Responsible tourism: Cold Spring Harbor B&B in Long Island, USA
I am very environmentally conscious, not just a business owner but as a person and I have always lived to conserve and benefit the environment. I support organic practices and always use natural cleaning products from laundry soaps to body wash and shampoo to minimise the amount of chemicals that can affect the environment. There is a lot of local wildlife in the area, and I have an organic herb garden which attracts lots of birds, butterflies and other smaller species to the garden with its scent.
Inside of the house I try to save water with low flow showers and careful water usage. To avoid replacing a working toilet unnecessarily I made some modifications to lessen the amount of water it uses with each flush. There are 4 fireplaces in the house and I still use 2 of them in the winter to keep the house warm, burning wood rather than non-renewable fuels that are more harmful to the environment. I use LED lighting and solar powered outdoor lighting, and I have a water filtration system implemented to purify drinking water.
The house is adjacent to a state hiking trail, which means it's a great base for exploring by foot. You can easily visit the Long Island region without a car, and we are just 1 mile from the Long Island railroad. Keen cyclists may enjoy cycling around the area, but the roads may be a little daunting for some. We are also just 32 miles from Manhattan so can be easily reached by those wanting to escape the hustle and bustle of New York City. Only 50 minutes by train.
One of the great things about living on Long Island is the opportunity to be a part of a real community. Everyone within the community does their bit to support one another, from businesses like mine using local farmers and suppliers to getting involved with not for profit organizations and groups which benefit the community.
I purchase only organic foods, from fresh fruit to coffees and teas and am a member of the Community Supported Agriculture program on Long Island. I support local farmers through paying an annual membership fee which helps to cover farmers' initial expenses, and results in more fresh local produce at the time of harvest for local people to enjoy. This broadens the access to local produce for local people, and being a part of this scheme helps to reduce food miles and benefits the more local economy. If guests would like to try any specific local produce during their stay, I am happy to take requests prior to their arrival and will always do my best to accommodate them.
Being in Long Island provides an experience of community that you might not find in many other places as close to New York City. Being a harbor community, we have great access to fresh fish and seafood, and there's even opportunity to catch your own fish during the day, and have a local restaurant prepare and cook it for you afterwards.
There are many local businesses and organizations that I offer support to, from giving recommendations for independent restaurants to my guests, to working with the local meditation center, preparing soup for weekly events and attending classes there. There also lots of local companies offering great activities and experiences for visitors, from stand up paddle board and kayak tours to the Summer music festival organized by the Huntington Arts Council. If you want to experience life as a local then I can tell you all the best ways to do it, and you can go away knowing that your visit has benefited our community.