First Farm Inn - A Unique Cincinnati Bed and Breakfast
First Farm Inn is 'green' and always has been.
"Encourage businesses to think as you do by choosing where to spend your travel dollars. Spend your dollars with travel businesses that are interested in protecting the beautiful destinations we all love to visit," suggests Patricia Griffin, president of the "Green" Hotels Association.

                QUICK TIPS
  • Buy local produce
  • Run full laundry loads
  • Line dry your laundry
  • Recycle
  • Compost food waste
  • Keep your vehicle tuned
  • Keep your tires properly inflated
  • Carpool, bus, bike or walk whenever possible
  • Change your AC and furnace filters regularly

First Farm Inn has been an environmentally responsible or "green hotel" since its founding -- long before it was a trendy internet marketing technique. Perhaps the most green lodging in Cincinnati, our family-owned business reduces its environmental impact by using natural products, limiting chemical use, recycling everything recyclable and more.

Living in harmony with nature and preserving the environment are ways we can safeguard the planet for future generations. Reducing the amount you "consume" and eliminating waste will set a good example to others and give value to your life.

Creating a mirage of false affluence, Americans in particular have been gluttons of all things consumable, wasting natural resources and filling landfills with unused items. In the last 50 years, humans have exploited and destroyed more of the earth's resources that all the previous years of human existence combined.

As a communications specialist with the Kentucky Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Protection, Jen spent years writing tips on being environmentally responsible and attended public comment sessions when Kentucky's air, water and solid waste regulations were promulgated.

Later, as a power company employee, she authored monthly bill inserts that recommended energy efficiency approaches.

If being "green" is important to you, as it should be to all of us, feel free to pick up some tips to use at your home. There are so many simple ways to reduce, reuse and recycle it's amazing that so few people do it.

Here are some tips that we use

Food Preparation:

  • Serve local produce as much as possible. Buying local produce reduces trucking costs and puts more of the food dollar in the farmer's pocket than buying from a "big-box retailer."
  • Start with simply packaged whole foods rather than overpackaged "mixes" and "instant" foods that are loaded with chemical preservatives and color-enhancers. (We buy in quantity -- 25 lb. paper bags of flour, 3 lbs of yeast, 4 lbs. of baking powder, etc.)
  • Planning is the key ingredient in cooking healthier and from "scratch." A copy of Jen's cookbook, "Easy Food from First Farm Inn" is a simple way to start. You'll save an amazing amount of money over prepackaged meals and won't be adding those layers of plastic, Styrofoam, cardboard and foil to the solid waste stream.
  • Containers used to package items take significant amounts of water, energy and resources to produce. Most plastics have half-lives (half the length of time it takes them to decompose) of at least 500 years.
  • Rather than throwing away plastic bags constantly, buy reusable containers that can go through the dishwasher.
  • Glass containers can be microwaved and will save dishes when you're reheating.
  • Recycle the glass jars sauces come in as storage for left overs. Because you can see through them, you can tell what's in your fridge at a glance. It makes it more likely they'll be eaten before they go bad.

Water Conservation: Only small green hotels like Kentucky bed and breakfast First Farm Inn can line-dry sheets and towels. Some guests have said they open the doors to the linen closet and just smell the sheets and towels.

  • Use a biodegradable detergent.
  • Never use the toilet to flush waste paper.
  • Don’t run water until it gets hot to heat something up, use the microwave.
  • Update your toilets to low-water use models that use 1.6 gallons rather than three.
  • Turn water on only while using it, never let it run while brushing your teeth.
  • Replace dripping faucets or running toilets.
  • Sit in a hot tub rather than running bath water that gets cold in a few minutes.
  • Hang towels up to dry so they can be reused. People have done this for centuries, it is only recently that we throw them on the floor to mold after a single use.
  • Only run full laundry loads. It takes the same amount of electricity to wash an entire load as it does to wash a single pair of jeans. Washing machines are the biggest water consumer in most homes.
  • Use an old-fashioned clothes line to air-dry laundry any time it's above freezing and sunny or windy. (This also gives the laundress more exercise than using an electric or gas dryer. One rainy month we were forced to use our dryer constantly -- and our electric costs increased by $100. Kentucky has one of the lowest electric rates in the nation. That tells you how much it costs to run the dryer.)
  • Buy energy efficient appliances: (Our dishwasher, designed for European use, uses 9 gallons of water in a cycle, more efficient than hand-washing.)
  • Turn on the hot water first for tooth brushing, hand washing or starting your bath. Warm water from the water heater first must push the cooled water out of the pipes.
  • Turn the water on only moderately, not full blast, when you wash your hands. Even "clean" water that simply runs down the drain unused is mixed with sewage and must be chemically processed before released back into creeks and rivers.
  • Catch "grey" water used in the kitchen sink for washing vegetables, rinsing dishes or cleaning to water potted plants.
  • Use water-saving showerheads. Moen is offering a water saving showerhead that flows at 1.75 gallons per minute vs. the usual 2.5 for $33.
  • Use leftover coffee (without cream or sugar!) to water indoor plants. They like the acid. Coffee grounds can be added to outdoor gardens to increase acidity and improve the soil.

Reuse/Recycle: Recycling furniture, commonly called buying antiques, reduces the number of chemicals being released into your home. Antique furniture is made of solid wood, not pressboard held together with glues.

  • Recycle paper, aluminum, glass.
  • Refill washable bottles with filtered water rather than grabbing then throwing away a new bottle every time you want a drink.
  • Avoid using or buying Styrofoam. It has a half-life of 500 years. Carry your own cup and refill it.
  • Take only what you'll use when offered packages of condiments. If you have extra, keep and use them at home later.
  • Use soap and shampoo from dispensers rather than little bottles.
  • Use cleaning products sparingly. "Elbow grease" has more cleaning effectiveness than adding toxics to the air with a spray bottle. Reducing chemical use will help with allergy problems.
  • Use worn towels or washcloths as cleaning rags rather than paper towels.
  • Use wadded up newspapers with glass cleaner to clean windows.
  • Donate worn sheets and towels to women's shelters or other charities.
  • Donate old cell phones to women's shelters.
  • Donate old glasses to the Lion's Clubs who send them to third world countries.
  • Keep a box or bag near or in your closet ready to stash clothes you grow tired of so they're ready to take to Goodwill or a home for the disadvantaged when the bag is full.
  • Buy antiques rather than new furniture which will give off chemicals from the glues used in formulating the fiberboard.
  • Only use paper towels for messes that can't be cleaned up any other way.
  • Avoid drying your hands on paper towels, use the hot air dryer or a towel whenever possible.

Energy Conservation:

  • Wear sweaters in winter, lightweight clothing in summer.
  • Adjust interior temperatures to correspond more closely to outdoor temperatures.
  • Open your windows unless the heat or air conditioning is on.
  • Use compact fluorescent lights wherever possible.
  • Use nightlights or compact fluorescents if you must leave a night on all night.
  • Lights with dimmer switches use the same amount of electricity on high as down to no light. Make sure your dimmers are turned off and not just turned down when there is no light coming from them.
  • Turn off lights and appliances when you leave a room.
  • Unplug chargers when not in use to prevent electrical drain.
  • Use the stairs rather than elevators or escalators. Few of us get enough exercise!

Yard Conservation:

  • Mow grass is to a height of 2" so that it can maintain itself without excessive watering or chemical application.
  • Avoid using lawn chemicals.
  • Pasture and gardens here are fertilized with horse manure.
  • Plant indigenous species that fit into the climate where you live so you don't have to water excessively or add chemicals to the soil
  • Be very cautious in using snow-melt products. They damage plants, asphalt, concrete and pet's paws. Shovels give you exercise!

EcoFriendly Pet and Wildlife Care: Seven, a retired Thoroughbred, was a give-away horse.  Many people are more willing to give away horses with issues to good homes rather than sell them and risk them being repeatedly resold and usually mistreated.

  • Common goldfish live in our horse tanks to eat mosquito larva and reduce potential for mosquito-borne diseases.
  • Organic kitchen waste goes "over the fence" where it feeds birds, butterflies and horses.
  • Egg shells are biodegradable too and can be added to compost or to your garden.
  • Recycle fat from browning sausage and bacon into suet for birds. Just add birdseed and let it cool in a shape that will fit in your suet feeder.
  • "Staff" ponds with sterile grass-eating carp, an environmentally friendly way to keep the balance.
  • "Recyle" pets -- Adopt (young or old, purebred or intelligent mixed breeds) from shelters or accept give-aways to prevent cats and dogs from ending up in shelters. The majority of animals who arrive at shelters are "euthanized." Only 20 percent of cats are cared for in the U.S.
  • Don't buy from breeders or pet stores who add to the over-population problem and often dump unsold animals at shelters.
  • Even our horses are recycled. Ninety percent of horses change hands again within a year because owners don't understand or can't cope with them. Please take lessons, read, and attend seminars before you get a horse. They are complex creatures.
  • If you believe in "killing bugs," make sure you're not killing beneficial insects.
  • Pick up after yourself. Do not leave anything behind, even cigarette butts are not biodegradable.

Allergy Protection: Please spay and neuter your pets to help reduce the animal overpopulation problem.

  • We use a whole house vacuum system because it has 5x the suction power of a portable vacuum. It also doesn't use bags, but can be emptied regularly.
  • We use few chemical cleaners and use them sparingly.
  • There is very little potpourri and scented material around the house. There are air-freshener sprays available in each bathroom.
  • While we have a variety of original art and craft objects around, we try to reduce and eliminate dust-holding clutter.
  • For your own health, please do not sleep on the pillow shams or bedspreads anywhere. By law, sheets and pillowcases are laundered between guests. There are no requirements for laundering blankets and bedspreads.
  • If you have allergies, tell the innkeeper before you book. We have removed eucalyptus from the house and will do as much as possible to make you comfortable.

2510 Stevens Road Petersburg, KY 41080  -  (859-586-0199 please call between 8 a.m. - 8 p.m. E.S.T.)
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