Where does your kleenex come from?

At Cedar House Inn we use recycled paper tissue and paper products exclusively. Such products can be purchased at most grocery stores. We happen to like the Publix Greenwise and Kroger Simple Truth paper products. Sometimes werecycled paper products purchase Seventh Generation.

Having more sources for recycled paper products have made them more affordable compared to the past. We feel it is our responsibility to pay a little more to get a sustainable product that is better for the Earth and saves many trees.

Kleenex which is made by the giant company Kimberly Clarke cuts down ancient old growth forests to make tissue for wiping noses and other things. This is not only environmentally destructive to the trees, wildlife and the Earth. It is also irresponsible. Please watch this video for more information.

UPDATE: Greenpeace and Kimberly-Clark have announced the successful resolution of the Kleercut campaign as the maker of Kleenex has established a new sustainability policy focused on protecting Endangered Forests. To find out more go to http://www.greenpeace.org/kleercut

The update shows the power of environmental activism and the consumer who demands that corporations be more environmentally responsible.

You can find recycled paper content products such as toilet paper, napkins, paper towels and computer printer paper. These are products we use at the inn.

Some may find it difficult to make the switch from Charmin to recycled toilet paper for example. Charmin and other premium non recycled paper tends to be much softer and thicker. Charmin also is not as good for your septic tank due to the thickness. I also wonder what goes into the processing of some of these toilet papers in terms of dyes and manufacturing methods.

Make the switch to recycled paper products today.

For more information about the eco friendly practices we use at the inn visit being green.

Innkeeping & Right Livelihood

At Cedar House Inn we receive a number of guests living in the city who are innkeeper fixing breakfast right livelihoodquestioning their current state of living. They commute great distances to jobs that do not provide fulfillment or security. We certainly came from a similar situation in the past. We tell some our of story at on our inn web site. The inn provides us with income and a way of life that is in tune with our values. We call our job right livelihood.

One thing that we learned early on in operating a five unit bed and breakfast in the country was that we needed to have multiple streams of income. The inn provides the majority of our living expenses most of the year. The one exception is during the winter months when the area is not appealing to tourists. Times can get lean and we have created other income streams to help us survive.

The first few years we ran the inn my wife had a part time tutoring position at nearby Brenau University in Gainesville. She tutored international students two days a week in writing. It was a great release for her to get away from me and the inn as well as making a little extra money. She also tutored children locally. Now we spend all of our time innkeeping except for some permaculture consults from time to time. We have reached right livelihood.

Whatever income sources we have discovered fit into our right livelihood philosophy. Our inn is eco friendly because that fits our passion. Our side income opportunities also relate to who we are.

For more information about the inn and our story visit Meet the Hosts.

Your Water Footprint

I was reading our Green Hotels newsletter yesterday and there was a short article on water footprints. We have all heard about carbon footprint but water footprint was new to me. Water is a resource that should be conserved. Some say water will be the next oil in terms of scarcity of fresh water supplies.

At Cedar House Inn we value water and try to conserve it as much as we can. Low flow shower heads and sink aerators have been installed in all bathrooms. Guest reminder stickers are in the bathroom asking guests not to waste water. We use low flush toilets throughout the property and have composting toilets that require no water. Guest bed and bath linens are not changed daily (unless requested) to save laundry water. An Energy Star washing machine and dishwasher have also been installed that use less water compared to conventional appliances.

In our owner’s area we have a bucket to catch the cold water coming out of the bathtub faucet prior to the warm shower water arriving. We use it to flush the toilet or water the plants. We also use the “if it’s yellow let it mellow, if it’s brown flush it down” philosophy in our bathroom. I save my “liquid gold” for reuse as nitrogen fertilizer (see earlier blog post on this topic). We turn off the sink when we brush our teeth is another water saving tip. Such measures could lower your water footprint.

A few months ago we installed a new metal roof to capture rainwater more water footprint reduction with rain barrelsefficiently. We installed rain gutters and barrels. Our yard is a freedom lawn that requires no water. Native drought tolerant plants have been planted as well. This lowered our water footprint. For more eco friendly methods visit our web site.

In terms of shopping the Green Hotels article mentioned the water footprint of products we purchase. For example 20 gallons of water to make a pint of beer, 132 gallons for 2 liters of soda, 500 gallons to make a pair of Levi’s stonewashed jeans. Even some foods have a higher water footprint depending on where they are grown and the type of plant.

I am not suggesting we give up beer or quit wearing bluejeans. I do think we all need to be more mindful of our water usage and water footprint.

The Green Hotels newsletter referenced an article on this topic published in Currents, The Wall Street Journal, 2/17/2009 by Alexandra Alter.