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Go Green at Eco-Friendly Bed and Breakfasts

Jun 26, 2008
While you're checking off "fireplace in room" and "spa services" in your Web search for that perfect bed and breakfast, take time to remember the most important amenities of all: our natural resources. Many inns are energy efficient and designed to fit the surrounding landscape. Their proximity to national parks and wildlife sanctuaries remind us that traveling is neither decadent nor a luxury - it's a reality check. A person who has spotted a whale breaching the surface of the ocean or looked at a bird's nest from the foot of an ancient Redwood tree is more likely to be mindful of other habitats that go unseen from an office window.

You'll see it all from the Huckleberry Tent and Breakfast in Sandpoint, Idaho, which has only three tent sites within 42 acres of forest. This low-maintenance lodging option offers easy access to hiking trails and a view of the stars. Standing between you and nature is your simple canvas structure built on wooden planks with a Queen size bed and a kitchen with cooking utensils and a wood stove. The hot breakfast served every morning makes roughing it is a little less rough.

Reduce, reuse, renew is the mantra of many eco-warriors and that is definitely the motto at Arbor House, An Environmental Inn in Madison, Wisconsin. The innkeepers preserved and restored the historic 1940s main house and added an annex that blends in with the architecture and surroundings. The architects designed this Wisconsin bed and breakfast to avoid disturbing the root system of the trees on the property and also used non-toxic woods from cut from sustainable forests. Recycled glass windows and solar panels are other green items, as well as the luxurious linens that were made from organic cotton and the organic bath products guests will find in the bathrooms. After a visit to Arbor House, you no doubt will be inspired to make your own home more eco-friendly.

The historic Mast Farm Inn is not only a great place for a romantic North Carolina getaway, you'll also appreciate the innkeepers eco-friendly grounds. The acreage includes a beautifully restored farmhouse and several other outbuildings including a rustic log cabin. Most impressive are the vast organic gardens of flowers and vegetables. The bed and breakfast's award-winning restaurant features much of the bounty from the organic gardens. You won't find pesticides or chemicals here, just fresh air and the best of organic foods.

Taking non-toxic to personal level, the Natural Bed & Breakfast Retreat in Tucson, Arizona keeps it simple for guests with allergies by banning smoking, pets, cologne and perfume. Natural sounds filter through indoor speakers while air purifiers clear out the allergens. Feng Shui principles guide the layout of the dcor and breakfasts are organic and made from whole grains.

Guests enjoy English country charm and green sensibilities at Melitta Station Inn & Spa in Santa Rose, California. This historic inn served as a 19th-century stagecoach stop and has been restored and decorated with antiques. Since 2006, it has run on solar power using a 6-kilowat solar array. The bed and breakfast also uses daylight pipes to reduce the amount of artificial lighting needed. Nearby hiking, biking and swimming will keep guests close to nature, and you can even take a tour of some of the Sonoma Valley's organic wineries.

Enjoying a green vacation was never easier than at these eco-friendly inns. Not only will your bed and breakfast stay be environmentally friendly, you can renew your appreciation for nature and be inspired to continue preserving our precious resources.
About the Author
Jane Leisteiner enjoys writing and likes traveling to B&Bs. For more details about Wisconsin bed and breakfast inns or Arizona bed and breakfasts , check out the iLoveInns website.
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