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My AWESOME Lake Placid trip!

22 Feb

Baby, is it cold outside or what?!

I missed everyone dearly last weekend, which is why I want to share my winter getaway experience, in brief of course! Simply put, there was just too much green in Lake Placid! =)

Gauthier’s Saranac Lake Inn

  • They provided guests with amazing organic bath amenities, mugs instead of disposable cups, and blue recycling bins for items that shouldn’t be thrown in the trash, duh! Learn more about their green initiatives here.

Golden Arrow Resort

  • I toured around and saw their awesome green roof (covered with snow, understandably), ate delicious food at the Resort’s Generations Restaurant, and went on a dogsled ride for the first time ever! Learn more about their green initiatives here.

Adirondack Green Circle

  • Had dinner with members Kate Fish and Gail Brill at the Blue Moon Café, where we drank some Lake Placid Ubu Ale, yummy!
  • Had such a blast walking beside them in the Annual Saranac Lake Winter Carnival parade, 114 years and going strong!
  • Click here for photos on how AGC show their love for the environment.

Conference Center at Lake Placid

  • I’m not kidding when I say the developers thought of EVERYTHING when it came to multifunctional spaces and bringing the outside in with big, beautiful windows. They also anticipate Gold LEED certification upon completion.
  • Grabbed some sandwiches from Big Mountain Deli & Crêperie, aka home of the 46 Best Sandwiches in the High Peaks, before heading to…

The Wild Center

  • Snow-shoed for the first time at this LEED-certified museum, which has a currently frozen pond along with a green roof, floors made from recycled tires, and special parking space for hybrid vehicles. Don’t believe me? See for yourself in my slide show =D

And last but not least, a shout-out to Amtrak for all its emeralding throughout New York State and beyond, taking action such as 100% compostable cups and helping travelers like me go green and reduce our carbon footprints.

A longer and more entertaining version can be found here thanks to Kim Rielly at the Lake Placid CVB/Regional Office of Sustainable Tourism.

More to come!

Kaity

Your Green Valentine’s Playbook with My Own Lake Placid-Adirondack Eco-Trip!

9 Feb

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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!

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All About LEED

12 Jan

This month, I thought it would be interesting to discuss New York State’s growing green building practices with LEED projects popping up all over the State.

So, what exactly is LEED?

LEED stands for Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design. Developed in 1998 by the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC), the LEED system is the recognized international benchmark in green building design and construction, measuring important factors like “energy savings, water efficiency, CO2 emissions reduction, improved indoor environmental quality, and stewardship of resources and sensitivity to their impacts.” Look into LEED’s promising future here

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How to Give the Gift of Green this Holiday Season

16 Dec

It’s mid-December, and you haven’t shopped for gifts yet. What to do!?

Don’t panic. There’s still time to get great deals, plan delicious meals, and sing some holiday jingles!

This season, think about giving money-saving and eco-friendly gifts to show others you care about them as well as the environment. This gives you the opportunity to get your creative juices flowing too.

First, look for the gift you want to give. Second, figure out how you want to gift to be presented. Third, how will you and your gift(s) get there? Make sure your gift is protected from the elements. Because Ezine’s Tips For a Frugal and Environmentally-Friendly Holiday Season article was so organized, I’ve highlighted the basics with some good-natured humor:

Gift Giving

1. Make a gift or re-gift unwanted gifts, as long as you don’t return it to the original giver. You can also organize a gift swap – one person’s trash is another’s treasure, but of course there’s no guarantee.

2. Give used items, such as books from local used book stores, or green gifts. Buy seeds, bulbs, other plants, compact fluorescent (CF) bulbs, a thermos, a water bottle, etc. A bike is one of several items on my wish list, hint, hint…

3. Save on wrapping paper using newspaper comics, which you can then recycle sans scotch tape. If this isn’t your cup of tea, consider reusing any gift bags that you received from previous years. Consider “wrapping” some presents in tote bags so the recipient can use fewer plastic bags in the coming year. For a quick gift tag, reuse last year’s holiday cards, or make your own from construction/poster paper.

 

Entertaining

1. Bring a dish or two. Create your best dish so others know what you can do and consume happily. The hosts would definitely appreciate your efforts – less food for them to prepare.

2. Organize carpool trips together and save on gas and parking space. Of course, make sure there is a designated driver, and the riders are people you like or can tolerate, depending on how long the drive is.

3. Cook with a group and make a masterpiece, all with some good fun, music, and cheap booze!

 

Home Life

1. Earn extra cash from a seasonal part-time job. Those gifts can add up.

2. Green Tree. If possible, get a tree that can be planted so you can watch it grow!

3. Make it a game night. Have fun without spending a lot of money, unless of course you’re betting and want to make things more interesting…

The Huffington Post mentions how we can “Give Back Painlessly: 50 Ways To Donate Time And Find Spare Cash For Others” and simply pay it forward, like volunteering. Additional resources are listed here:

–          Planet Green, 9 Ways To Cut Waste This Holiday Season

–          Greenpeace International, Your gift to the environment

–          Eartheasy.com, How to have a Green Christmas

Traveling light and green this winter is another great way to lower your carbon footprint. Some green travel choices can be found here, and aside from carrying your own water bottle, you’ll find more travel tips on Travel Gear’s website. I don’t remember where I got the following message, but it makes a strong case for being a Green Traveler:

Supporting local businesses–keeps money in your neighborhood; you’ll receive better service; helps create and keep jobs; promotes competition and diversity; less sprawl and environmental damage; in return local businesses usually support local organizations; works toward a positive economic impact locally; you’ll invest in your community.

It’s important to reflect on this past year and make some goals for 2011, especially as New Year’s approaches, that include ways to be a greener New Yorker. A lot of us struggle with this prospect, but I hope my blog has given you some helpful and tangible tips on how we can achieve this. One 2011 tip I’ll leave you with is the “How to Save on Winterizing Your Home” article from one of my favorite websites – Real Simple’s Green Living section.

Stay tuned for my next blog entry on green resolutions. Until then, keep warm and Happy Holidays!

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