Deer Run Bed & Breakfast was accepted this week into the state of Florida's Green Lodging Program. The four room bed and breakfast on Big Pine Key serves organic vegetarian meals and buys fair trade products and locally grown produce.
Deer Run has reduced energy consumption by installing energy efficient appliances, compact fluorescent light bulbs, solar garden lighting and on-demand water heating.
The B&B conserves water through low flow showerheads with soap up valves, low flow faucets and by landscaping with native plants that require little irrigation. It uses recycled paper products, composts food and yard waste, has implemented a towel and linen re-use program and uses green cleaners. Guest rooms are stocked with cruelty-free personal products.
Key deer doe and fawn at Deer Run Bed & Breakfast (Photo courtesy Deer Run B&B)
Hotels, motels and B&Bs across Florida are quickly greening up their establishments to make them eligible to attract business from the state.
In July, Governor Charlie Crist signed an executive order that requires state agencies and departments to hold meetings and conferences only at hotels with the Green Lodging designation starting January 1, 2008, whenever possible.
Launched in March 2004, the Florida Green Lodging Program is a voluntary state initiative that provides the lodging industry with technical assistance, and encourages hotels and motels to adopt cost-saving green practices that reduce waste and conserve natural resources. It establishes environmental guidelines for hotels and motels to conserve natural resources and prevent pollution.
As a further reward for designation, Florida is recommending Green Lodges to companies and trade organizations seeking environmentally conscious lodging and convention facilities.
With the addition of Deer Run Bed & Breakfast, the program has 43 hotels designated, including five in the Florida Keys, and has more than 120 applicants.
"We are proud to be a part of Deer Run Bed & Breakfast reaching this milestone," said Jon Iglehart, South District director for the Florida Department of Environmental Protection. "Pollution prevention projects like this one protect the environment while saving resources for businesses."
The Deer Run B&B has a special environment to protect. Situated on one of the Keys' rare sandy beaches, it is frequented by Key deer, a small deer on the endangered species list found only in the Florida Keys.
"It is our obligation to be a good steward of the gifts of our environment," said Deer Run owners Harry Appel and Jennifer DeMaria. "We are so proud to become an official Green Lodging establishment certified by the State of Florida and shall use this opportunity to lead by example, and continue to learn from others."