Wednesday night, two Madera tourists happened to find themselves staying in Redding at the Gaia Hotel, and it was explained to them by a waitress Thursday morning that the Gaia is the world’s greenest hotel.
It depends on what you mean by green. If you are talking about the color, the Gaia (which in Greek mythology means Earth personified) is indeed green, although a very subtle green, and a very subtle brown as well. Sort of like moss lying in a pile of leaves.
The waitress said the bar top in the restaurant dining room was green, too, having been made not of granite, but of mooshed together broken glass and plastic, then polished to look like granite.
That puzzled me, because I always thought granite was natural, and that glass and plastic were manufactured, but there you go. What do I know? I just have always assumed there is a lot of granite in the world, and that you probably could make bar and counter tops out of it every day without ever running the risk of running out.
The waitress also told us the carpets are recycled, apparently from other carpets, melted down plastic bottles and old clothes. The rugs didn’t look recycled, but I would have to take her word for it.
But couldn’t you say anything is recycled, and whoever you were talking to would have to take your word for it unless they knew better, which they probably don’t?
She also told the tourists that the carpet in the lobby would give out oxygen whenever it was stepped on. Again, you just have to believe what you’re told.
For example, I will tell you right now this newspaper is very green, although it may seem to be mostly black and white. It is made of 40 percent recycled wood fiber, the rest being new wood fiber made of recycled wood chips. Every time you turn a page, it gives off oxygen — or perhaps it just moves oxygen around. In any case, this newspaper is very green, and you can even repurpose it by using it to line your cat box or bird cage, mulch your flower beds or put it over your face to shade your eyes while you take a nap in your hammock. If you read this column first, you may even find it puts you to sleep.