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Page last updated at 18:42 GMT, Wednesday, 14 April 2010 19:42 UK

Danish eco-hotel offers pedalpower free meal

15 minutes of cycling generates a free meal at the hotel
36% of Copenhageners cycle to work each day

A Danish hotel is offering a free meal to any guest who is able to produce electricity for the hotel on an exercise bike attached to a generator.

The Crowne Plaza Hotel in Copenhagen says the idea is to get people fit and reduce their carbon footprint.

Guests will have to produce at least 10 watt hours of electricity - roughly 15 minutes of cycling for someone of average fitness.

The hotel already produces renewable energy with solar panels on its facade.

Guests staying at Plaza Hotel will be given meal vouchers worth $36 (26 euros; £23) once they have produced 10 watt hours of electricity, hotel spokeswoman Frederikke Toemmergaard told the BBC News website.

"Many of our visitors are business people who enjoy going to the gym. There might be the odd person who will cycle just to get a free meal, but I don't think people will exploit the initiative overall," she added.

The bicycles will have iPhones attached to the handlebars measuring how much power is being generated for the hotel.

The plan, a world-first, will be launched on 19 April and run for a year, the hotel says. Only guests staying at the hotel will be able to take part.

Copenhagen has a long-standing cycling tradition and 36% of locals cycle to work each day, one of the highest percentages in the world, according to the website visitcopenhagen.dk

"Because Copenhagen is strongly associated with cycling, we felt the bicycle would work well as a symbol of the hotel's green profile," Ms Toemmergaard said.

US environmental website treehugger.com recently voted Copenhagen the world's best city for cyclists.

If successful, the electric bicycle meal programme will be extended to all Crowne Plaza hotels in the UK, the hotel said in statement.



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