Environmental Planning Saves Money
What world needs now.. .
“1 bat the world needs now..”-the theme for PAII’s 992 International Conference for
Keepers of the Inn-evoked all sorts of images, probably different for each
who reads it. Some might recall the ’60s song, “What the World Needs Now is Love,
SI4reet, Love.” Others, in a more present state of mind, might conjure up with “more people
The idea behind the conference might better be written as “What this planet earth needs
now.. ..” Attendees not only had a chance to look at ways they could restore and maintain the
environment, but also found sources and services to make that possible.
So much information is being published in mainstream publications that sometimes it seems
W€ are being hit over the head with an organic, ecologically-balanced carrot. In just 20 years
sin ce the first Earthday, environmental problems are so visible to the general public that it has
belcome politically correct to recycle, reuse, reduce and repair.
Much of what society is now valuing-a step back in time-is quite familiar to innkeepers.
Wlien you value old treasures, “repairing”is what you do again and again. When you use china
antd glassware, “reuse”is economical. When you live in the country, conserving water so you
do not fill up your septic tank is natural. Innkeepers have recycled more than 12,000 historic
houses in North America by preserving them for new uses, while restoring a past formerly
10st to a community. And in many situations, innkeepers have learned to live on less and
recluce their consumption, sometimes by necessity, but often by choice.
This new era mandates a change i how we consume
How many miles per gallon does your car get? Do you walk or take a bus instead of drive? Do
we really need as many new things? What we throw away and where we dispose of it is
important. On a daily basis, we learn more and more about the level of toxicity with regard to
ourselves and our planet. The return to natural fibers is a movement in full force.
In reviewing books and articles and television programs, a new sense of international
awareness and action is beginning. Hardly anything is exempt from this new consciousness.
From giving a “green” Christmas gift to how recycled is that piece of paper to going on
environmentally-consciousvacations, the planetary public is putting ecology into action.
Innkeepers are balking at using the little plastic bottles paraded and touted as “essential
amenities.”Let’s look at the figures: 6 bathrooms x 2 bottles per bathroom x 50% occupancy =
2,190 little plastic bottles for just one year!
Fact 1:This oil-based product (the bottle) may or may not be recyclable-it sure as heck
is not biodegradable.
Fact 2: Even if recyclable, each bottle must be rinsed and the lids removed.
Fact 3: Lids are not recyclable.
Where are those wonderful earth-based pottery containers so popular a few years ago?
Each bathroom should have one. Yes, AAA requires individual bars of soap. But they don’t care
if you use both. Yup, it takes a few moments longer to wipe off the container each day and see
that it’s filled. However, it’s a heck of a lot cheaper to spend a few moments of time than to
continue glutting landfills. And you will find that the pottery containers are more attractive
and, in the long haul, financially less expensive.
This is a wonderful vendor opportunity: if we create the demand,
the supply will be there
Webster defines ecology as “Biology dealing with tHe mutual relations between organismshd
their environment.” Somehow, abandoning the corporate world and moving to the cowtry
does not absolve or insulate one from the damages being done to our world. i
How intertwined our social and physical worlds are! When scientists talk of ozone holes,
political and economic factions espouse their rationale about rain forest destruction. When oil
companies talk of needing to drill for oil to meet the needs of an insatiable North American
appetite, scientists suggest using recent discoveries in glass windows and fluorescent lighting
to reduce oil-guzzling utilities. Yet introducing new ways of doing things to a public already
struggling to make ends meet is often not well received.
This venture into global responsibility will not be easy, but it can happen
We have eliminated many of the structures that make life simpler in an interdependent
society. Thirty years ago, washing machines had pumps to save rinse water (remember the big
sink beside the machine) and pumped that same water back into the machine for the next wash
cycle. We (the American public, in particular) found that way old-fashioned and somehow
“unsanitary,” especially when appliance manufacturers (and perhaps utility companies?)
convinced us by “conveniently”finding a way to streamline the washing process: no tubs, no
extra hoses, but much more water usage.
Today, many innkeepers in dry California use huge trashcans and small pumps to recycle
laundry water using biodegradable soap to fertilize their gardens and lawns. The increasing
shift away from septic systems, necessary for health reasons in more populated areas, has
resulted in the lowering of the water tables. These changes are expensive to reverse and
often not possible.
The common sense of the past and the creativity of today needs to combine to conserve
and replenish for the future.
see the following as strengths of the small inns when they act cooperatively.
leading the way B&Bs and country inns are a potent force in historic preservation. Maybe no
commercial activity does more about restoring old buildings. Yet I don‘t think preservation
by Herb Hiller recognizes this contribution enough. Innkeepers need to work with preservation groups at
Guidebook author and travel writer local, regional, state and national levels.
Herbert L. Hiller was the catalystfor Inns represent a kind of tourism that brings out the unique character in any
the PAII 1992 conference theme and all destinations in a benign way. Many destinations-localities, regions, states-need
W%atthe World Needs Now... to reburnish their images. Maybe, as in the case of Florida, just to diversify it. Putting for-
ward these recreations of local life called bed-and-breakfastdcountry inns is one of the
ways. Nothing tells the down-home story better. Again, when working cooperatively, much
can be accomplished.
The great failing of business in the 1980s (if not ever since the Industrial Revolution)
has been the lack of human ethics. Innkeepers better than any business sector integrate
holistic with business values. They care for people. There’s a business career in this field.
B&B keepers have to make a profit, but money is not the alpha and omega. They’d all be doing
something else if they just wanted to make money. Yet business is trying to find its way back out
of the jungle. I believe so. The B&B/country inn story needs to be told in business schools,
through home extension business programs and through schools of hotel management. Some
schools will cotton faster than others.
Environment is the movement of our times. (Not to gainsay the importance of looking
after rhe homeless, right to choice, fair housing, caring for the disabled, etc.) The rubric of the
movement is, “Think globally, act locally.” Tourism is either the number one, two or three
economic activity of much of the world. No sector of tourism better relates to locality than
camping and inns.
Indoors, it’s inns. Inns reflect history in their architecture, in the foods they tend to serve,
in the savvy of their operators because, different from hoteliers in one crucial respect, they’re
not transferred on the chain circuit. They stay put. They always have. They connect with what’s
local. Although the movement is concerned chiefly with preserving the outdoor environment,
when environmentalists think about tourism, they have to be concerned as well with preserva-
tion, because the largest expenditure of tourists is for lodgings.
So the question crucially becomes, where do tourists overnight? When they overnight in
B&Bs and inns, they get set up for being locally respectful. Many environmental organizations,
additionally, organize tours. Where do these tourists stay? The B&B keepers need more
forcefully to be in front of the environmental movement by making their case to the leading
One way of doing this is for B&Bs to take the lead as a lodgings sector in observing the
most important priorities of environmentalism. H
What i greywater?
s our old, cranky septic tank bulges at the seams with laundry and bath water. Your extensive
By Art Ludwiq Y gardens are wilting under the heat of summer’s increasing water costs and waning
supply. Is the one problem the solution to the other? Maybe.. .and in the future, very likely.
Art Ludwig is an ecological
design consultant and founder Why use greywater?
o Oasis Biocompatible Products,
f There are two basic reasons to use greywater*-water quantity and water quality. In regions that
a company that makesplant and need irrigation,greywater can replace freshwater, increasing the effective potable water supply
soil biocompatible cleaners. without sacrificing fruits of the land. Even where irrigation rarely is needed, a lot of interest in
greywater has surfaced due to the extremely high level of treatment it receives in the soil before
entering groundwater. Greywater use can serve to protect wells located near septic tanks or, in
the case of inns connected to a sewer, can protect the quality of natural surface waters.
Greywater use also can increase awareness of and sensitivity to natural cycles. Unlike many
ecological actions that are merely stopgap measures, greywater use is a part of the fundamental
‘Greywater is all household waste-
solution to many ecological problems and likely will be essentially unchanged in the ecological
water exceptfor toilet-jlush water
inn of the distant future.
(which is called blackwater). Used
dishwater, shower water, sink water
Developments in greywater politics
and laundry water comprise up to
Using greywater for irrigation has been practiced for thousands of years. Unfortunately, when
80%of residential “waste” water.
plumbing codes were written, they treated greywater the same as raw sewage. The illegality of
greywater use in the U.S. has seriously impeded the development of modern greywater systems.
as kitchen sink water with its high Happily, this is changing completely. Health departments have led the resistance to greywater,
solids or laundry water from diapers,
claiming that its use constitutes a public health threat. This fear has been based on theoretical
is sometimes called “darkgrey” or
calculations, in some cases with highly questionable presumptions (buried in one alarmist calcu-
blackwater. Wastewaterwith no
lation was the assumption that a few ounces of feces would be shed in the course of a shower).
added solids at all, such as warm-up
However, the Los Angeles Office of Water Reclamation recently completed the first empiri-
waterfrom the hot waterfaucet or
cal field study of the actual public health threat from greywater use. Greywater-irrigated soil
refrigerator compressors, is called
does teem with pathogens, but so does freshwater-irrigatedsoil!Their conclusion?Don’t eat dirt,
clearwater. Reclaimed water is highly
with or without greywater.
treated municipal grey+blackwater,
Based on this study, and the general absence of problems where greywater is used legally
usually piped to large-volume users
or illegally, greywater laws rapidly are being liberalized, especially in the west. Greywater laws
such asgolf courses in its own
are so much in flux that many authorities contradict themselves or other agencies in the same
jurisdiction. Ask several agencies and contractors to piece together an idea of the current legal
status of greywater in your area. Then expect it to change, perhaps even with your project.
Despite the frustrating political traffic jams as greywater laws start to move, it is more
2Biocompati61ecleaners biodegrade possible than ever to build a legal greywater system or get away with a borderline illegal one. ..
into substances that are non-
harmful or beneficial to the disposal
environment; in this case, the soil. How to reuse greywater
All cleaners available today in the Health considerations: When greywater is used for irrigating plants, it is naturally
U.S. are biodegradable...not purified by biological activity in topsoil. Soil microorganisms break down organic contaminants
necessarily into stuff that is good for (including bacteria, viruses and biocompatible2 cleaners) into water-soluble plant nutrients.
the soil. Green cleaners are mostly Plant roots absorb these nutrients and much of the water. The pure water left over percolates
designed to be biocompatible with down and recharges the aquifer.
disposal in aquatic ecosystems and Greywater may contain some infectious organisms which should be kept in mind when
are not necessarily biocompatible designing and using a system. For home systems used only by a few people already in close
with plants and soil. contact, the added infection risk from even the worst greywater system is negligible. For a
semi-public facility such as an inn, however, it is important that these general guidelines be
interpreted more rigidly:
1. Greywater must pass slowly through healthy topsoil in order for natural purification
2. The use of greywater must occur in such a way that there is no contact with it until after
it is naturally purified.
Translating these general principles into specific guidelines for a typical inn:
Don’t distribute greywater through sprinklers (airborne germs could be inhaled).
Apply greywater to roots, not foliage; especially, don’t apply greywater to the surface of
a lawn (people touching the foliage will have contact with untreated greywater).
Don’t use greywater where it comes into direct contact with fruits, even fallen fruits
(root contact with fruit trees is fine).
Don’t irrigate vegetables with greywater, and don’t apply greywater to impermeable
surfaces or to already saturated soil.
Despite this scary list, the largest threat from greywater use remains that of an attack by an
over-zealous health department official. As custodians of the public health, innkeepers have an
obligation to ensure that their systems are in accord with the above principles. However, meet-
ing this standard does not necessarily confer any immunity against regulatory hassles. Innkeep-
ers should carefully consider the possible effect on their mental health as they attempt to be the
first to educate local authorities about new trends in greywater use-and proceed accordingly.
System options--passive systems
If a greywater system is comprised of hundreds of feet of plastic pipe, large pumps and elec-
tronics, one has to wonder if the earth (and one’s pocketbook) would have been better off just
wasting water. Passive systems achieve simplicity and economy by sacrificing efficiency of
water distribution. Particularly for small flows of greywater, or areas where water supply is not
critical, a passive system is the way to go.
Drain out back
If your inn is on an outer island where people aren’t prudish about greywater use, this class of
“system” may be an option. It is also appropriate for individual home use in rural areas. If
the truth be told, this system is probably the most ecological, because they require little material
to construct and no energy to operate. Due to its simplicity, this system also requires the least
maintenance and is among the most reliable.
The drain simply goes through a trap and right out the wall into an appropriately sized
mulch-filled basin, inhabited by a clump of banana trees, blackberry bushes or similar lusty
vegetation. Venting is not necessary if the discharge end of the pipe is clear. The trap prevents
flying insects from entering. A coarse screen on the discharge end keeps vermin out if this is a
problem. The exuberant growth keeps people away from the greywater outlet. The problem of
distributing greywater evenly is largely sidestepped by not combining flows in the first place;
each fixture waters its own area.
A more civilized, but less trouble-free, variation is to run water into a length of 4 perfo-
rated pipe buried 18” deep in a planter. This is a good solution for a bathroom sink in a
detached cottage. A ten-foot length of 4” pipe holds 6.2 gallons of water-nough surge capac-
ity for a bathroom sink-and the small amount of solids from this type of fixture does not clog
it anythe soon. A 90” bend with a removable cap at the surface allows the leach field to be
derooted. This arrangement must be vented, so that water is not prevented from draining
by trapped air.
PIants over tbe leaelfield
These are not true “greywater”systems because they use blackwater as well. Also, water
comes out a little too deep for the most efficient use by plants, and it is difficult to distribute
water evenly or, for that matter, to even know where it goes. However, this type of greywater
system operates for long periods of time without needing maintenance, adds little to the cost of
a new septic system if you have to install one anyway and is legal everywhere under existing
building codes. In fact, if you decide to use greywater this way, I strongly suggest that you never
mention the word “greywater.”
If you have a septic system and you know where the leach fields are, you can plant trees
there to take advantage of water and nutrients. Beprepared to deal with derooting or abandon-
ing the leachfield some day.
If you must extend or replace your septic tank leach field, consider planning and building it
especially so that it is possible to deroot it. This can be done by running 90” bends from key
points to the surface and capping them with a removable cap (run the plans by your local
derooting service). To get much water use benefit, you also want to plan so that distribution of
water is as even as possible through the system. Use a distribution box, or a “hydrosplitter”(see
Resources), to apportion water between the different leach fields. Run water in non-perforated
pipes between areas where you want it to be reused and run perforated sections dead level
using a transit or water level.
Settling tank and leach fields
This system is similar to “plants over the leach field.” It so closely resembles a conventional
septic tank system that it usually can be passed off as one. In fact, this is a septic tank, with two
differences: 1) no toilets drain into it; and 2) the leach field is shallower and routed so that plant
roots can easily access water. It also conforms to the requirements of most of the new greywater
laws. Filtration is accomplished by gravity. This is my personal favorite among legal greywater
systems, because it requires no energy to operate and is so low-maintenance. Also, any of these
“septic-tank-like”systems can be built by a combination of normal contractors, although they
may think some of the modifications are a little crazy.
The obstacles to the efficient use of greywater are its low pressure, which makes it difficult to
distribute evenly over a wide area, and its suspended solids, which clog most irrigation fittings.
A well-designed active system achieves efficient distribution by abandoning simplicity and low
cost. If water volume is large, it will be nearly impossible to reuse it efficiently without an active
system. If the area to be irrigated is uphill from greywater fixtures, you don’t have much choice.
A word of advice-if you go this route, I’d resign myself to spending some real money
(several thousand dollars) and then do it. A half-hearted active system based on inferior machinery,
concept or construction is sure to fail far too often. The best active systems to date employ a
filter that is automaticallybackwashed. Water flow is separated into a large stream of water with
little solids, ready for distribution through underground drip irrigation, and a small flow of thick
backwash water, which is routed to the septic tank or sewer.
Personally, I feel a little uneasy about the useful lifespan of underground drip tubing, but
the few years it has been in use so far for irrigating with greywater have not born this fear out-
so long as the filter works. You supposedly can clear the stuff with a high-pressure blast of
freshwater or a periodic acid rinse. You will want to have this type of system designed and
installed by someone who is specifically a greywater contractor (see Resources).
For each of these systems, except the first, plumbing that allows water to drain to the outside of
the building is conventional except in a few respects. First, toilet water is in separate pipes from
all greywater sources. If you replumb, I recommend running greywater in separate pipes to the
outside, even if you plan to join them there. This gives you much greater flexibility to add a
greywater system in the future for less added cost. For most systems, diverter valves should be
used to enable greywater to be routed to the septic tank or sewer, in case the soil is water-
logged, the system is down or you want to use some nasty cleaners that you don’t want on your
An intelligent plumber unfamiliar with greywater can successfully install greywater collec-
tion plumbing, but I would not advise attempting it yourself. Without the correct venting and
slope, it won’t work. Frequently, especially in retrofit greywater systems, considerable head-
scratching is necessary to figure out how to reroute drain pipes and have them flow where you
want by gravity. Also, a professional plumber’s skill is desirable to figure out the venting so that
toilet water cannot back up through a common vent pipe and into the greywater system.
In freeze-prone areas, knowledgeable local contractors can ensure that proper pre-
cautions are taken to prevent problems with the system in cold weather. For example, all
plumbing should either drain between uses, be below frost line in the soil or insulated to a
degree appropriate to the climate. If greywater freezes in the soil and accumulates, this is not
necessarily a problem, as long as runoff or extreme waterlogging does not occur when the
Cleanersfor greywater systems
Oasis Biocompatible Products, 5 San Marcos Trout Club, Santa Barbara, CA 93105;
(805) 967-3222, fax (805) 967-3229.
Oasis Greywater Booklet; 32 pages, by Art Ludwig, on many aspects of greywater
reuse. Available for $5 from Real Goods Trading Company; (800) 762-7325. They also carry
Gary Stewart, AgwaSystems, 801 S. Flower Street, Burbank, CA 91502; (800) GREY-H,O.
Well-designed high-end active greywater systems
John Hanson, Hanson Associates, Lewis Mill, 3205 Poffenberger, Jefferson, MD 21755;
(301) 371-9172. Representative for Clivus composting toilet and east coast source for grey-
Ted Adams, Fluid Systems, 2800 Painted Cave Road, Santa Barbara, CA 93105; (805) 964-
1211 (phone and fax). Greywater plumbing consultant to Santa Barbara and Los Angeles. Maker
and installer of mid-range greywater systems.
Harold Ball, Orenco Systems, 2826 Colonial Road, Roseberg, OR 97470; (503) 673-0165
Well-established information and hardware source for septic systems. Sells hydrosplitters.
t’s that time of year that the utility bills soar SO check this resource. The Energy Efficiency
Energy Efficiency and Renewable
Energy Clearinghouse I and Renewable Energy Clearinghouse (EREC) responds to phone, mail, and electronic in
quiries, including those on Energy Partnerships for a Strong Economy initiatives. Inquiries to
EREC range from simple requests for information to complex technical queries and requests for
energy-related business development assistance.
EREC has information available on the following topics:
Caulking and Weather-stripping
Fans and Ventilation
Home Energy Audits
Insulation Materials and Strategies
*Passive Solar Home Design
Small Renewable Energy Systems
(Photovoltaics, Wind, Hydropower, Solar)
Solar Water Heating
Space Heating Systems
*Tips for Saving Energy
Water Heating Systems
All information is provided free of charge. At EREC, they dig a little deeper and look a little
longer to meet your needs.
For direct access to EREC, try one of these four options: Phone: Call 800/DOE-EREC (363-
3732). Fax: 703/893-0400.
World Wide Web users can also access EREC information on the Internet through its “sister”
service, the Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Network (EREN). EREN gives users a
gateway to information and resources from national laboratories and other organizations. Check
out their site: http://www.eren.doe.gov. H
Green rooms = money
F uturist August St. John, at an Oates & Bredfeldt-sponsored meeting, spoke of two
trends worth heeding: green rooms and technology (faxes, computers, phone modems).
Afterward a couple of innkeepers sidled up to PAII staff and asked, “Justwhat is a green
room?” Ed. note: Little did we realize that, with all of our talk about individual environmental
issues, we failed to discuss what is happening in the hotel world in the “green room.”l
Most of you already are “greehing”your inns without reaping the promotional benefits. In
setting up any green program, remember that bywords are reuse, recycle, reduce.
Use natural fabrics.
Install low-flush toilets, low-flow showerheads and sink-faucet water restrictors. Keep
Use china, cloth and glasses rather than plastic, Styrofoam or paper.
0 Recycling bottles, cans and newspapers have become routine for many people. Use a
separate container for recyclable containers. Even flight attendants collect newspapers.
0 Inferior soaps are not a “natural” requirement, but what you do with the leftover soap
and how you dispense it is. Not replacing the stay-over guest’s soap daily will reduce costs as
well as benefit the environment. Give your used soap to charity. Using sink dispensers as well
as little bars of soap gives guests a choice of their own environmental direction.Eurobath dispensers
for soap and shampoo are also being used in tubs and showers. Ask your local hotel supplier.
0 A central butler’s basket of larger containers of luxury-type shampoo, conditioner, lotion,
etc. gives guests even greater service without having to provide wasteful little plastic bottles.
Give your guests an option on laundry. A Munich hotel posted this message: “Can you
vaguely guess how many tons of towels are unnecessarily washed every day in the world?
This means enormous quantities of washing powder polluting and burdening our water. Please
decide yourself and help. Towels on the floor [you could have a wicker basket1 mean, ‘please
change’; towels hung back on the rack mean, ‘I will use once more for the sake of the environ-
ment.’ Thank you.” However, be sure that you have enough towel rack space to allow wet
towels to dry.
Wood furniture is the norm in inns, not plastic. Because furnishings are often antique, the
innkeeper is not endangering rainforest woods. If you purchase new furniture, research envi-
ronmentally unaffected woods.
0 What things specifically make a green room, by hotel standards, is fresh non-smoke-
filled air. Air filters are a common item found in hotel green rooms.
Using non-toxic cleaning products is becoming easier, and even required by OSHA, to
protect employees’ health. “Simple Green” is a popular innkeeper cleaning product, but stores
and catalogs are full of others.
0 In-room Jacuzzi and wood-burning fireplaces are a quandary for environment-conscious
guests and innkeepers.
0 Use metal trashbaskets so you can avoid plastic bags in trash containers.
Convert your plastic containers and laundry baskets to metal or wicker.
Buy only containers that are recyclable.
0 Start a compost heap. If you are not in the country, anaerobic containers are available
that do not attract flies or smell.
0 Find a local organic farm or farmers’ market.
Insulate your house.
Keep your heater and air conditioner tuned and filters changed. Providing individual
room temperature control can actually reduce the cost of heating.
0 Use longer-life light bulbs. Consider installing a switch that turns on lights only when
someone is in the room.
Print all of your inn materials on recycled paper with as much post-consumer waste as
you can find and afford. Use soy ink.
Plant landscaping that doesn’t need water.
Use a drip system.
Install a laundry-water irrigation system for lawns.
The biggest challenge to becoming a green inn is education of innkeepers and staff.
Include everyone in the process. When people understand the why, the how is often not SO
difficult to implement.
Once you’re committed to creating a green roomAnn, more ways of refining this vision will
be suggested by guests and staff. But, even better, the incredible appreciation from guests
shows on the bottom line.
Some individuals will always see this movement as “nonsense.”That’s okay; keep doing it any-
way. Significant change is rarely embraced by the masses. If the white areas on the earths surface
above are darkened, the masses just might wish they had tried harder and criticized less. El
11 that is clean is not necessarily clean. That chlorine bleach or cleanser that you scrub
with is not particularly environmentally “clean.”
green and clean Do you realize that you can pump your soapy washing machine water directly on the
garden and the plants will be happy and thrive?
Do you ever wonder what you are actually breathing when climbing into a shower stall
with a powerful-smelling cleaner in hand?
Do you fret over cleaning a room where someone has been sick or you suspect someone
Do you need something that does not destroy the natural organisms in your septic system?
Old products fit new world
In past issues, innkeeping has featured lists of cleaning supplies that are natural and available at
most grocery stores. Baking soda, lemon juice, ammonia-all are useful in certain areas. Using
these, however, often provides less than satisfactory cleaning capability. And you need separate
items for different problems.
However, it is not necessary to struggle with these ultra-natural chemicals’ inability to
do the job. Long-time, environmentally-sound products such as Amway and Shakelee have
developed very effective and safe cleaning products.
Mary Wright, an Amway distributor, recently spent an afternoon demonstrating her prod-
ucts. This development in quality in worth taking note of. Ed. note: When I first used these
products 20 years ago, they did not measure up to those polluting devils I was using. This has
changed. In most cases, I find the Amway product superior to similar environmentally conscious
and unconscious grocery store products. And if I don’t find Amway products as promised, I get
my money back.]
The flexibility of Amway products is probably what’s most inviting to a super-efficient
housekeeping-innkeeper.The all-purpose cleaner, “LOC,”can be used on everything, including
chrome, porcelain, fiberglass showers and marble, even bathing newborns (something every
innkeeper needs around!).
Attendees at an Intensives workshop also recommended a non-Amway product, “Simple
Green,” as effective and versatile.
For home and inn, the defogger window cleaner, “Foaming Sea Spray,”seems ideal. Wouldn’t
guests be surprised to find their bathroom mirror is not only clean but does not steam up?
[Ed. note: Our hotel in Tokyo, during the 1991 innkeepers’ trip, had a heater behind the bath-
room mirror which kept one spot clear for shaving or makeup. I was so impressed I talked
about it for weeks!]
You can find environmentally-safe products that do a good job with your laundry, that will
safely water the lawn, that kill many germs and prevent their multiplication.
This article is not written to get you to buy one product or another, but to get you to look
at labels. Try something that not only will aid in cleaning better, but also has a conscience.
For states where OSHA is watching and checking for your use of employee-safechemicals,
see if your Amway dealer can provide a list of OSHA-acceptable products. H
Environmentally safe cleaners
8s W e find the vinegar-and-salt “recipe”you mentioned works better for copper than for brass
(works well on even the worst old copper kitchen pots).
For brass, I suggest you try a mixture of L2 liquid dish detergent and M lemon juice. Put
it on, wait a few moments, rub it off gently, and rinse with warm water, Scarcely any rubbing is
necessary...and there’s none of that miserable black that Brasso always produces. I use this
mixture only once a year with our decorative pieces (we have a lot of brass things...kapsa tray,
huge gong, Saudi coffee pots, etc.), then, when everything is dry, I wipe on a thin coat of Turtle
Wax (yes, the same kind you’d use on your car) to keep the oxygen away from the surface for
months. (I do not like lacquers on brass since the lacquer chips eventually or scratches let the
oxygen reach the metal underneath, and they are terrible to get rid of, which you always must.)
Both of these concoctions work chemically as mild electrolysis, and are akin to the method
of cleaning silver that involves a few tablespoons of TSP (trisodium phosphate) and a sheet of
aluminum foil in a sinkful of warm water. This last one was the subject of a Consumer Reports
article many years ago. That report indicated that you actually remove less of your metal
surface with the TSP and aluminum than if you used even the most expensive commercial (all
slightly abrasive) materials. Isn’t it great to find “old-fashioned”remedies that are environmen-
tally friendly, EASY, and cheap!!?
Like many country places, we must sustain our own septic system, so we had a direct
personal interest in watching what cleaners we used long before environmental issues became
so politically correct. And with a chemical engineer in the family, we invariably investigate such
things rather thoroughly. Hope these little hints that we’ve come to take for granted may be
useful to you. (Brenda Dewar, Roseneath B&B, PEI, Canada)
indows are one of the largest sources of unwanted heat loss and gain in buildings.
Window films and upgrades:
W Even the best windows provide less insulation than the worst walls. Air leakage and
incoming solar radiation add to the heat transfer burden of windows. Despite this,
the opportunity to lower a building’s energy demand through window upgrades is often over-
looked. The least energy-efficient window systems are old, single-pane glass windows, which
are found in 68% of U.S. commercial buildings.
Installing window films can be a quick, cost-effective way to improve energy
efficiency.Window films are thin layers of polyester, metallic coatings and adhesives applied to
the interior of windows. They save energy in two ways: by limiting summertime heat gain from
solar radiation and by reducing wintertime heat loss. Window films are most effective on the
south and west sides of buildings, where solar radiation is greatest. The treatment is applied to
existing windows, lasts seven to twelve years, and has a short payback period.
Buildings with inefficient, single-pane windows may find window replacements to be
cost-effective. While window films primarily save energy by blocking solar radiation, newer
technologies increase building energy efficiency in other ways. Low-emissivity (low-e) window
coatings and inert gases enclosed between window panes provide better insulation. Spectrally-
selective glass adjusts to changing light levels, so that interior spaces can use natural light
instead of artificial light (this technique is known as daylighting). Research continues on win-
dows that will respond to both changing light and temperature levels. Solar windows, which
contain imbedded photovoltaic cells to transform incoming sunlight into electricity, are also
In addition to window films and replacements, there are other low-cost options to reduce
incoming solar radiation. Installing either interior or exterior blinds, shades or overhangs is
surprisingly effective in limiting unwanted heat gain. A comprehensive method to maximize
incoming light while minimizing heat gain could include window shading, reflecting light into
the building using light-colored surfaces, and even planting deciduous vegetation to block the
sun’s summertime heat while permitting its warmth in the winter. Shades and/or light sensors
that automaticallyadjust to changing light levels is another way to save energy through daylighting.
Window films and upgrades are part of the five-state ENERGY STAR Buildings Upgrade
Approach. By reducing your building’s energy load, energy-efficient windows improve the
balance between a building’s heating and cooling systems, which provides opportunities for
HVAC downsizing and further energy savings. For more information on window films and
upgrades, or about other load reductions, please see Stage 3 of the ENERGY STAR Buildings
Upgrade Manual on the Web at: http://www.epa.gov/appdstar/buildings/manual/index.
To register, or for more information, please call the toll-free ENERGY STAR Hotline at
888/STAR YES (888/782-7037).
Web site information
ENERGY STAR Buildings and Green Lights: http://www.epa.gov/buildings
ENERGY STAR Small Business: http://www.epa.gov/smallbiz
Bulletin Home Page: http://www.epa. gov/appdstar/news
Ally Services and Products (ASAP) El
What the world needs ne might think that recycled paper is recycled paper, right?You just ask for it when you
go to the printer and they will have the right stuff. Wrong! Or, you are right, but there is
now.. .recycled paper more to it than that.
Much of this article was excerpted The first paper, invented in China in 105 AD, was made from reclaimed material-rags and
from an article i Garbage, The
n discarded fishing nets-as well as hemp and China grass. Even North America’s first paper mill,
Practical Journal for the Environment, built in 1690 in Philadelphia, used recycled rags to manufacture paper.
titled “RecycledPaper” by Alan Davis As the demand for paper grew during the mid-18th century, the supply of cotton rags and
and Susan Kinsella, published by discarded linen dwindled. As the “rag wars” intensified, Europeans spend the next hundred
Old HouseJourml Corporation, years searching for a new fiber source for paper. Wood fiber became the most widely available
2 Main St., Gloucester,MA 01930. ingredient for making paper.
Today, many of us try to make environmentally sound decisions in our every-day paper
usage. Using recycled paper, a high-quality product that cuts waste, pollution and energy
consumption, doesn’t deplete as much of our forests as do conventional wood-pulping
Recycled paper is made from wastepaper generated by paper mills, envelope makers,
print shops, homes and businesses. If the wastepaper has ink on it, it must be de-inked to
separate contaminants from the paper’s fibers. The prepared fibers can then be made into new
paper. Only the process for preparing the fiber is different from recycled paper. Otherwise,
papermaking is essentially the same for both recycled and non-recycled papers.
Why use recycled paper?
One ton of paper made from 100% wastepaper, rather than from virgin fiber, saves
17 trees, 4100 kwh of energy (enough to power the average home for six months), three cubic
yards of landfill space and taxpayer dollars that would have been used for waste-disposal costs.
Recent studies show that paper takes up as much as 50% of our landfills. Much of our
wastepaper, if properly sorted, can be reused to make high-grade printing and office papers.
But recycling programs are little more than trash collection as long as there are few buyers for
Not only does recycled paper protect natural resources, but it’s a less-toxic papermaking
process than conventional practices. The manufacture of recycled paper employs fewer
chemicals and far less bleaching. It is also the most ecologically safe way to handle potential
toxic materials in wastepaper.
The term “post-consumer waste” is the operative word in the recycled paper world. A number
of definitions abound for recycled paper. Papermakers used to argue that all paper included
recycled material because it contained “mill broke”-the scraps produced in the papermaking
process. However, while it’s important that these. scraps get reused, a mill would go out of
business if it didn’t use them.
The wastepaper that needs to get used, however, is post-consumer waste, discarded home
or office paper, that would have been burned or buried if not recycled. All recycled paper does
necessarily contain post-consumer waste.
No standard definition for recycled paper exists. Several states and the federal government
have issued their own widely varying definitions. The EPA minimum-content guideline allows
some reused mill wastepaper to be counted as recycled paper content. EPA guidelines are so
loosely defined that all recycled paper purchased by the government could meet this standard
and still not reduce the nation’s solid waste problem by even one truckload.
Several states have used stricter recycled-paper definitions. They have been successful
not only at buying recycled paper, but also in stimulating the development of new papers.
Oregon‘s definition counts as recycled content only those materials that have actually left
the paper mills. Higher rankings such as New Yorks and California’sinclude de-inked and
There is no reason why an innkeeper cannot find recycled paper that will meet their
brochure and other paper needs. Today’s recycled paper comes in almost every grade imagin-
able-including bond, offset, copier paper, computer paper, coated paper and beautiful text,
cover stocks and designer brochures. It comes in bright whites and a wide range of colors, in
sheets and rolls for printers’ presses. It’s strong and versatile and meets the same technical
specifications as non-recycled paper.
Okay, there is one reason you may hesitate to use recycled paper. It can cost you a bit
more, but only a bit. Tracy Winters, who publishes cookbooks for inn associations, indi-
cates that the cost for recycled paper over non-recycled for the Indiana State Association
cookbook he produced was just $19 more per 1000 printed or 1.9C each. (Winters Publishing,
When PAII went to the local quick-print shop to request recycled paper in photocopy
work for small runs of publications, the request was readily met and at the same price
What will make recycled paper more available?
Alan Davis and Susan Kinsella of Conservatree Paper company see the following steps leading
to a sound recycling economy.
Standard definition for recycled paper.
Government procurement of recycled paper. If the federal government sends a
clear message that true recycling is the way to go, the paper industry will invest in new, larger
equipment that reduces costs to make recycled paper.
*Commercial procurement. Printers and corporations purchase most of the paper in
the US.When these major players start buying recycled paper on a large scale, the paper
industry will move quickly to respond.
*Builda world-class recycling mill. The paper industry is currently building two mil-
lion tons of additional high-grade papermaking capacity over the next three years, but none of
this includes recycling capacity. Several years ago, two dozen high-grade de-inking mills were
making fine paper. Now there are only four.
When the day comes that a recycling supermill is built to compete with the huge machines
making today’s non-recycled white paper, then the industry will quickly change. When re-
cycled paper is finally on a level playing field, it will be obvious that it is a less expensive
papermaking process than non-recycled papermaking, and virgin mills will quickly adapt to
preserve their market share.
What can one little inn do?
We are talking David and Goliath here, and you know the outcome of that story! If each of the
15,000-20,000 B&B/country inns in North America go to their printers and demand recycled
paper for the next printing of their brochures, their printers will begin to take notice.
If the recycled logo shows on inn brochures, guests will take notice.
If innkeepers talk about recycling in their parlors or at their breakfast tables to guests
(who often are influential in community decision-making), this commitment will spread be-
yond “one little innkeeper.”