When you think of a Bed and Breakfast, you probably picture four-post feather beds with romantic drapings, cozy Victorian sitting rooms with a grand fireplace, and mimosas served with gourmet breakfast in the dining room. Lots of lace. Antiques. Quaint gardens with white benches, and fudge shops within walking distance.
Today’s new incarnation of the bed and breakfast takes that cozy image and gives it a green spin, with wind turbine energy powering the establishment, water harvesting buckets out back, surrounded by flower, herb and veggie gardens and organic chocolates on your pillow at night. That lace might even have been made by third-world artisans earning money for their village’s well-building project.
Green-minded brides are always on the lookout for wedding locations that are ‘married’ to the ideal of eco-friendly lifestyle, and now they’re adding bed and breakfasts to their possibilities lists. It’s not just the progressive, big resorts out there leading the wedding tourism pack with their recycling objectives and local produce. Bed and breakfasts are upgrading and establishing their own green offerings.
For instance, at The Lavender Inn in Ojai, California, you won’t find plastic water bottles in guest rooms. They’ve booted the bottles in favor of filtered water in glass carafes. At Grace Manor Inn in Richmond, Virginia, you get $20 off your bill when you arrive in a hybrid car. It’s these creative twists that have put bed and breakfasts on the map as wedding locations – either as the ceremony and reception setting, or as the perfect lodging for out-of-town wedding guests. So if you’re having too big of a wedding for a B&B, think about encouraging your guests to stay at an eco-friendly one.
Here are just some of the green endeavors at bed and breakfasts across the country:
At the Lavender Inn, the proprietors don’t throw out those once-used soaps and shampoos. They donate them to Clean the World, a charity that sends hygiene products to developing nations to help prevent disease. You’ll find that many green bed and breakfasts stock local artisan crafts and snacks that you can add to your guest welcome bags, along with local produce such as seasonal apples and other healthy bites.
If you haven’t looked at bed and breakfasts lately, check out BnBFinder.com’s list of green-minded establishments through this link. That takes you to the Weddings page for B&Bs, and you’ll then click through the search link for Green bed and breakfasts. (The site doesn’t have a direct link to the green B&Bs yet. Anything worth finding is worth clicking around for, right?)
As for that fudge in the nearby touristy area? You’ll find organic fudge there, too. Be sure your free bicycle has a basket on it, so that you can load up on local wares!