This Oyster reporter recently got back from a trip to San Francisco, a place we already thought of as green because of LEED-certified properties like the Orchard and Orchard Garden hotels. But while many eco-initiatives happen behind the scenes, water conservation was front and center in the bathrooms of the San Francisco Marriott Union Square, which completed a full top-to-bottom renovation in April 2009.
The Dual Max toilet we found in our standard King Room lets guests decide whether to use a scant 0.9 gallons or still-conservative 1.6 gallons per flush. It's a system we've seen before in Europe but only rarely in the U.S. In the coming years, though, dual flush toilets might become more commonplace, as the fancy commodes are just $100 or so more expensive than standard toilets, making them a relatively cheap way to "green up" rooms.
But as planet friendly as the Dual Max toilet may be, it still can't compete on earth awareness with a water-saving gizmo at San Francisco's Good Hotel: An automatic toilet-top sink that recycles grey water on every flush.