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Inn earns green honor 

Conservation counts

Local people and businesses are taking measures to reduce their carbon footprint, and even their smallest steps count. Everywhere there’s a hybrid vehicle, and grocery and retail stores offer environmentally friendly totes for purchases instead of paper and plastic bags.

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Consider the Creekside Inn in Cambria. Last month, the quaint 23-room hotel was recognized as a Certified Green Hotel, and was awarded a 4-Leaf green hotel status by Green Suites International, which marks it as one of only seven 4-Leaf hotels in the country.

“Considering the size of the property, we’re very proud, only seven hotels in the country have a 4-Leaf status,” owner, Tim Hayden said. “It took a fair amount of cost to do it. We like the recognition and we are really conscientious about it and very proud.”

Founded in 1983 by a handful of “green capitalists,” Green Suites International provides the lodging industry profitable solutions that enhance, preserve and promote the environment. Headquartered in Upland, CA, Green Suites International supplies more than 2,500 hotels throughout the United States and 45 countries. Their Green Hotel Certification program recognizes hotels for positive green efforts.

The Creekside Inn first opened its doors in the early 1980s, and was managed by Moonstone Hotels until Tim and Sherin Hayden acquired the property last November. The Inn wasn’t always a “green” hotel, revealed Tim, and when he first acquired the property, he described it as, “a disaster,” especially regarding water use.

Achieving a 4-Leaf green hotel status was no easy task. The process took seven months and cost a total of about $25,000. According to Tim, the hardest part was finding non-toxic cleaning products. In addition, they switched to natural care products for guests, replaced all water heaters with energy-conserving models, installed an efficient irrigation system and power-saving lighting, and placed recycling containers in all of the rooms.

Certified Green Hotels save an average of about 11,000 gallons of water per room annually, and their energy efficient lighting consumes 70 percent less energy than incandescent lamps.

“We knew becoming an environmentally friendly hotel was the right thing to do,” Hayden said. “The water prices in town are costly, and we were looking for ways to plug the gap. Our primary cause was to be cost effective, and, in terms of water, we save about 15 percent.”

Much like a health inspector, someone from Green Suites International can arrive unexpectedly and audit Certified Green Hotels to ensure ongoing green efforts.

“Comments from guests are all positive,” Hayden reported. “Some had concerns that the water pressure from the shower heads would be low, but they are pleasantly surprised that it’s pretty ample.”

“We want to continue this front,” Hayden said, “and hope people recognize that we are trying to be part of the solution instead of the problem.”

Creekside Inn is located at 2618 Main Street in Cambria. For more information, contact the Creekside Inn at 927-4021.

Intern Jen Ingan compiled this week’s Strokes & Plugs. Send your business news to  [email protected]


Readers Poll

Do you think the SLO County Board of Supervisors should have gone against their policy that states funding for independent special districts should not result in a net fiscal loss to the county?

  • A. Yes, the housing and job opportunity the Dana Reserve is bringing is important
  • B. No, it's giving special privileges to the Nipomo Community Services District
  • C. I trust them, they know what's best for the county
  • D. What's going on?

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