Eco-Friendly Inns


Aluminum Recycling Facts

Cool Jewels & Great Gifts

What Is Your Carbon Footprint?

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nature conserve


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Eco-Friendly Inns

Going Beyond Recycling Without Sacrificing Luxury

Historic B&Bs are inherently the ultimate recycling projects, where new life is given to century-old homes. salutes these eco-friendly B&Bs, where guests can enjoy luxurious green getaways.

Each of's choices for Top 10 Eco-Friendly Inns subscribes to a strict eco-friendly environment, yet takes environmental stewardship to the next level with donations to eco-friendly organizations to offset guests' carbon footprint, installation of solar heating systems and more. At a minimum, each of these inns offers property-wide recycling, optional towel replacement service, water and energy conservation programs, local purchasing and use of non-toxic cleaners. For a complete list of green getaways and eco-escapes, visit

Arroyo Vista Inn, South Pasadena, CA: Eco-travelers appreciate that all electricity for the inn is supplied by solar panels. Use of energy-efficient lighting and appliances further alleviates the electrical demand here. A "Green Stay" program, where sheets and towels are washed only upon guests' request, helps the innkeepers conserve water and allows guests to feel they are doing their part to offset their carbon footprint. Additionally, low flow toilets, environmentally friendly room amenities, and active recycling programs, along with little touches like fresh flowers in the rooms, help round out the eco-offerings here.

Berry Manor Inn, LimeRock Inn and Captain Lindsey House, Rockland, ME: Working together as a consortium called Historic Inns of Rockland, all three inns have been certified by the State of Maine as Hospitality Environmental Leaders, making them the first known B&B association in New England dedicated to sustainable eco-tourism. Each inn offers a compact fluorescent light bulb to each guest along with a message about how to take the eco-pledge. Their long list of environmentally friendly practices ranges from widespread use of compact fluorescent bulbs and solar lighting to donation and recycling of old towels, clothing, shampoo and soaps to local charities. The group has negotiated a contract for use of bio-fuel for heating oil, and instituted creative recycling programs for inn and guest products ranging from bottles to office products. In addition, the inns make a donation in every guest's name to eco-friendly local organizations as a means to offset their own carbon footprint.

Black Star Farms, Suttons Bay, MI: This eight guest-room inn is set near the heart of the Leelanau Peninsula wine country with an award-winning winery and distillery tasting room plus the Leelanau Cheese Company. The farm has been certified and commended by the Michigan Agriculture Environmental Assurance Program. Eco-friendly features include the Michigan State Project Green hoop house where fresh produce is available ten months out of the year using compost compliments of the inn's stable. Guests love to visit the on-premises farmers' market where local farmers offer their wares daily during the growing season. Pasture-raised lamb and beef plus local chicken and eggs are served at the inn's breakfast and hospitality hour, and are also available for sale. Organic locally made Cerise Nutraceuticals lotion is offered in guest rooms, and biodegradable cleaning products and bags are used throughout the inn and its retail locations

Big Mill Inn, Williamston, NC: This inn's owners live up to their license plate which reads 'NVIRONUT". Careful to recycle and reuse, doors, bricks, stones and even tobacco sticks that were used to cure the tobacco on this former farm are part of the inn's rustic elegance and decor. Energy-efficient appliances and heating systems are supplemented by line-dried sheets and laundry in warm weather; well water is served instead of bottled water. Low voltage and energy-efficient lighting is used throughout the property, and a solar-heated hot water system is the next project on the list. The Pack House Suite and the Corn Crib are two beautifully appointed suites converted from former 1930s farm buildings on the estate.

Inn at Hickory Run, White Haven, PA: Innkeepers David and Nancy Pfeil combined their masters' degrees in thermal mechanical and heat transfer sciences and chemical engineering to construct an entirely computer-automated and energy-efficient B&B. Geothermal heating and air-conditioning systems can heat and cool the 9,300-square-foot B&B and also generate 400 gallons of hot water at a fraction of the cost of traditional systems, without burning fossil fuels. To further reduce dependence on electricity, thermostats and other electrical systems are connected to a computerized home automation package. Motion detectors reduce the cost of lighting when no one is present. Outside lighting is computer controlled so lights are only turned on at the appropriate time. Remarkably, this entire home automation system can be controlled and modified via the Internet and accessed from any web browser, including the browser on the Pfeil's cell phone.

Kings Inn B&B, Summerville, SC: Located just 22 miles from Charleston, this eco-friendly inn is located in a National Wildlife Federation Certified Wildlife Habitat. Here guests will find a vast and interesting array of plant species, native wildflowers, shrubs, and trees that provide a nurturing refuge for wildlife in the front and back gardens. The inn's varied gardens attract songbirds, butterflies, and other interesting wildlife for viewing from guest windows or piazzas. Guests help conserve energy and water by reusing linens and towels at their own discretion. All correspondence, including receipts, is emailed whenever possible in an effort to cut back on paper waste, and the innkeepers reward guests who show proof of ownership of hybrid vehicles with a 10-percent room discount.

Inn at Weathersfield, Weathersfield, VT: Recipients of the Sustainable Cuisine Award for New England from Sante magazine, this inn and restaurant has completed its five-year plan to reduce its environmental impact through recycling, composting, and creating an energy efficient environment. The inn has reduced fuel consumption by 50 percent, equal to 633,450 pounds of carbon dioxide emissions. Their conservation plan included investment in insulation and energy efficient heating systems, windows, and doors; offering non-packaged soap made from essential oils in dispensers; recycling of guests' glass, paper, and newspapers; and buying locally.

Pinehurst Inn, Bayfield, WI: Calling themselves an "eco-elegant" accommodation, the inn was recognized for its commitment to earth-friendly practices with an Environmental Stewardship Award from the Lake Superior Binational Forum. Their green house was built entirely from eco-friendly and sustainable materials. For around-town travel, the innkeepers use a 1982 Mercedes Diesel, dubbed the "Grease Car," converted to run on used vegetable oil from local restaurants. Additionally, by investing in "green tags" that offset C02 emissions, the inn is now officially carbon neutral. Organic cotton linens, solar-heated water, composting all food and garden waste and aggressive recycling programs round out the list for this inn dedicated to green tourism.

The Arbor Inn-An Environmental Inn, Madison, WI: This inn was built with one purpose in mind - to create an eco-friendly environment for B&B travelers. The architects planned around the existing root system of surrounding trees, and the contractors used non-toxic lumber cut from sustainable forests. Plant-based paints were used to decorate, and solar-powered lights shine through the recycled glass windows, while the well-insulated walls keep temperatures comfortable with minimal heating/cooling costs. Organic, unbleached cotton linens washed with biodegradable cleaners offer a luxurious night's sleep. Guests enjoy breakfasts offering locally purchased fresh fare.

Cotton Tree Lodge, Toledo District, Belize: Located in an unspoiled corner of Belize,enhanced by Mayan ruins, natural attractions, and exotic animals, this newly opened eco-lodge offers guests a luxurious vacation in an environmentally responsible, off-the-grid location. Use of solar power, eco-friendly composting systems and a highly acclaimed partnership with Stainable Harvest International make this an excellent vacation destination for eco-adventurers. Cotton Tree Lodge and Sustainable Harvest International (SHI) together help Central American families work toward environmental, economic and social sustainability by hiring local agricultural extension staff that work directly with low-income Belizean families in promotion of improved nutrition, organic agricultural techniques, reforestation, and health improvement projects so that their income levels increase. Guests sleep in private cabanas, where they awaken to the song of exotic birdlife and the roar of monkeys in the distance and start their day with fresh tropical fruit from the Lodge's orchard or sample chocolate made from the cocoa grown locally. Daily itineraries include tours of the region for a better understanding of this fragile yet scenic island as guests experience the Mayan people, visiting local villages and homes to learn about tortilla making, chocolate making, and traditional drumming.

Source: For a complete list of Green Getaways and Eco-Escapes offered by members throughout North America, visit is the leading online bed and breakfast directory and reservation network worldwide, listing nearly 7,000 B&Bs and inns.

Deliciously Dunkable And Gluten-Free
Shortbreads from BISCOTTEA™

BISCOTTEA's popular line of tea-flavored, Scottish-style shortbreads has expanded to include three flavorful gluten-free varieties—Chai, Blueberry with Organic White Tea, and Earl Grey with Organic Darjeeling Tea. Introduced to market at the recent Winter Fancy Food Show in San Francisco, the positive feedback continues to swell. The delicious, new, gluten-free shortbread cookies were selected as "Top Pick of the Week" by the editors of The Nibble, who called them "a real find for anyone in need of a gluten-free treat".

The gluten-free varieties join BISCOTTEA’s existing highly praised line-up, including Mint, Chai, Honeybush, Earl Grey, and the popular Blueberry. Click here to see BISCOTTEA owner, Laurance Milner, and his BISCOTTEA cookies on the Food Network hit show Unwrapped.

The decision to launch a gluten-free line came from co-owner Nicci Milner's work with autistic children. "It was evident in my work with kids with autism that they show great progress when they are on a gluten-free diet. The increasing number of children with celiac disease needing gluten-free diets motivated us to develop sophisticated gluten-free shortbreads that replicate the crunchy mouth-feel and rich flavors of our wheat-based BISCOTTEA," said Ms. Milner. The new line of gluten-free cookies provides safe, delicious treats to a growing population of people with gluten sensitivity or intolerance. Each batch is tested for gluten by an independent testing agency, and BISCOTTEA reports that its gluten-free shortbreads have less than four parts per million of gluten. A portion of each sale will benefit autism research.

Seattle-based BISCOTTEA has experienced rapid growth since opening 16 months ago thanks to the uniqueness of their product. BISCOTTEA cookies are baked with organic and all-natural ingredients and combines the richness of a traditional Scottish shortbread recipe with the health attributes of the teas. The new gluten-free varieties are sure to follow in the success of the predecessors. For more information about these deliciously dunkable delights, visit

Aluminum Recycling Facts


Cool Jewels & Great Gifts!

In the book Jazzy Jewelry, you’ll find innovative ideas to transform all types of household items, items like buttons, straws, chopsticks, and used wrapping paper, into stylish and environmentally friendly bracelets, belts, and accessories. The book provides step-by-step instructions and photos. PLUS, includes “ecofacts” about how recycling helps save the planet. Recommended for kids 9-12. Published by Kingfisher. 48 pages; paperback. $7.95 at


Turn unwanted items into priceless homemade presents with Gorgeous Gifts. While many of the projects are quite simple, they will teach kids about the environment and how they can reuse refuse. Get ready for an afternoon of fun creating fun and thoughtful gifts—cute and colorful sock puppets, a stylish stationery set, or a beautiful bracelet. Like the series companion, Jazzy Jewelry, the instructions in Gorgeous Gifts are easy to follow and appropriate for young teens. Published by Kingfisher. 48 pages; paperback. $7.95 at


What is Your Carbon Footprint?

In going about our daily lives, each of us contributes to the greenhouse gas emissions that are causing climate change. Yet, according to the Nature Conservancy, “there are many things each of us, as individuals, can do to reduce our carbon emissions.” Step one is to determine the impact left by the actions we take and the choices we make.

Visit to use The Nature Conservancy's carbon footprint calculator to measure your impact on our climate. The carbon footprint calculator estimates how many tons of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases your choices create each year.

After a few simple questions, the calculator provides your individual emissions number (tons of CO2 eq/year) and shows how you compare to the average person living in the U.S. Click here to connect to the Nature Conservancy’s carbon footprint calculator.