The White Gull Inn became the 31st business on the Door Peninsula to garner Travel Green Wisconsin certification in May, earning a total of 75 points.
The inn began the certification process about a year ago by compiling a self-checklist of environmentally friendly practices. “At that time, we had more than the required points to apply and receive certification, but the checklist reminded us that we could do much more,” said owner Andy Coulson.
The White Gull has purchased all of its whitefish, cherries, maple syrup and preserves locally since Coulson bought the business in 1972. Because the inn features Door County fish boils in summer and fall and has a busy breakfast business all year, local suppliers represented a large portion of food purchases. Coulson is finding ways to buy an ever-increasing amount of local produce, aided by the ever-growing number of local producers.
Among other sustainable efforts:
• Composting kitchen waste
• Providing water upon request
• Recycling heat from refrigeration units to preheat water for the inn
• Letting guests decide if they need new towels each day
The process of going Green has been very educational, Coulson said. “We realized we were already doing a lot, that we could easily do a lot more, but more importantly, we realized how much we are not doing,” he added. “There is still a lot more to do. There continually are new green products such as compact fluorescents to accommodate every type of lamp and environmentally sensitive cleaning products coming on to the market all the time. There are also a lot of helpful articles in the local media and on the Web, so it is easier to do than it was even a few years ago.”
Travel Green is a program within the Wisconsin Department of Tourism to recognize businesses operating in a more environmentally conscious manner.
To qualify a business must be tourism-dependent and undertake a comprehensive review of its operations. The process includes evaluation of energy use and sources, efficiency, and steps taken to reduce waste, such as composting, recycling, or heat conservation.
A business must earn 30 points to be certified. For more information visit http://www.travelgreenwisconsin.com.
Door County’s Travel Green certified businesses and points earned:
Door County Kayak Tours 34
Washington Island Hotel, Restaurant and Culinary School 34
Bay Shore Outdoor Store 36
The Bridge 43
Come On Inn 47
TR Pottery 48
Rock Island State Park 50
Door County Sustainability Fair 50
Birchwood Lodge 51
Little Sweden 52
Washington Island Ferry Line 53
Havenly Inn 53
Quiet Cottage on the Lake 54
Journey’s End Motel and Cabins 55
Greens ‘n Grains 57
Eagle Harbor Inn 40
Ecology Sports 58
The Ashbrooke Suites 59
Black Walnut Guest House 61
The Cookery 61
Country House Resort 61
Potawatomi State Park 62
Lodgings at Pioneer Lane 65
The Rushes 66
Blacksmith Inn On the Shore 68
Bread and Water 72
Peninsula State Park 73
White Gull Inn 75
The Flying Pig 78
The Cottage Retreat 88
White Pines Victorian Lodge 94