As environmental awareness grows, green travel has become a hot new trend that offers a great opportunity for small business owners in the hospitality and service sectors. More and more travelers are seeking out eco-friendly inns, often small bed & breakfasts that offer a personal touch. Green inns also attract travelers with chemical sensitivities and other health concerns.
What Makes an Inn Eco-Friendly?
Small inns and bed & breakfasts can go green in a variety of ways. They range from simple steps like encouraging guests to use towels and bedsheets more than once to more complex efforts such as green building or remodeling projects.
One of the most common ways for small inns and bed & breakfasts to go green is to start using eco-friendly cleaning services or products such as green laundry detergents. Many green inns also offer organic cotton or bamboo bedsheets, towels, and other bedding. Going chemical-free is especially important for inns hoping to attract guests with Multiple Chemical Sensitivity and similar conditions.
Many eco bed & breakfasts also practice recycling and energy conservation, with steps ranging from motion sensors and smart thermostats to going completely off-grid with solar panels or windmills.
A growing number of green bed & breakfasts are joining the local and sustainable food movements and preparing delicious meals for their guests using locally produced, in season foods. Some even have on-site organic vegetable gardens, orchards, farms, or ranches. Many bed & breakfasts that grow their own food also compost food wastes to improve the soil. Other eco-friendly inns restore or conserve wildlife habitat on their property.
These are just a few of many ideas that inns and bed & breakfasts can use to go green.
Promoting Your Green Bed & Breakfast
Listing your green bed & breakfast on BnBscape.com, the #1 listing of green lodging, green inns, and eco-friendly hotels, is a great way to get noticed and attract green travelers from all over the world. In addition to a directory of green inns and bed & breakfasts, BnBscape also offers information and other resources for green innkeepers, beginning and experienced alike, and travelers.
Three Great Green Bed & Breakfasts For Eco Travelers
The Inn at Hickory Run, located in White Haven, PA, is owned by two engineers, who designed a state-of-the-art green building to house their eco-friendly inn. The heating, cooling, and hot water systems are powered by geothermal energy and electricity is generated by a residential wind turbine located about 400 feet from the inn. A computerized home automation system also helps reduce energy use, as do the inn’s energy-efficient lightbulbs and appliances.
The Strawberry Creek Bed & Breakfast in Idyllwild, CA is a certified Backyard Wildlife Habitat. The wooded gardens are pesticide-free and use primarily native plants. The inn uses a rainwater catchment system to reduce stormwater runoff and keep the gardens lush and green even during the dry season.
The Neon Rose Bed & Breakfast in Point Reyes, CA is an example of a bed & breakfast that caters especially to chemically sensitive guests. Located adjacent to the beautiful Point Reyes National Seashore, the bed & breakfast uses fragrance-free, eco-friendly cleaning products, and provides hypoallergenic linens and towels on request. The cottage is built entirely from eco-friendly and non-toxic building materials.