Okemo Mountain Resort's Jackson Gore Inn has been designated a Green Hotel by the Vermont Department of Environmental Conservation and the Vermont Small Business Development Center.
This designation is based on the Inn's voluntary commitment to sound environmental practices to reduce impacts on the environment, save in operational expenses, and satisfy customer demand for environmentally conscious lodging establishments.
Environmental goals at the Jackson Gore Innare being achieved by using eco-friendly building materials, reducing energy dependency, and minimizing pollution. The resort's recycling program has increased its reach by reducing the waste of recyclable materials in guest facilities and staff offices, and has further plans to expand its single-stream recycling program at Jackson Gore this winter season.
Other green actions include offering overnight guests the option to reuse towels and linens in an effort to help conserve water; cleaning with eco-friendly supplies to reduce environmental toxins; replacing incandescent light bulbs with compact fluorescent lighting to reduce energy use.
Across the Connectitcut River in New Hampshire's White Mountains, the Mount Washington Resort is finishing up a $50 million renovation that combines old world elegance and up-to-the-minute luxury.
The project has many components, including a new 25,000-square-foot spa and salon, 20,000-square-foot Conference Center, new outdoor pool complex, and restoration of the 18-hole Donald Ross golf course.
One component is the Jewell Terrace atop the new Presidential Wing that houses the Spa and Conference Center. The terrace is a landscaped "green roof" that performs all the functions of a normal roof while also increasing energy efficiency and environmental friendliness.
The roof is partially covered with vegetation and soil, or growing medium, planted over a waterproofing membrane which may include additional layers such as a root barrier and drainage.
In addition to pleasing aesthetics, a "green roof" in this location provides the benefit of energy efficiency by keeping the underlying building cooler during the summer months, and warmer in the winter. It also minimizes storm water run-off by capturing rain for use in irrigation.
The roof combines the use of native plants, providing a landscape more consistent with views in the White Mountains than a normal garden. The plant palette includes 43 species, of which 20 are indigenous to New Hampshire. Some, from the Presidential subalpine plant and montane communities, include Labrador tea, moss campion, three-toothed cinquefoil, bunchberry, alpine bluet, harebell, and White Mountain saxifrage.