Since our inn is located in the North Georgia wine country our guests have the opportunity of tasting many different types of wine produced in the area. All the wines are bottled or packaged in the traditional glass wine bottle that we recycle at the recycling center or use for our wine bottle trees.
Today I saw an article that mentioned a California winery that is using one liter plastic (PET #1) bottles to help the environment. The wine is called Fog Mountain. The wine is also organic.
The advantages of the plastic wine bottle:
• 33% more wine – two extra glasses – than a standard 750ml bottle
• 60% smaller carbon footprint
• Less energy to produce, ship and recycle
• 100% recyclable since the plastic is a number 1.
• 7 recycled Fog Mountain wine bottles can produce 1 extra-large t-shirt
• lightweight & shatterproof, no broken glass
• Perfect for picnics, barbecues, camping and life-on-the-go
Maybe one day we will see wineries in our area use plastic.
For more information visit wine.
We had a great weekend with a full house for Saturday night. With check out Sunday morning we normally start the process of stripping the beds and doing the laundry. Yesterday was a cold and blustery day so we waited until today to start the laundry.
Our main reason for wanting to do the laundry on a sunny day like today is so that we can use our solar dryer instead of the electric clothes dryer.
Our washing machine is a Fisher Paykel EcoSmart machine that uses little water and has a high speed spin cycle. The high spin gives us linens that our not totally wet but damp. This is perfect for our solar clothes dryer.
Our solar dryer, aka clothes line, not only saves energy since we are using the sun but also acts like a bleaching mechanism since the sun bleaches out the whites. Things hanging on the line also smell good.
Unfortunately many municipalities and neighborhoods do not allow for backyard clothes lines. They think they are ugly which I disagree. I like the money we are saving and the eco-friendly aspect of using the sun.
When we purchased the house that is now the inn there were not many trees on the property. In fact shrubbery was also missing from the landscape. It looked like a Chernobyl waste site. Semi trucks and cars would actually park in the front yard to make cell phone calls or use our property as a rest stop. One gentleman drove his Cadillac up to the front door to make a cell phone call in his car. I asked him what he was doing and he said just making a phone call. I said this is my yard and he said it did not look like a yard. I immediately knew what I had to do. Make a yard.
The sad thing was that the property not only lacked trees but also wildlife and birds. No sounds of birds singing in the spring. It was sad.
We immediately started planting well over 200 fast growing trees like hybrid poplars, hollies and silver maples. We also moved white and black pine trees from the woods. Fast growing shrubs were also planted. Every trip to Home Depot not only meant purchasing what we needed but also a tree. We added bird feeders, bird houses and bird baths. Guess what happened?
The place became alive again with wildlife ranging from deer to all kinds of birds to possums and raccoons. Have not seen a bear yet.
We also decided to quit mowing most of the 3 acres. Now we mow near the entrance signs and house area. Native grasses and pine trees (that we moved) are now taking over and forming a buffer from the main road. A friend of my wife’s called and expressed concern that we might be falling on hard times since we quit mowing the property. I informed her we were making our property greener.
We also have quit using synthetic fertilizers and herbicides(see other post on liquid gold). We have a natural lawn in the grass areas since we do not use chemicals.
Our property has been certified as a Certified Wildlife Habitat by the Natural Wildlife Federation. Certification is free and can be done online. We have a sign at our gate indicating certification. The program was launched in 1973 and has certified over 106,000 yards,farms,schools and urban balconies.
For more information click NWF.
The title of this entry is a favorite old time saying in the Dahlonega area regarding the prevalence of gold during the early 1800’s Gold Rush.
I am not referring to the precious metal gold but liquid gold. A substance that every human being produces in varying quantities. Also called Urine.
In Sweden they have found that urine is a valuable natural resource and is used as a natural fertilizer in farming. High in nitrogen it is especially good for leafy green vegetables. It is diluted with water in a 8:1 ratio.
They also found in Sweden that it is easier to process human waste more efficiently if the urine is not mixed with the feces. It is also better for the environment. They have even developed urine diverting toilets to separate the liquid gold from solids. It’s also interesting that privys or outhouses do not create odors when the solids are separated from the urine.
For more information read the book Liquid Gold which can be purchased on the eco store page of our web site.
Many guests that stay in one of our yurts find the composting toilets interesting. We decided to have them in the yurts since we did not have water or septic to the area. We also wanted to give yurt guests the convenience of not having to go to the bathhouse in the middle of the night to use the toilet.
The composting toilets are made by Sun Mar in Canada. They require no water, septic and have no odor. A fan in the toilet pulls air through the toilet and is vented to the outside. The air also helps dry out the liquids. Liquids also go to the bottom of the toilet in an enclosed drying area with a heater.
Solids and toilet paper stay in the bio drum chamber and compost over time. Bacteria is added to the unit occasionally to help eat the toilet paper. When the bio drum starts to fill we remove some of the contents into the finishing drawer where the substance finishes composting.
The finished compost is placed in our flower gardens and around the trees.
For more information visit composting toilets.
This is one of the ways Cedar House Inn and Yurts is using composting.
We have been considering using a green web site hosting company to host our inn’s web site. Web site hosting servers and other equipment require a great deal of electricity to stay running and keep web sites online. Visit our web site and click the green banner at the bottom of the home page for information on the hosting company.