Thursday, December 1, 2011

MOUNTAIN SONG INN....PROUDLY PART OF VIRGINIA: GREEN



Mountain Song Inn in Floyd County, Virginia is proud to be a part of Virginia: Green. We recycle all glass, cans, newspapers, and cardboard, plus use cloth napkins, dish towels, and cloth cleaning rags. You will find no commercial water bottles, or Styrofoam  cups or plastic glasses and we have a huge compost bin.  We are always looking for new ways to reuse.

Make a reservation for a visit soon...we are beautiful during all the seasons.



Virginia: Green

VAGreenGraceManorInn
Virginia has been a leader in encouraging businesses in the tourism sector to be eco-friendly, in its statewide initiative Virginia Green. That means if you strive to be green and are planning a vacation, or just want to support businesses with that same philosophy, Virginia has made it easy to find green restaurants, hotels conference centers and wineries.“This is for people who want a choice, and more and more people want that choice, when there is a choice to stay at a place or eat at a place that undertakes recycling, minimizes the use of Styrofoam, composts left over foods,” says Richard Lewis, a spokesman for Virginia Tourism Corp. “The entire city of Virginia Beach was certified as Virginia Green. They have so many places within that city that are green and the city is trying to promote its places to be green. So you’ve got everything from that size to a mom and pop coffeehouse.”
Tourism providers such as tourist attractions, restaurants and hotels voluntarily submit to certain guidelines to be certified by the state as Virginia Green. The core requirements for hotels for example includes recycling and waste reduction, optional linen service, energy efficiency, water conservation, and have green support when they have meetings and conferences, such as recycling.
Restaurants that are Virginia Green follow guidelines that include recycling and waste reduction, recycling grease, minimize use of disposables, energy efficiency and water conservation. Wineries that are Virginia Green recycle and reduce waste, minimize use disposables and pesticides, herbicides, fungicides, and fertilizers and are energy efficient and conserve water.
“It is very unique and a couple states are following in our footsteps,” says Tom Griffin, who runs Virginia Green, and is helping neighboring states model after Virginia Green. “Our program is set up to recognize folks for having some core green activities in place in order to qualify. But then what is really unique about our program is we make people go through our full check list of idea, so we’re educating facilities along the way.”
Virginia Green also creates a web page for each participant so that it helps these businesses market themselves at the state level. “And because it’s a tourism-based program, it’s a marketing side of it, so it becomes directly interfaced with Virginia is For Lovers,” Griffin says.
Consumers are encouraged to be engaged and give constructive feedback on the Virginia Green website. Virginia Green started in 2007 and the focus has been on working with businesses in the tourism sector to get them certified and to educate them about the new program.
“It has really taken off from the facility standpoint,” Griffin says. “This website has been there, but it hasn’t been fully focused on marketing yet. It’s only been in last few months that we launched this consumer website that is actively engaging. We have spent our time engaging the industry. You talk to any hotel in this state and they know there is a Virginia Green program.”
Right now, there are 1,100 businesses that are Virginia Green, which includes about 500 hotels and the others are restaurants, attractions, conference centers, festivals, events and visitor centers. The program has been instrumental in offering these businesses a place to go for help in going green.
“We help people find solutions,” Griffin says. “Not everyone has composting and things like that.” A restaurant can produce upwards of 1,400 bottles a week and many restaurants in the past did not recycle these bottles. Griffin recalls doing the math with one restaurateur recently who counted over the last 12 years he probably threw away one millions bottles that were easily recyclable, into the landfill. And that was just one restaurant, Griffin pointed out.
Griffin practices what he preaches. With food scraps that make up much of our trash, composting offers an easy solution to lessening the amount tossed in landfills. Griffin has a 50-gallon compost bin at his home and says it’s simple. “All I do is turn it over with a pitch fork from time to time and I water it like a plant,” he says. “Sometimes I come home from an event with a random bag of stuff and it turns into compost in a matter of weeks.”
Here are some businesses that are Virginia Green…
Virginia Green Lodging
Bed and Breakfast Association of Virginia has over 200 member inns and many of these B&B’s are Virginia Green. If you want to explore the Blue Ridge Mountains to the Chesapeake Bay, check out some of their participating B&B’s.
Best Western Plus Waynesboro Inn and Suites Conference Center’s website prominently shows the Virginia Green logo, so you know when staying here, they strive to be green. This new Best Western opened in 2007, is 100% non-smoking and pet-friendly and offers mountain views. It’s just five minutes from the Blue Ridge Parkway and Skyline Drive.
It’s nice to know that Big Meadows Lodge in Shenandoah National Park offers tourists a green option, especially when they’re enjoying nature in our splendid national park system. Located on Skyline Drive, there are no in-room phones and WIFI, offering tourists a true getaway and a step back in time to a lodge built in 1939 by the CC and mountain laborers.
Hilton Garden Inn in downtown Richmond is a 100% non-smoking hotel, which was also the first hotel in the area to compost all its food waste. And for a major hotel, that’s a lot of compost that will go back to the enrich the land. In the first month alone, they diverted more than 2,000 pounds of food scrap to compost.
Virginia Green Dining
When you go to the Fork in the Alley Brick Oven Pub website, one third of the page proudly explains what the Virginia Green program is. They want you to know they strive to be eco-friendly in addition to offering classic pub food, that also includes their own specials like brick oven smores.
L’Auberge Provencale is an award-winning French restaurant in the Shenandoah Valley that also strives to be green. And it’s just one hour from Washington D.C. so this little French country inn in Virginia also offers a perfect weekend getaway.
Taste Unlimited on the oceanfront in Virginia Beach has been a local favorite for more than 35 years. They offer Lunch All Day gourmet sandwiches on fresh-baked bread and house-made dressings. They also offer the area’s largest selection of gift baskets and wines from Virginia and elsewhere.
Virginia Green WineriesThe list of Virginia Green wineries is much shorter than their counterparts in dining and lodging, so we’ll list them all here. They are Barrel Oak Winery,Cooper VineyardsDuCard VineyardsStinson VineyardsSunset Hill VineyardsThe Williamsburg WineryWest Wind Farm Vineyard & WineryWisteria Farm and Vineyard.

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