Our Members Speak Out
The Woodstocker Inn, Woodstock, VT
Question for July/August: Little things often make a
big difference. What are the small touches and special amenities
at your inn that guests rave about?
Email your responses to
Sandy@BedandBreakfast.com. If we publish your comments, we’ll thank you
with a $25 credit in our Featured Properties Auction program!
You were asked:
What are your suggestions
for the 10 things that make your inn green? Please add
any other comments or suggestions for ways that green travel has
a positive impact on your marketing and operations.
"One unique thing we started that may be considered green, are our "Work
Week/ends." For a $25 registration fee, guests can stay "free" at the
Elkhorn Inn, while helping us continue our never-ending restoration of our
historic Inn. It's great fun for people who are into history, historic
preservation, are thinking about buying an inn, or want to restore an
historic property, "This Old House" & DIY wannabes, etc., and students can
sometimes get credit for participating, as well. We modeled our program
after a successful program at a Cape May, NJ, B&B, and our first "Work
Weekend" was featured both on TV and in the press. We've had several groups
come to help us, and more planned, and it's been a success. We set up such
weeks throughout the year, especially during the slow times in the winter
and very early spring.
"We also help to actively promote green events, such as the recent "Elkhorn
Creek Clean-Up", sponsored by Trout Unlimited. Our "Trout Guys" are
long-time Elkhorn Inn guests, and whenever they have an event, we not only
put it on our website, but we post the info on the fishing internet chat
rooms we belong to, email the press releases to our media contacts, etc. We
are also posting the voluntary Catch-&-Release Fishing signs on our property
to help preserve our great little trout stream – we have some of the biggest
trout going in Elkhorn Creek: 24" - 32"! – and we want to keep it that way.
"Our Inn's main target markets are a fairly green bunch by definition: trout
fishermen and women, rail fans, ATV fans and others coming for outdoor fun
in the southern WV mountains, photographers, teachers, hunters, Cultural
Heritage Tourism folks, leaf-peepers, golfers... These are all folks who
truly care about the environment.
"We have a vegetable/herb/fruit garden, which we are always adding to, and
if guests want to, they are welcome to work in the garden or pick
strawberries or veggies when they're ripe... And nothing compares to pesto
made fresh from our own basil, or garden-fresh tomatoes in a salad!
We have our bird feeders, butterfly bushes, and such, to bring in the birds
and butterflies that we and our guests enjoy. And even though there is no
official recycling in McDowell Co., we recycle and reuse what we can, make
compost, and use our paper refuse in the fireplace.
"We have, however, stayed with our mini Inn-logo toiletries in our guest
rooms, although several B&Bs we know have switched to bulk toiletries to be
greener. Our guests love the signature toiletries and often take them home,
along with our logo... and that's important." -- Elisse Goldstein-Clark,
Elkhorn Inn & Theatre, Landgraff, WV
"Here are our top 10 plus one things to make
our inn green.
Recycle all paper, bottles, cans etc and leave the recycling containers
outside the check-in entrance. Pretty they’re not, but socially aware
folks will notice them and use them.
organic cleaning products. In some place you have to use bleach, but
keep its use to a minimum. Soap is a natural disinfectant. For more
impassioned information, contact Larry Pleasant, owner of Vermont
Organics. What he doesn’t know about soap is not worth knowing! Use
ecologically sensitive washing powder, and let towels dry on a line if
feasible. If a guest thinks the towels are hard, prick their conscience;
the rough towel acts as a natural skin exfoliation item, and they’re not
local foods, not necessarily organic but ones that have a low carbon
recycled bath tissue. It is better at doing the job than cheap brands.
Your guests will notice!
energy efficient light bulbs.
guests to think about walking from their car when unloading. Most cases
Plant a window box, tub, flower bed.
linens made of organic cotton if replacing towels/sheets/towels.
local/organic guest amenities. Cut a bar of soap rather than have a
small one wrapped in paper. Put a house brick in your WC water tank
(assuming it is a non-water efficient one). It means the tank fills up
with less water, flushes with less water and you save money!
down thermostats when windows are open. Replace old worn out oil
furnaces with 21st century propane; it burns cleaner and quieter and
saves on the annual service.
importantly, drive your own car less, and when you change it, get one
that gets over 35 miles to the gallon. We predict gas will be at least
$5 a gallon by the end of 2009. It’s $9.50 gallon in the UK now!"
Dora, David and Stanley,
The Woodstocker Inn, Woodstock, VT
name like Backyard Garden Oasis, one can assume that being green is
something that we’ve been doing since our inception almost 11 years ago.
light bulbs that could be changed have been changed to energy efficient
bulbs. Higher equivalent watts are necessary to get the same amount of
light. These bulbs don’t work with dimmer switches.
internal lighting is on dimmer switches, which allow for lower wattage
usage most of the time.
Outdoor lighting is all on motion detectors, so lights are only on when
they are needed. A side benefit is that there is little ambient light
created, so the stars are bright and clear.
Extra insulation was used during construction to reduce the need for
heat or air conditioning.
switched to a time-of-use meter several years ago to reduce the cost of
food from the kitchen, leaves and grass clippings are used to make
compost which is used to create a flourishing garden.
from the garden is used at meals, resulting in fewer gas guzzling trips
to the market.
biodegradable cleaners are used.
Linens are all cotton … polyester is made from oil!
Timers are key to using water and pumps efficiently. These pumps are for
the waterfall and for irrigation."
Backyard Garden Oasis B&B, Middletown, CA
"One of the green things we do is compost. With all the fruit salads we make
here, the compost fills up pretty fast. I also put the dryer lint in the
mix. We get wonderful mulch to mix in with our garden the next spring, and
do the flowers and herbs ever GROW!" -- Dave & Sharon Dahle, Victorian
House B&B, Smiths Grove, KY
hang our laundry out to dry at least six months a year. The sheets smell
better, and it’s healthier to have the microscopic skin particles that
didn't drain with the water drift off in the breeze.
Whatever we can’t hang outdoors, we drape over chairs and hang on hooks
(when guests aren’t here). This keeps the house humidified in the winter
and also cuts down on electricity.
use cage-free eggs. Why should we serve our guests food we wouldn’t eat
use organic products as much as possible: fruits, breads, yoghurt, milk.
That means hormone and additive free, too.
use no pesticides or herbicides on our property. Children can play and
roll on the lawn without getting poisoned. We also have a great time and
keep in shape pulling weeds.
compost everything except colored paper, meat, sweets and dairy
products, and use the compost on the garden.
recycle. We use wood chips from the city’s recycling facility and other
recycled products. We buy our furniture used, and these yard sale
treasures adorn every room in the house, and our garden. Beautiful
vintage linens adorn tables and beds.
cut our own flowers from the garden and flowering shrubs for the dining
room, living rooms and guest rooms.
we buy early spring flowering bulbs like narcissus to perfume the air,
or daffodils to usher in spring early, we replant in the garden to come
up again next year.
don’t throw out our plants when they’re done flowering – our orchid is
happily in its third year of growing and flowering, and our poinsettia
is happy on the window sill."
Lathrop House B&B, Springfield, MA
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