Other Green Choices

Big Mill B& B innkeeper Chloe Tuttle dries sheets on a clothesline.
Big Mill B& B innkeeper Chloe Tuttle dries sheets on a clothesline. (By Stacey Haines)
Wednesday, May 9, 2007

While many B&Bs don't have the same in-depth eco-practices as Brightwood Vineyard and Farm, more innkeepers, such as those at the properties below, are doing their part to be green:

* The Big Mill B&B in Williamston, N.C., was eco-friendly long before the term became a buzzword. "I was kind of a flower child," says innkeeper Chloe Tuttle, who grew up on the farm- and forest-covered property and now runs the four-room inn. "Nothing was ever thrown away." Today, Tuttle dries all sheets on clotheslines, composts and cleans with vinegar. Rooms are heated individually, to eliminate heat loss through ducts. Tuttle even gives empty wine bottles to local winemakers to reuse.

If you go: The Big Mill B&B is at 1607 Big Mill Rd. in Williamston, approximately 4 1/2 hours from Washington. Rooms are $63 to $135. Info: 252-792-8787, http://www.bigmill.com./

* When the living bamboo "fence" surrounding the Princess Tree B&B in Annapolis gets too thick, co-owner Brad Mansolf cuts down stalks and lays them along the banks of the adjacent Meredith Creek. It helps prevent erosion and runoff and fosters the growth of soil-anchoring plants. The house, with a pair of two-level suites, naturally stays at 68 degrees in the winter, thanks to a design maximizing sunlight. When that's not warm enough, he lights a wood-burning stove using wood from fallen trees from the property.

If you go: Princess Tree B&B is across Route 50 from Sandy Point State Park. Suites are $155 and $195. Info: 410-974-1634, http://www.princesstree.com/.

* Taking in the sun has a double meaning at the beachside Manchester Inn B&B in Ocean Grove, N.J. Solar panels line the 35-room Victorian inn's roof, harvesting the sun to offset electricity usage. "We did it, obviously, to save money, but also because if enough people do this, we can make a difference," co-owner Clark Cate says.

If you go: Manchester Inn B&B is at 25 Ocean Pathway in Ocean Grove, approximately four hours from Washington. Rooms are $69 to $175. Info: 732-775-0616, http://www.themanchesterinn.com/.

* Sarah and Thomas Murphy purchased the Walnut Lawn B&B in Pennsylvania Amish Country 1 1/2 years ago from someone with a chemical sensitivity. For environmental reasons the Murphys continue the previous owner's practices. They avoid aerosols, scented cleaners and fragrant laundry detergents. They don't use pesticides, and portable air filters decrease indoor air pollutants. "You can learn from what other people do," says Sarah Murphy, a former Peace Corps volunteer.

If you go: Walnut Lawn B&B is at 1027 Village Rd. in Lancaster, Pa., approximately 2 1/2 hours from Washington. Rooms are $80 to $95. Info: 717-464-1382, http://www.walnutlawn.com/.

-- E.L.P.

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