Environmental accountability is integral to our values. Twenty years ago we purchased the
200 acre Hilltop Orchards farm in nearby Richmond and have preserved its open space and agricultural heritage. At the same time, we have strengthened the business with the introduction of the Berkshire’s first Farm Winery and introduced low-impact use of the land with hiking and cross country skiing. Also, we have recently offered a rent-free lease for an individual or group to start a CSA (community supported agriculture) organic farm on our land.
Three years ago we purchased The Garden Gables Inn and are committed to continually increasing our current list of green initiatives:
Food & Beverage
- We brew locally roasted, organic and fair-trade coffee and serve organic teas.
- We utilize locally grown and/or produced ingredients in our cooking whenever possible.
- Currently that includes, but is not limited to: cider and apples from Hilltop Orchards, wine and champagne from Furnace Brook Winery, bread from Berkshire Mountain Bakery, coffee from Esselon Café, certified organic and humanely-raised eggs from Pete & Gerry’s of New Hampshire, pasture-raised organic yogurt from Sidehill Farm, and local and organic maple syrup from Blackberry Hill Farm).
- We purchase condiments and other non-perishables in bulk to reduce packaging and waste.
- We use certified organic produce whenever available.
- We encourage our guests to patronize local independently owned restaurants, cafes, shops, and other establishments. This supports the community economically and promotes many of the local businesses who also use local and organic ingredients and participate in ecological business practices.
- We conserve water, laundering detergent, and energy by implementing a linen and towel reuse program.
- We are a totally smoke free environment.
- We use cleaning products that are gentle on our staff and the environment
- We use energy efficient CFLs in all of our light fixtures.
- Our four cottages are closed during the coldest winter months to conserve energy.
- At 8pm we dim 40% of our lights to conserve energy. During times when there are no guests in house we dim or turn off about 60% of our lights.
- Our rooms all have individual air conditioning controls. This allows us to conserve energy (and therefore emissions) by turning the A/C off while the room is unoccupied, an option that is not available with air conditioning that is controlled by one central dial. There is also a small notice adjacent to the dial informing guests of the ecological benefits of using the A/C conservatively.
- Our anti-fatigue kitchen mats are handmade from recycled tractor trailer tires. (The artist who makes these diverts over 15,000lbs of waste from entering the landfill annually!)
- All of our rooms with fireplaces are stocked with DuraFlame Logs. DuraFlame logs contain no petrochemicals, burn cleaner than traditional firewood, and are comprised of 100% renewable, natural materials. Roughly 70% of our guests use the DuraFlames, while about 30% request real wood.
- We provide separate recycling receptacles to our guests for glass/plastic/paper and practice recycling and waste reduction techniques throughout the Inn.
- Our guestbook was individually handcrafted in the USA from hand-harvested pine and features 100% recycled paper. It is also refillable for an extended life. It contains no plastic or PVC.
- We use locally handcrafted candles from Mole Hollow in Shelburne Falls, Ma in our table decor.
- We use low- or no-VOC indoor and outdoor paints for all of our painting projects. Even our pool paint is low-VOC!
- We use chemical-free wood chips in our flower gardens in an effort to preserve the integrity of the soil and promote natural soil health.
- Our stationary, business cards and other collateral are printed on 100% recycled fibers.
- We use 100% post-consumer recycled printer and copier paper.
- We recycle our used ink cartridges.
- We encourage our guests to take advantage of emailed receipts and confirmations, as opposed to printed ones, in an effort to minimize use of resources.