Okay, that doesn’t sound like the most appetizing thought, since nobody wants bodily fluids going anywhere near food. It all makes sense, however, when you figure out how it works. The Greenhouse project, designed by Joost Bakker, is an example of how a restaurant can become waste-free. Aside from using eco-friendly and recycled materials for the structure–including ECO-ply plywood and soybean-based glue–the electricity of the restaurant is powered by canola oil. So where does the urine come in? The restaurant’s toilets are specially made to collect urine, which is then diluted and then used as fertilizer for the restaurant’s crop of canola. It’s a clever, unusual idea which would be nice if it were done on a wider scale. We can’t help wondering about the state of the toilets, though, and how the urine collection is done or if the process promotes cleanliness in the bathroom.
Okay, so the entire world still has to catch on to the idea of becoming more eco-friendly and doing things in a sustainable manner. Fortunately, there are plenty of places that are making an effort to treat the environment better, although it’s too bad that more often than not, they are often novelties rather than the norm. Tripbase Travel has a short list of eco-friendly places on the planet, including details on what made them green.
As much as I like staying in hotels when traveling, a bed-and-breakfast has quickly become my favorite choice in accommodations these days. I love being in a homey setting, sitting down for breakfast, and having a chat with the owners. If you’re heading to Ireland any time soon and are planning to book your stay in a B&B, you might as well stay in an eco-friendly one. B&B Ireland, a website which contains an extensive list of B&Bs; in various parts of Ireland and allows you to make online bookings, has now categorized its B&Bs and included an Eco-Friendly category.
Cecile suggested we check out Warrup’s Farm in Redding, Connecticut. Yesterday was the first day for collecting sap from the maple trees to make syrup. The farm is certified organic, and one can apply to their Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) partnership program.
The collecting buckets, or taps as they call them. That’s the sugarhouse in the background.
Candy is just sap boiled to higher temperatures than syrup.
the spout and bucket
One of the holes from prior years.
Drilling a hole in the tree
Since getting fit and losing weight is on a lot of people’s list of New Year’s resolutions, you might as well do so in a healthful, eco-friendly location. Fortunately for residents of Encinitas, California, a new fitness studio has opened its doors: the Greenasium, which offers everything from personal training, cardio workouts, yoga, and circuit classes.
The Greenasium also has a no-plastic policy, so unlike other gyms that provide people with plastic cups in case they forget their own drinking bottles, you can have a drink of water from the gym’s ceramic mugs. Keep in mind that they also don’t sell energy drinks and bottled water.
I heard about this “epically green” yoga spot in Ireland. It is The Clare Island Yoga Retreat Centre in Ballytoughey County Mayo on the west coast. They serve organic meals, and offer meditation and Ashtanga yoga classes. You will stay in a traditional cottage renovated with natural, earth-friendly materials. The cottages use solar panels to heat water and a wood-burning stove for heating.
While writing an article about the Philippine Green Building Council, I learned that they have teamed up with the European Union’s Switch Asia program to launch and implement the Zero Carbon Resorts project. It sounds like an excellent project, and it’s currently underway in two El Nido resorts in Palawan, Philippines. Changes are afoot in these resorts, starting with making the switch from the use of fossil fuels to renewable energy. Recycling will also be implemented, and as with any new program, training will also be provided for the staff of the resorts so they can fully understand the goals of the project. It’s still in its infancy, so it will be nice to see if it works out and if other resorts can be encouraged to make the same changes. After all, it’s not exactly a good idea to go to a seemingly clean and unspoiled destination and then find out that the resort or hotel where you’re staying is actually polluting the entire place.
We just love B&Bs here at Green Unlimited, so every now and then, we’ll be posting about some eco-friendly B&Bs around the U.S. and around the world as well. If you know of a great B&B you think we should know about or you own an eco-friendly B&B, we would love it if you could write to us!
>Planning a visit to London anytime soon? Here’s a tip in case you didn’t already know: Lodging in Central London costs an arm and a leg. Here’s another tip: There’s an organic B&B in Ealing in West London called B&B London Organic. The rates are reasonable and the facilities look divine, plus you get a welcome tray of organic biscuits, chocolates, and teas. The food features fresh and natural produce, and you also have vegetarian and vegan menu options if you need it. Don’t forget the linen made from organic cotton, too. And if you’re worried about accessibility to Central London, you’ll be pleased to know that you can hop on either the Central or District Line; Central’s particularly convenient, stopping at Notting Hill Gate, Bond Street, and Oxford Circus.
Photo from the B&B London Organic website