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How Green Can You B&B

Grace Manor Inn, Richmond, VA

Virginia Wine Lover

It was the Summer of 2007 when it hit – the Green Tornado, or better known to her friends as Dawn Schick. Dawn and Albert Schick had been operating Grace Manor Inn in Richmond’s Historic Fan District for just over 4 years. Albert and Dawn had just taken the trash out – again! It was amazing how much waste their 4-guestroom operation generated! That very day, Dawn said, “Albert, we are going green”; and Albert said, “Yes, honey”, and the Green Tornado has been whirling ever since!

From that day forward, the Grace Manor Inn has made going green a priority and has accomplished a great deal indeed. Starting with recycling, Dawn and Albert soon became the biggest recyclers on the block! Next they tackled their food waste through composting; and then came compact fluorescent lighting, and the EnergyStar-rated washer and dryer, dishwasher, computer, and TV’s. Before poor Albert had a chance to breathe, 50 new stormwindows, environmentally-friendly-cleaners and detergents, water-metering, purchasing in bulk, and encouraging all of their suppliers to go green and reduce packaging. And, of course, they joined the Virginia Green Lodging program!

How Local? Both Albert and Dawn are accomplished chefs and have always understood the importance of locally-grown products. In many green circles folks often ask, “Exactly how local is local?” Well, how about from your own greenhouse and rooftop garden - is that local enough? Yes, Dawn and Albert constructed their own backyard greenhouse for growing seedlings and nursing plants through the Winter. In addition, they have a flat, third-story rooftop that is perfect for growing their own organic vegetables and herbs; and the plants thrive in the nutrient rich compost made on-site from food scraps!

How well are they doing? Dawn and Albert went green because it seemed like the right thing to do. They know that they’re generating less waste and hopefully saving some money. My company, Greener Results Consulting performed a Green Assessment of Grace Manor Inn in order to help document their achievements and point out additional green opportunities. Here’s what we found:

Grace Manor Inn's Green Progress

  • 3900 pounds of solid wastes a year reduced through recycling and waste reduction. They have reduced their poundage to landfill by over 50%!
  • 30% reduction in energy usage through energy efficiency improvements!
  • 10% reduction in water usage through water efficiency improvements!
  • Reduced equivalent Greenhouse Gas Emissions by 27,500 pounds or nearly 25%!

So what’s next for the Schicks? “Solar panels and wind turbines!” says Dawn Schick. Actually, I’m hoping that we’ve talked them into doing a comprehensive Energy Audit first which should identify many more cost-savings opportunities for them. But I bet the Green Tornado will be doing solar and wind before you know it!

For information about Grace Manor Inn, see www.thegracemanorinn.com or email at innkeeper@thegracemanorinn.com or phone 804-353-4334.