Things to Do in Martha's Vineyard

You've found it — the freshest take on things to do, see and know on Martha's Vineyard this side of Cape Cod. Carefully curated with input from our team of local experts (our staff!), on our blog you'll find vacation planning tips and insider advice for making yours a great stay on the island.

EDGARTOWNFAMILYNEWSPRESS ROOMRECIPESROMANCETHE VINEYARDTHINGS TO DO

Going Green on Martha’s Vineyard Part 2: The chemicals

BY VSH | 28 March 2010

Recycling by e-magicLet’s continue the story of Greening the Colonial Inn.  If you missed Part One it’s over here.   Go ahead, I’ll wait while you catch up…

My brain hurts just compiling the factoids for this post.  My notes are scribbled and vague at best and I do NOT have a doctorate in this stuff, but it is the next step in our journey through a greener hotel.

I did contact our friend Chuck at Vineyard Bottled Waters and whined…just as I did when I wanted to get greener products in the hotel in the first place. Only this time all I could say was: I forgot all that stuff you taught me.

Luckily for me, (and by extension, you) Chuck ROCKS and gave me all this data again and in dummy-speak so that I could write an article that would NOT induce mass narcolepsy.

It seems that coffee will kill me if I drink it out of certain plastic travel mugs! My lovely coffee, Nectar of Heaven! Certain plastics (PVC (polyvinyl chloride) to be specific) will diffuse toxins into the liquid it contains.

I think we have all heard tell of such things before. Some stimulate the growth of cancers, some, such as Bisphenol-A, don’t cause cancer to grow, but they do stimulate a resistance to cancer treatments. Well, spiffy! They don’t cause it, but they make your body stop fighting it.

Most people agree that paper cups are better health-wise. We already use paper cups here! YES!

Uh…wait! What I did not know was that paper cups are coated with a layer of plastic to seal it and prevent leakage. What kind of plastic? I don’t know. There are good plastics and bad, just like cholesterol, but I don’t have the equipment to give you a work up and no lab space in the Colonial Inn pantry.

Luckily, there is a line of paper cups coated with a coating of polylactic acid made from corn instead of plastic. So…drink more coffee!

We have switched from plastic to paper bowls and plates for our continental breakfast. They are made from sugar cane and bamboo. These seasonal crops grow quickly and thus, are more eco-friendly than cups made from wood pulp from trees.

Now, on to our cleaning products. This is much more difficult in terms of understandability.

If you want the long version of the explanation which follows, here is the factsheet (PDF download).

To sum up: Greening The Cleaning® is a series of all natural cleaning supplies developed for use in medical environments to create a healthier healing environment.

100% of all profit returned to the Center and the Imus Cattle Ranch for Kids with Cancer

In our search for an Eco-friendly product, we used samples of many kinds, but after our housekeepers were finished using them, they each said: “Nah!” when I asked them if the cleaners worked well.

Therefore, I straddle the finest of lines. I can’t go all Enviro-friendly if it means things don’t as clean as they can be, but the Greening The Cleaning product works great, smells great (no chemical Windexey smell from these products) and comes in a concentrate so is very affordable.  Did I mention that Chuck actually offered to drink the cleaning solution to prove how safe it is? Now there’s a guy who gets behind his products!(don’t try that at home folks!)

This is a link to some info on how they rate their product and has more sciencey words like ‘surfactants’ and ‘Nonyl Phenol Ethoxylate’ if you like that sort of thing.

Hope I have not bored you silly!  I need to find myself some coffee in a vegetatively sealed, non- Bisphenol-A rated, renewably resourced cup.

Now it’s your turn – when you travel, what do you do to make your trip a little ‘greener’?

Photo by e-magic