Brr… why hello there!
Ahh yes, ‘tis winter, the coldest season for us New Yorkers. By the same token, “winter is the time for comfort, for good food and warmth, for the touch of a friendly hand and for a talk beside the fire: it is the time for home” (Edith Sitwell). I consider the whole state my home, and what better way to celebrate this time of the season than by taking a staycation.
Having said that, I am SOOO stoked about my trip to Lake Placid this weekend via Amtrak. Why Lake Placid? Well, its green leadership in conserving energy and making recycling easier for the community makes it an eco-tourist destination at the forefront of the sustainability movement, and let’s not forget its picturesque mountains!
On Friday, I’ll be staying at Gauthier’s Saranac Lake Inn in the Adirondack Mountains. This family-owned, two-acre waterfront Inn has been recognized by Audubon International as a Green Leaf Property as it continues to work hard to preserve its environment and support local small business through its Green Sustainability Initiatives. FYI: Lake Placid’s larger next-door neighbor is Saranac Lake, which was honored as an All-American City in 1998. Learn more about the Saranac Lake Chain including Upper Saranac Lake, Middle Saranac Lake and Lower Saranac Lake here.
As one of I LOVE NY’s Top Ten green destinations, Adirondack Park in The Adirondack region was created in 1892 and is the largest publicly protected area in the U.S. Click here for an interactive map of the Adirondacks. According to the NYS Adirondack Park Agency, the region “boasts over 3,000 lakes, 30,000 miles of rivers and streams, and a wide variety of habitats, including globally unique wetland types and old growth forests – [giving] the Adirondacks a [biodiversity] found nowhere else.” And did you hear from the New York Times that New York State recently bought conservation rights for 89,000 acres of forest in the Adirondacks? Whoa!
Moving on… Saturday, I’ll be marching with the Adirondack Green Circle and wearing a medieval costume IN the Saranac Lake Winter Carnival parade, which is the oldest Winter Carnival in the Eastern U.S. and is now celebrating its 114th anniversary. I’ll also be dining at Generations restaurant inside the ground-breaking green hotel Golden Arrow Resort with its 5 Greenleaf Status kudos to the Audubon International‘s eco-rating program. This status makes it the only resort in the US with this honor and only “one of two resorts in the world who have achieved this eco-rating.”
Sunday morning, I’ll tour the Lake Placid Conference Center, which anticipates the GOLD LEED Certification upon completion by incorporating “optimized energy performance, renewable, recycled materials and natural daylight.” Learn more about what LEED means and other prospective and confirmed LEED projects within New York State by checking out my previous “All About LEED” blog post. I have the afternoon all to myself, so I’ll probably do more outdoorsy stuff like snowshoeing and squeeze in some hot chocolate before getting ready for dinner with great company like Mayor Craig Randall. Here are some much-deserved shout-outs to some cool green New Yorkers in the Adirondack region:
- Subscribe To The Almanack, a weblog that posts everything about the Adirondacks, from culture to politics to history to the environment. Recently, it posted an event called “Adirondack Harvest Hosts Farmer and Chef Meeting” with Chef David Hunt and many other chefs and farmers to encourage culinary and agricultural connections resulting in more Adirondack-grown food served in local restaurants.
- Mirror Lake Inn Resort & Spa – its unique efforts to be globally as well as locally responsible include working with Clean the World (CTW) to remove and recycle all the used bars of soap as well the little bottle of liquids and sending hair clippings from the Inn’s salon in support of the Hair Mat Oil Program led by Matter of Trust.
Alas, it’s Monday, and the time has come for me to depart this wonderful place. But wait, it’s also Valentine’s Day! Well, as long as you’re trying to figure out last-minute plans, why not be green about it too? Here are some tips:
- Visit I LOVE NY’s “Valentine’s Day” section here for local activities you can do with that special someone, such as “Chocolate & Wine” in Watkins Glen, Finger Lakes, or Jane Monheit (The Egg) in Albany, Capital-Saratoga, or even the “Buffalo Winterfest & Powder Keg Festival” in Buffalo, Greater Niagara. And Time Out New York put together this Ski guide for wintry weekends near NYC, including “all-inclusive day trips to the mountains and stylish gear for on and off the slopes.”
- You can also take a walk in your local park (especially helpful if you’re a pet owner) and have your own ice-skating/snowboarding/skiing/etc. adventures in the great outdoors. If there’s snow, that’s a real plus because then you can have a snowball fight =P
- If you are giving a card, make it an e-card, a card printed on recycled paper, or one that has a second purpose, such as seed paper that can be planted like this one. FYI: whether you’re single, married, or somewhere in between, there is something for everyone on V-day – just click here for some ideas!
- Why not bake/cook your present? It’s been said that “the way to [anyone’s] heart is through [their] stomach,” so pay a visit to your farmer’s markets and “expand your culinary curiosity with uniquely seasonal fare in New York.” Prepare to be impressed =D
- Also check out these fun articles for more eco-friendly ideas:
1. The Daily Green, “Green Valentine’s Day Gifts”
2. Planet Green, “Green Valentine’s Day”
3. The Huffington Post, “Last-Second Green Valentine’s Day Guide”
4. Real Simple, “Easy DIY Valentine’s Day Ideas” – Get the kids involved spreading holiday cheer, no matter how much you love (or love to hate) February 14.
5. Tonic, “Valentine’s Day Gift Guide” – This Feb. 14, show your love for your one-and-only love and love the earth with these traditional — but far from trite — gifts.
And last but not least, here are some timeless QUOTES for you hopeless Romantics out there:
- Love is life. All, everything that I understand, I understand only because I love. Everything is, everything exists, only because I love. Everything is united by it alone. – Leo Tolstoy, War and Peace (1869)
- We come to love not by finding a perfect person, but by learning to see an imperfect person perfectly. – Anonymous
- Love has its reasons that reason knows nothing of. – Blaise Pascal, Pensées (1660)
- One is never too old for romance. – Ingrid Bergman, Sunday Mirror (5 May 1974)
- I am nothing special, of this I am sure. I am a common man with common thoughts and I’ve led a common life. There are no monuments dedicated to me and my name will soon be forgotten, but I’ve loved another with all my heart and soul, and to me, this has always been enough. — Nicholas Sparks, The Notebook
- Who could NOT mention the song lyrics to L.O.V.E. by Natalie Cole:
L is for the way you look at me,
O is for the only one I see,
V is very, very extraordinary,
E is even more than anyone that you adore
Love is all that I can give to you,
Love is more than just a game for two.
Two in love can make it,
Take my heart but please don’t break it.
Love was made for me and you…
So, how would you green your Valentine’s Day? From our green heart to yours o^_^o