It's the summer time and as many families plan vacations there may be one more variable to factor into your decisions. When planning a vacation it's important to evaluate travel time, costs, and of course location. But what about the impact on the environment?
Virginia Green is a program the partners the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality with the Virginia Tourism Corporation and the Virginia Hospitality and Travel Association. The goal, to reduce the environmental impacts of the tourism industry and to increase environmental awareness.
The Lafayette Inn, in Stanardsville, is the first restaurant in the region to be certified as "Virginia Green"
Alan Pyles, owner of The Lafayette Inn says, "Every time we make a purchasing decision now we look at, is there a more ecofriendly option? In a lot of cases there's not still but it has created an awareness and we are doing more and more each time."
In order to earn the Virginia Green certification, a business has to makes certain steps towards waste reduction, energy conservation, and recycling. "That was kind of the nudge we needed to figure, first off we need to do our part, so we're doing that. But it's our hope that other businesses in the community will do the same."
The Lafayette Inn has started incorporation fluorescent light bulbs in non-public areas, started recycling and encouraging there guests to do the same, and has even put there illuminated signs on timers to save energy. Pyles adds, "It's in our face, we have to respond and I like the fact that they gave us a baby step way to do it."
The Virginia Green program is significant because it is helping to protect the environment. And especially here in Virginia, nature is one of our biggest tourist attractions.
To find a link to all of the Virginia Green locations across the state just follow the links below. If you have an idea for a future "Greener Charlottesville" segment send Myles an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.