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Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Making any place Sustainable



There is so much anyone can do about becoming Green, you can take the smallest steps and you can still see results.

I wrote soome articles about the subject, and I would say it's a list of rewards we got for accomplishing a "GREEN" establishment. See for yourself.

How to get your house green in small steps

and

Making our Historic Inn Sustainable,


For those in the industry,

"You are invited to sign up for a FREE subscription to the lodging industry’s only weekly environmental news publication. (See sample below.) You will never be charged to receive it. How does one sign up? Go to www.greenlodgingnews.com and fill in your e-mail address in the form on the right hand side of the home page."


We wish everyone a successful 2009!


Tuesday, December 16, 2008

The Usonian Inn Awarded the Prestigious Green Eco-Leaf Rating

With all what's going on here, approaching our "Green" transformation Phase I to an end, I received a great message I am attaching bellow


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

For more information contact:Carolina Dursina at 608-588-2323, or by mail at info@usonianinn.com

Spring Green's The Usonian Inn Awarded the Prestigious Green Eco-Leaf Rating

The Usonian Inn has earned a 3 Green Eco-Leaf Rating this week by completing a 70 point comprehensive eco-audit survey administered by iStayGreen.org - the online social network of environmentally friendly travel.

Spring Green, WI December 17, 2008 - The Usonian Inn becomes the 1st lodging property in Spring Green, WI to receive the Green Eco-Leaf Rating. Currently The Usonian Inn is first of the
hotels in Spring Green (http://www.istaygreen.org/getcityus.cfm/city/Spring Green/st/WI) to complete the comprehensive environmental audit administered by iStayGreen.org. The property earned 3 Green Eco-Leafs, which is a "Great" rating.

All Green Eco-Leaf Rated properties are committed to environmentally friendly initiatives. Richard Varner, founder of iStayGreen.org states: "Simple changes helped The Usonian Inn earn their 3 Green Eco-Leaf Rating and become the 1st Spring Green lodging property rated. It's great to see they're intent on insuring a more sustainable future in travel."

To insure a more sustainable future some of the eco-initiatives put in-place at the property include: low energy lighting initiatives are in-place - energy efficient lighting is installed when replacing old lighting sheets reuse option for multiple night stays - towels reuse option for multiple night stays- eco-initiatives are actively promoted to the public - water conservation initiatives are in-place - water conserving devices are installed when replacing old fixtures - recycle containers are located inside guest rooms - recycle containers are located around the property common areas - recycled paper products (bath tissue, facial tissue, paper towels, napkins, etc) are utilized - environmentally friendly chemicals are used in cleaning - environmentally friendly detergents are used for laundry - environmentally friendly chemicals are used for carpet cleaning - the entire property is non-smoking - cotton bedding and towels (non-synthetic) are utilized - bulk amenities and soaps are dispensed in guest rooms - plus much more. The complete audit can be viewed at The Usonian Inn Environmental Self-Audit (http://www.istaygreen.org/ecoaudit.cfm/hid/90002346).

The lodging industry recognizes the need to create a sustainable future for travel. While the The Usonian Inn is the 1st Spring Green property to achieve the Green Eco-Leaf Rating, it is anticipated that many other properties in the area that are promoting eco-friendly initiatives also will seek to be rated. This eco-rating allows the public to know the specific environmental initiatives in place at a property, which enables the environmentally conscious traveler to make informed lodging decisions.

For additional information about The Usonian Inn contact them at 608-588-2323 or visit
www.usonianinn.com. To find out how a property can earn the Green Eco-Leaf Rating, contact Richard Varner at 602-864-5553 or visit http://www.iStayGreen.org.

About The Usonian Inn:

The Inn is Spring Green's first original Taliesin inspired inn. It was built in the 1950’s but provides the accommodations of the 21st century style. It's perfect for FLW's fans, it's classic, comfortable, quiet, and combines the ambiance and nostalgia of the old era with a personalized service of today's life style.

Contact:

The Usonian Inn
608-588-2323

info@usonianinn.co


About iStayGreen.org:
With iStayGreen's rapidly growing searchable directory of 100,000 lodging properties and over 3,000 already Green Eco-Leaf Rated, it's easy for anyone to quickly locate and compare "Green" lodging worldwide. To earn a Green Eco-Leaf Rating, hotels must complete a thorough self-audit, and then are rated based on their eco-initiatives. The site also provides an effective way for hotel owners and operators to promote all of the good "Green" things they are doing. Visitors to the site can create their own profiles, add friends, recommend properties, upload photos, form groups, create and respond to forum threads, make reservations, and add comments and reviews to hotel profiles.

Contact:

Richard Varner
602-864-5553
rvarner@istaygreen.org


Thursday, December 11, 2008

"GREENING" My Place!



Ah...GREEN, when I say the word, I think of CLEAN!
Green is also my color of preference!

It's always great to share your story; someone might learn something from it!

I. Even the 1st year when we took over, the one small thing we took care off was the light bulbs - CFL (compact Fluorescent Lights). They were replaced with the CFL in all fixtures that we could fit them in, indoor or outdoor lighting.

II. Recycling was always a passion of mine, I could call myself a "recycler" fanatic. We determined that we will continue our habits, no matter were we live. (P.S. - I am also making arts out of recycle goods)

TIPS (for the house):
  • Invest in a dishwasher, you will be using less water, detergent and time to accomplish the task!
  • Do not place stove, dishwasher or other heat producing units next to the refrigerator or freezer
  • One common thing is, people overlook using cloth rags instead of towel paper; it's still a better option even so you have to do laundry - or use sham-wow!
  • Find a better cleaner - non-toxic, organic
III. I immediately implemented the bed sheets/towels program,


For those that are not familiar with this: if a room is occupied more then one night, we ask customers to request when they want the bed sheets changed and for used towel to drop them in the shower area, like this I know to leave fresh towels for them. (this saves you on laundry, detergent, water and labor.) - for more info visit here!


IV. Replacing old windows, imagine they were the originals, one pane window on old frame....
We looked for an energy star product and had the job done the 1st winter here, double pane, locally produced...
I can FEEL the difference now!

Concluding after one busy season, we decided to remodel the bathroom, however, I call this a DESIGNER MAKE OVER - it is so much more then just deep skin cleaning and having a new shower area.

Improvements of the bathrooms where to start fresh, everything went out the door and the new and sustainable products were replacing those old things.

MORE savings tips:
  • replacing soap bars with liquid soaps
  • install a toilet that - preferably, has a dual flush, (I went from a 4gal/use to 1.6gal/use)
  • place recycle bins in your work and kitcken area, this is a good reminder.
  • use a low flow shower head that can save you some money and give you even more then you expect
Overall, I felt like I had 2 Full Time Jobs, even so I like to call this establishment my business.
The East wing was finished this past spring and now we are almost done with the West wing, as I like to call it.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Classic, comfortable, quite



PHASE I - Designer make over!

After all, we wanted to make some upgrades to better the property and to better service our patrons.

With that in mind, we had to sit down and set: Goals, steps to follow, then implement them.
As I call it Phase I, the bathroom area was the 1st to be redone, and when we looked at the project we decided then "EVERYTHING MUST GO!" It was not worth to replace just some of the "things" - it was rather everything.
So, the entire bathroom was redesigned and new fixtures ordered, found the contractor to commit to the project and we were ready to roll.
The possibility of finishing the project before summer was slim, we went on to take care of the East Wing first. Six rooms were ready for my busy season. That was a great relief!


I went beyond awareness and show people how to get involved. People want to know how they can participate to help your efforts in helping the environment. I showed them how my
hotel progressively got greener.


We printed and place out New Green Policy in our Guests Service Book, that is in each room. I talk about my environmental commitment publicly and often to the consumers who value it the most, and other that are not yet decided to commit to sustainability.

During the season, as I had people from all over the World, some Australians shared we us their experience, how advanced they country is in becoming "GREEN" and they like to see that in other places like the USA.

Over all, the input is great and people feel treated special at our property.
or destination is getting involved, and what they can do to get involved, and how their participation or stay makes a difference.




From the desk of Carolina Dursina's,

Best wishes for a wonderful Holiday Season!


Sunday, December 7, 2008

Taking Charge of our Business




When we took over this property - The Usonian Inn, - Frank Lloyd Wright, architectural design building, we vowed to make it a sustainable establishment.

First year, I was just learning the business, and I pulled it off; we finished strong - even better then what was happening here before. Great occupancy rate and customers satisfaction as well.

We started with raising the standard this property could offer, to enhance its potential, to meet our expectations first and create more comfort to our valuable guests.
All rooms have refrigerators, microwaves and individually coffee makers.
The TV service was upgraded to DirecTV, 200 channels with game lounge and non commercial movies, Cinemax, Showtime, HBO, FLIX, and sport package, football, tennis, etc.;
We implemented the provision of High Speed Wireless Internet Service throughout the building, at no cost to our patrons. (previously no service was offered at all)
A full package of business services - fax, printer,copy - is offered as well.

This was then,...

Read more of my blogs to follow our progression on the great improvements and the DESIGNER MAKE OVER!