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Green Bed and Breakfasts Offer Tips on Living Natural

Green is the new buzz word in travel. Learn how B&Bs worldwide offer eco-escapes, while sharing advice for easy ways to save the earth. From "carbon offseting" a getaway to conscious cleaning tips, thsese eco-friendly B&Bs offer it all.

Listed in alphabetical order by state, these B&Bs are perfect for those in search of the "green scene."

Strawberry Creek B&B, Idyllwild, CA

Strawberry Creek B&B: Idyllwild, CA
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, reduc-ing water use, soil erosion, runoff and sewage usage. Native plants are abundant in pesticide-free gardens, and earth-friendly products are used throughout the inn for cleaning and maintenance.

Green Scheme: Compost kitchen, yard and garden waste in either a traditional tumbling compost bin or worm composting structures. Worm composting bins are fully enclosed and ideal for creating nutrient-rich natural fertilizers.

Neon Rose B&B, Point Reyes, CA

Neon Rose B&B: Point Reyes, CA
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.

Green Scheme: Combine vinegar with Bon Ami Cleanser, containing no chlorine, perfume or dye, for the ideal solution to make windows sparkling clean.

Avalon Luxury B&B, Sabastopol, CA

Avalon Luxury B&B: Sebastopol, CA
Environmentally friendly cleaning products along with vinegar and water solutions are used to keep guest and common rooms sparkling. Water is conserved using a rain-water catchments system for keeping plants green, saving well water for necessities. Guests are treated to locally produced organic foods. Solar panels are being added for extra energy savings.

Green Scheme: Attach timers and motion sensors to lighting in low-traffic areas to conserve electricity. No need to light hallways and rooms when no one is present.

Worthingon Mansion B&B, Fort Wayne, IN

Worthington Mansion: Fort Wayne, IN
From wooden furnishings cleaned only with natural lemon oil to bath amenities carefully crafted in-house with organic ingredients and essential oils, this B&B is dedicated to earth-friendly hospitality. Compact florescent and low watt bulbs, dimmers and timers ensure that minimal electricity is used for maximum conser-vation 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.

Green Scheme: Front loading washing machines are a great way to conserve water. Front loaders typically use 60 percent less water and 68 percent less energy than conventional washers.

Jenks House, Jacksonville, FL

Jenks House: Jacksonville, FL
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.

Green Scheme: Solar power is an economic and earth-friendly source of power to run smaller appliances and heating systems.

Chez Sven B&B, Wellfleet, MA

Chez Sven B&B: Wellfleet, MA
Committed to eco-tourism, 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.

Green Scheme: During warmer weather, dry sheets and towels outside. You'll save energy, and they'll smell and feel fabulous.

Pilgrim's Inn, Deer Isle, ME

Pilgrim's Inn: Deer Isle, ME
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 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.

Green Scheme: Swap traditional light bulbs for compact fluorescent bulbs, saving energy on both lighting and cooling. These new bulbs last eight to ten times longer, use about 75 percent less energy, and produce 90 percent less heat while delivering more light per watt than incandescent bulbs.

Classic Rosewood, Hastings, MN

Classic Rosewood: Hastings, MN
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 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.

Green Scheme: Instead of firewood, which emits harmful toxins into the air, this inn recommends Java Logs. Made from pressed spent coffee grounds, these logs not only produce 10 times less creosote and carbon monoxide and divert 42 million kg/year of coffee waste from landfills, but they also burn longer and hotter than firewood or other pressed log products.

Sugar Hill  Harlem Inn, New York, NY

Sugar Hill Harlem Inn: New York, NY
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.

Green Scheme: Encourage bio-diversity by recycling seeds from hearty plants to bring back plants last season after season.

Inn at  Hickory Run, White Haven, PA

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.

Green Scheme: Attach timers to lighting, and adjust times seasonally to save on electricity when days are longer and provide natural light.

Hoffman House, Fredericksburg, TX

Hoffman House: Fredericksburg, TX
Vegetarian guests love the homemade tofu, and in the ultimate of recycling processes, the okara (soy pulp) from that process is used to make homemade soy sausages. Organic and locally grown foods are the norm here, along with earth-friendly Seventh Generation cleaning products and spa amenities.

Green Scheme: Buy Fair Trade organic teas and coffees, dedicated to fair trade partnerships that are economically just and environmentally sound.

Inn at Weathersfield, Weathersfield, VT

Inn at Weathersfield: Weathersfield, VT
Recipients of the Sustainable Cuisine Award for New England from Sante magazine in 2006, this inn and restaurant is in the last year of a five-year plan to reduce its environmental impact through recycling, composting, and creating an energy efficient environment. During this time, 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.

Green Scheme: Eat locally grown and produced food. It takes a lot of gas to move a head of lettuce from California to Vermont; you'll support local farmers and small business; and the shorter the distance from field to table, the better it tastes.

Pinehurst Inn, Bayfield, WI

Pinehurst Inn: Bayfield, WI
Calling themselves an "eco-elegant" accommodation, the inn was recognized for its commitment to earth-friendly practices with the 2004 Environmental Stewardship Award from the Lake Superior Binational Forum. Their green house was recently built entirely from eco-friendly and sustainable materials. In the ultimate in recycling statements, 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. By the end of 2007, they'll be producing their own bio-diesel in-house to fuel their additional cars.

Green Scheme: This inn hires only local residents. Not only are they more familiar with the area, but it translates into carbon-reduced commutes.

Arbor House, Madison, WI

Arbor House: Madison, WI
Hailed as a model for urban ecology, guests are provided with an unparalleled combination of natural design, features, fabrics, amenities, and surroundings. With everything from water-efficient appliances to organic mattresses to the use of sustainably harvested wood, this B&B embraces eco-hospitality.

Green Scheme: According to the American Water Works Association, if all U.S. households installed low-flow faucets and toilets, plus water-efficient washing machines, water use would decrease by 30 percent, savings more than $4 billion per year.

White Pines Victorian Lodge, Sturgeon Bay, WI

White Pines Victorian Lodge:
Sturgeon Bay, WI

Members of Green Hotels Association and Sustainable Travel International, every aspect of this inn is dedicated to care of the earth's environment. Not only are no chemical cleaners used, but in an attempt to provide a hospitable environment for those with multiple chemical sensitivities, guests are asked to sign an agreement not to wear any chemical products, perfumes, colognes or hairsprays at the inn. All natural cotton and wool fabrics are found in rooms, and more than two million gallons of water and subsequent energy have been conserved by guests re-using towels and sheets throughout their stays, and installation of low-flow showerheads and toilets. Located in a beautiful wooded setting, guests can walk to many nearby restaurants and waterfront attractions.

Green Scheme: Over 40 million Americans have been diagnosed with MCS (Multiple Chemical Sensitivity), an invasive and complex illness. Be kind to those with super-sensitive bodies by avoiding perfumed laundry detergents, soaps, shampoos, and deodorants.

For additional green getaways and eco-escapes, visit www.BedandBreakfast.com. Learn more about these inns and 6,300 others here, the leading online bed and breakfast Internet directory and reservation network worldwide. A variety of search functions and extensive maps enable inngoers to find the perfect B&B.

(Source: BedandBreakfast.com)

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