In Florida, more hotels become environmentally friendly

When the Banyan Resort's assistant general manager, Julie Brown, saw an unexpected increase in her property's water bill one month last year, she didn't take the news lightly.

As leader of the Key West luxury resort's Green Team for the past three years, Brown was determined to uncover the reason for the increase -- not only for the sake of her 38-unit property's bottom line, but also for the sake of the environment. She launched an investigation that uncovered a hidden water leak beneath the foundation of one of the buildings.

Brown's resort is one of 76 lodging facilities in Monroe, Dade and Broward counties, and 395 properties statewide, currently designated ''green'' by the Florida Department of Environmental Protection's Green Lodging program. Approximately 80 more resorts, hotels and motels in the tri-county area have applied to earn the designation.

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