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what to look for in a truly authentic green inn (rather than a greenwashed inn)... soon I will talk to Kit Cassingham about this, stay tuned...

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what is a green inn (definition)?  (see my info below)

what is green washing?  (definition)

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corporations that put more money, time and energy into slick PR campaigns aimed at promoting their eco-friendly images, than they do to actually protecting the environment.

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The term is generally used when significantly more money or time has been spent advertising being green (that is, operating with consideration for the environment), rather than spending resources on environmentally sound practices. This is often portrayed by changing the name or label of a product, to give the feeling of nature, for example putting an image of a forest on a bottle of harmful chemicals.  

Environmentalists often use greenwashing to describe the actions of energy companies, which are traditionally the largest polluters.  

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A term merging the concepts of "green" (environmentally sound) and "whitewashing" (to conceal or gloss over wrongdoing). Greenwashing is any form of marketing or public relations that links a corporate, political, religious or nonprofit organization to a positive association with environmental issues for an unsustainable product, service, or practice.

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Examples:

Tyson Chicken, for promoting its products as “all natural,” even though the company treats its chickens with antibiotics.

Kellogg’s brand Morningstar Farms which is promoted as an all natural product but in fact, uses genetically modified and genetically engineered ingredients such as GMO and GE corn in their corndogs.  

if the place looks green, smells green, walks its talk green, then it is green by my standards... if it only pretends to be green, then people should know that the company is not 100% committed, whether it is an inn, b and b, farm, hotel, lodge or motel or a chocolate company.  For instance, would you let your dog stay at a doggie daycare center or go to a vet when they will not meet with you for five minutes? I think not. would you buy a fake tomato to eat or buy a bakery good for your children that can last forever on a shelf?

for me, as a travel writer, what I look for is a real commitment to sustainable living. are the innkeepers living energy/environmentally-aware lives, or are they just wanting it to appear that their inn is green to hop on the green train? is the green aspect of the inn another photo op to make them look good or how they live their lives when no one is watching?

No one is perfect and we all make mistakes... but if check-in is consistently a hassle, the staff is rude, the rooms are musty and dusty, and smell like smoke or chemicals, people are not going to want to return again and again and are not going to believe that you are eco friendly nor friendly period.

Personally, I look for freshness, no chemical smells from toxic cleaners or lead paint on the walls, no smoke or dog odors, soy candles, soaps and lotions that are made from essential oils, herbs, plant and flower based products with no chemicals, organic cotton sheets, natural fiber blankets, organic and herbal teas and coffees.  

Is the inn a certified organic farm, historic or known in the community for its sustainable and socially-responsible practices?  Do they support (financially and otherwise) community activities that keep the oceans clean, trees growing, pets homed, and wildlife safe?  Are they energy efficient? Is the art on the walls handcrafted from local artists?  Were the buildings built in an eco friendly way with eco building standards?  Are they a member of “Green” Hotels Association?  Do they utilize environmentally friendly cleaning products such as plain old vinegar?  

Composting, recycling, renewable energy are good too as is food made from organic gardens with healthy and hearty  portions and servings... plus personal touches that show the staff and owners care above and beyond what is expected...  

are there wildflowers in the room, treats for my dog (wheat free and organic), chocolates (fair trade and organic) left on my pillow or night stand, a hot tub heated by the sun, and something unique that makes the inn stand out from others... a gorgeous view, free tickets to a local attraction such as a whale watching trip or organic wine tour, gas savings ($50-100 off the stay or cash back), and so on...

Some inns that fit these standards in my humble opinion:

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 it also helps if the owners have invented an electric car and scooters and use them on property happy  

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Innkeepers are welcome to this information on how to promote their inns for a year...

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Ciciwriter, Your links have been removed, please consider upgrading to premium membership.



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