This season marks the beginning of our Rhode Island Bed and Breakfast Green Program. We have spent many months planning, budgeting, and researching what we can do as owners of a Rhode Island Inn to assist in preserving the environment. There are many everyday maintenance challenges in owning a 159 year old Inn and thus, coming up with ways to make it a Newport bed and breakfast that is Green worthy can be challenging.
One of the biggest challenges lies in the cost to return basis as eco-converting a Newport Inn of this age is expensive and the cost benefits are minimal. So, in our first year for our Rhode Island Bed and Breakfast Green Program we have come up with ideas that have a minimal initial cost burden but will make a difference in our bed and breakfast’s footprint on Newport and Narragansett Bay.
One idea that I am particularly excited about for our Newport Bed and Breakfast Green Program is the installation of our New England Rain Barrels. The rain barrels are made from recycled barrels ranging in capacity from 55 to 6 gallons. At our Newport Inn we will be connecting the barrels to three downspouts to collect storm runoff. Water will be then diverted to our gardens or stored in the barrels for other watering needs around the garden or during long droughts.
From a global perspective the New England Rain Barrels will benefit our region in a few ways. One particular benefit that the City of Newport will be pleased with is the reduction of rain water runoff from our Newport Inn going to the city waste water plant. Unfortunately, during heavy rain storms the plant can get overwhelmed with water volume and have to discharge water into the Atlantic Ocean and Newport Harbor, disrupting the delicate balance in the sea. The barrels will also reduce the amount of water we use here at the Inn. Further goals for our Newport Bed and Breakfast Green Program involve diverting more rain water for laundry use.