Friday, October 30, 2009

Living Green at The Edward Harris House

In a couple of days I'm heading out of town on business. Fortunately for me, this trip will combine business with pleasure as I'm going to one of my favorite inns in the country and will have the opportunity to catch up with the innkeeper, who I like to think of as a friend. I found The Edward Harris House by chance several years ago and since then have never considered staying anywhere else when I'm in Rochester, New York.

Aside from the magnificent historic inn with its rich decor, the welcoming ambience invites you to unwind from the moment you cross the threshold. I find stress literally dissolving as I settle in.

Going online to make my reservations, I was pleasantly surprised by the inn's updated website. Browsing through the photos made me 'homesick' for a place that refreshes me with each visit. I found that my favorite room (Emily's Suite) was available and I reserved it.

As I was revisiting the Inn online, I was pleased to see a section titled, "Living Green at The Edward Harris House." Yes, the Alvarezes have chosen to go green at the inn and I couldn't be happier.

What this means for the EHH is that they are using only non-toxic and natural cleaners and have made the switch to CFLs (Compact Fluorescent Light bulbs), which use approximately 75% less energy than standard bulbs. They are also serving organic and natural foods and supporting local farmers whenever possible.

Guests are encouraged to make eco-friendly choices as well by recycling all cans, bottles and newspapers; turning off lights, televisions, air conditioners and fans when they are not in their rooms; and reusing their linens and towels during their stay.

The Edward Harris House just crept up a notch in my book....which I didn't think was possible. I fell in love with the inn long before I started caring as much about the environment, but knowing they care too just makes me love the inn even more.

The next time you're booking a hotel or B&B, look into their policies on environmental issues. More and more hotel chains are going green, and it's good to know some B&Bs are following suit. Call and speak with the innkeepers -- ask them about their policies. Perhaps they've never thought about choosing greener options and your phone call will be the catalyst for change.

If you're traveling to the Rochester, New York area, look no further than The Edward Harris House ( and tell Susan the Green Grandma sent you!

Book green when you travel. You'll get even more out of your time away...I guarantee it.

Keeping it green,


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