New products

Sleepy Dems swipe eco-friendly, wooden hotel ‘keys’

Daniel Ray

I told you earlier last week about the Democratic National Convention attendees being offered free “pins” loaded with $10, redeemable at concessionaires using credit card tap-and-go readers. But that’s not the only card technology innovation being pushed upon this influential audience.

When Democrats leave their convention events in Denver and head back to their hotel rooms, they may have sweeping oratory in their ears, but they’ll be carrying wood chips in their pockets.

Biodegradable hotel keys made of wood are opening the hotel doors used  by conventioneers this week. Sustainable Cards LLC of Boulder donated about 70,000 of the programmable wooden cards for this week’s event.

“Used for nearly a decade in Europe, wooden key cards have proven to be equally durable to the traditional plastic key card, but, unlike plastic, wood is a renewable and biodegradable resource,” says the company’s press release. “By switching plastic cards to biodegradable wood, hotels and resorts can reduce plastic waste by 1,300 tons annually — the amount of plastic waste that traditional hotel key cards generate in the U.S. alone. The weight and density of this waste is equal to the volume of seven 777 airplanes.”

“We do hope to produce prepaid gift cards in the near future,” company spokeswoman Jennifer Kardian said in an e-mail to me. “However, we don’t foresee entering the credit card market any time soon given the more delicate composition of the wood cards. They simply won’t hold up under repeated use like a plastic card.”

See related: Free stuff for reporters! Er, I mean, technological innovation unveiled

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