Friday, April 26, 2013

Conneen/Jarrell Wedding

Congrats Stephanie & James! Click here to check out their wedding on 
United with Love.
Photo Credit: Amanda Dorian Photography

Friday, April 5, 2013

"Going Green: A Mindset that Saves Money, Makes a Better World"

What does "being green" mean?  For me, it's not about crunching numbers to determine my energy or waste reduction or making substantial investments in new EnergyStar appliances.  For me, "being green" is just a state of mind, an extra step in the thought process.  Before I throw something in the trash, before I make a new purchase, before I grab a new piece of paper just to jot down a telephone number... I stop and think.

This being said, when it came to starting up my business, I was more concerned with getting the doors open than I was about "being green."  It wasn't until I began to see the amount of waste that is produced in the hospitality industry, that I realized my folly.

It pained me to throw out the small bottles of bath amenities after just one use and to count the cases of water we went through in a week.  Realizing there was an opportunity, we started making changes to reduce the amount of waste.  We installed amenity dispensers in the showers, replaced plastic bottled water with reusable glass bottles, changed to cloth hand towels in the bathrooms and kitchens, and much more.

Now, the "Reduce, Reuse, Recycle" philosophy is something that is embedded in our daily operations.  Not only are our employees trained on our green practices, caterers who work at Stevenson Ridge are as well.  The special events industry creates a lot of waste, and so we have implemented a few policies such as requiring recycling, permitting only recyclable plastics and prohibiting disposable linens.

We also take advantage of the opportunity to educate inn guests.  Signage is located in each cottage explaining Stevenson Ridge's commitment to green practices and ways the guest can help such as reusing towels, turning lights off when they leave, and using recycling containers.

From a business perspective, it is exciting to say that what we do actually saves us money.  Although we spend a little extra for recycling pick up, energy-efficient light bulbs and upgrading to low-flow shower heads, we more than make up by reducing our energy and water usage, eliminating unnecessary purchases and repurposing supplies such as frayed bed linens for cleaning towels.

For 2012, we estimated a savings of more than $4,000 from just turning the heat down and hot water off in between guests stays, and using bulk amenities instead of disposables.  For a small business, this is significant savings.  However, we are always looking at more ways to better our efforts and save a little money.

This post was published by Jennifer LaRock in the Fredericksburg Regional Chamber of Commerce's April Chamberlink.  Jennifer is a proud member of the Green Business Initiatives Advisory Committee and assists the Chamber in promoting green business practices.

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Adrian Cabin Getaway (A Guest's Story and Review)

We had the pleasure of sitting down to chat with a weekend guest and writer and share the history of Stevenson Ridge.  Click here to see what she had to say about her stay in the Adrian Cabin.