Home Cleaning & Maintenance BedandBreakfast.com Offers Editor’s Picks for Top Eco-Friendly B&Bs

BedandBreakfast.com Offers Editor’s Picks for Top Eco-Friendly B&Bs

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AUSTIN, TEXAS—Although travelers burn gas to get to their destinations, one answer to greener travel is to vacation by choosing an eco-friendly B&B. BedandBreakfast.com innkeepers are moving toward greener getaways by investing in earth-friendly practices to ensure guests the finest in eco-escapes. BedandBreakfast.com currently lists more than 35 earth-friendly special packages.

Listed in alphabetical order by state, here are some examples of green packages offered by BedandBreakfast.com members.

Strawberry Creek B&B, Idyllwild, Calif.: Relax on soft, cotton-like hammocks made from recycled soda bottles. This inn’s tranquil wooded setting is certified by the National Wildlife Federation as an official backyard wildlife habitat. Rainwater is collected for watering the gardens, thereby reducing water use, soil erosion, runoff and sewage usage. Native plants are abundant in the pesticide-free gardens, and earth-friendly products are used throughout the inn for cleaning and maintenance.

Neon Rose B&B, Point Reyes, Calif.: Fully dedicated to the comfort of chemically sensitive travelers, this cottage adjacent to 260 acres of Point Reyes National Seashore is in the middle of the organic food capital of the country. Fragrance-free, earth-friendly cleaning products are used; hypo-allergenic linens and pillows are available. Constructed from non-toxic and environmentally friendly materials, this cottage-style B&B goes the extra mile beyond green to chem-free. You’ll find no pesticides in gardens, and nothing but clean, fresh air.

Worthington Mansion B&B, Fort Wayne, Ind.: From wooden furnishings cleaned only with natural lemon oil to bath amenities carefully crafted at the inn with organic ingredients and essential oils, this B&B is dedicated to earth-friendly hospitality. Compact fluorescent and lower watt bulbs, dimmers and timers ensure that minimal electricity is used for maximum conservation without sacrificing ambiance. Organic herbs are grown on windowsills and consumables are purchased in bulk, cutting down on wasteful packaging and gas consumption for grocery shopping.

Jenks House, Jacksonville, Fla.: Formerly owners of a water conservation company, innkeepers here installed a solar-powered water heater that heats 90 percent of the hot water for the house. Organic gardens keep guests supplied with fruit, flowers and herbs.

Chez Sven B&B, Wellfleet, Mass.: This B&B provides a natural, chemical-free environment geared toward those with environmental sensitivities. Allergy-free suites feature 100 percent organic cotton bed linens and hypo-allergenic comforters and pillows for those allergic to down. Non-toxic green detergents are used in a front-loading energy-efficient washer and whenever possible sheets are line dried. HEPA filters in vacuums help to maintain air quality. The inn is totally smoke and pet free. Organic raspberries, tomatoes and potatoes, plus homemade organic yogurt are guest favorites for breakfast.

Pilgrim’s Inn, Deer Isle, Maine: Certified by the state of Maine as an environmental leader, this country inn and restaurant is sweet on recycling. They use biodegradable “to go” containers made of sugar cane. Used cooking oil is donated to those driving cars fueled by bio-diesel. Soaps and shampoos are no longer packaged but provided via dispensers in guest baths and showers. Natural kitchen waste is composted, and island-grown organic vegetables are served as often as possible. Low-flow showers and toilets help to conserve water.

Classic Rosewood, Hastings, Minn.: Plastic bags are recycled and given to local food pantries, and berry containers are returned to farmers’ markets for future use. Recycling is a way of life at this inn which shares its commercial recycling bin with neighbors to encourage earth-friendly practices. Recycling containers are dressed in flowers with signs to encourage guests to help save Mother Earth. But the ultimate in recycling comes from the inn’s furnishings: a copper soaking tub and sink from an old barber shop and marble for the inn’s fireplace hearths from the old Minneapolis Sheraton Ritz Hotel.

Sugar Hill Harlem Inn, New York: Solar panels are being added to make this New York City’s only B&B offering naturally powered energy. In addition, the innkeeper has created a bio-sustainable garden using advanced composting techniques. This Harlem oasis grows corn, cayenne, sunflowers and heirloom tobacco using seeds from Navajo Indians.

Inn at Hickory Run, White Haven, Pa.: Innkeepers David and Nancy Pfeil combined their 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.

Wickford Junction Inn, B&B, North Kingston, R.I.: Designed to bring nature in, this B&B composts kitchen scraps to create a rich fertilizer for the inn’s organic herb garden. Integrated pest management techniques are utilized in the inn’s yard, including water features to attract frogs and dragon flies, flowering plants to draw birds and insects that control other insects, plus tall trees to attract bats, which eat mosquitoes.

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