPhones attached to the handlebars display the amount of power being generated.
Hitting the 15-minute mark earns lucky exercisers a $36 meal voucher, and that’s presumably on a repeatable reward system. But a hotel spokeswoman said that she doubted people would exploit the initiative for free meals. Oh, Denmark … not that we’re frowning on the highly generous offer.
This hardly represents a shocking development for a nation that just can’t stop polishing its green credentials after hosting the international climate summit this past winter. About 36 percent of Copenhagen residents bike to work each day, and MIT even brought its pimped-out smart bike to Copenhagen during the summit.
at the bike summit in 2009, the head of copenhagen’s bike program was there to present to everyone. one of the most striking things, at least to me, and to city employees in the room, was when he showed the bike program office. it had like 4 or 5 employees.
think about that. 5 employees to handle one third of the transportation of the city – talk about cost cutting! he then showed the office of their DOT, that handles the cars. it was a huge building. so that’s 5 employees in an office to handle 1/3 and a huge building of employees to handle another 1/3. needless to say, copenhagen has the goal to increase their bicycle mode share to 50%.
In the U.S. the hotels could hook up all the exercise equipment to generators and just not tell the guests. I think Americans would actually be less likely to use the equipment if they thought it had something to do with reducing carbon footprint. But I’m cynical. I had to walk past a “Tea Party” yesterday, and I’m still trying to expunge that evil from my soul.