Yes, we know, the 40th anniversary of Earth Day was yesterday. But we think it’s important to be conscious of our eco-impact every day. And making a difference is easier than you might think. For years, Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts has been encouraging its properties, employees, and guests to help preserve and protect the environment, and their in-house experts have an abundance of advice for individuals and families seeking to live a greener lifestyle. Here are just a few tips to try at home:
Become a Backyard Gardener
Redefine “locally grown” by transforming the travel distance of your produce from miles to steps. Executive Chef Brooke Vosika of Four Seasons Hotel Boston recommends planting a garden in the backyard so you can enjoy the freshest ingredients with the least impact. City dwellers need not worry. “We tend to associate gardens with the suburbs, but there are several ways to grow organic vegetables in an urban environment too,” says Vosika. For people who don’t have an outdoor space, one option is “windowsill gardening,” which is ideal for growing salad greens and tomatoes.
Make the Grass Greener
Follow in the footsteps of Philly’s largest composting program, which takes place at Four Seasons Hotel Philadelphia (the Hotel has been providing farmers with rich compost for the past three years). Marvin Dixon, the Hotel’s director of engineering, says composting is easy to do at home, requiring only a simple compost bin and a bit of planning ahead. “When composting, you need something to balance your food scraps. This fall, when you are raking leaves, bag them and save them. Then layer them with your food scraps to create a compost pile.” Dixon suggests letting this compost for about a year before using it as rich fertilizer for your lawn.
A Clean, Green House
Going green can begin easily with spring cleaning. Revamp the products you use by taking a cue from the green housekeeping programs at many of the Four Seasons properties. They suggest switching to using energy efficient light bulbs, using biodegradable and environmentally friendly cleaning supplies, and using old linens and towels as rags.