Chez Sven B&B  
Wellfleet, Massachusetts, United States
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This hotel has a green procurement program, ensuring that as many products are environmentally sensitive as possible. For example, their amenities are 100% natural.

This hotel doesn't allow pets.

This hotel has gone a step further in other ways to reduce their demand on fossil fuels and contribute to clean air. Their guestroom shower/tubs don't have any kind of shower curtain (avoiding vinyl and plastic sheets, as well as having to launder cotton or polyester curtains) and they don't line their waste baskets with plastic bags (which also reduces the landfill problems of no decomposition).

The attributes below are briefly defined when you hover your mouse over the term and in more detail on the Definitions Page.

No: Yes: Unknown: Promised but not provided:
Towel Program  
Sheet Program  
Cotton Towels/Sheets  
Alternative Energy  
Maintenance for Conservation  
Energy Conservation  
Bulk Soap & Amenities  
Newspaper Program  
Organic Food Served  
Eco-friendly Food Served  
Promote "greenness" in PR  
Educate Guests to "green"  
Educate Staff to "green"  
Participate in Green Program(s)  
Fresh Air  
Non-Smoking Rooms  
Environmental Cleaning  
Water Conservation  
Xeric Garden  
Gray-Water Recycling  
Recyclable Disposables  
Compostable Disposables  
Durable Service Items  
Guestroom Recycling Bins  
Hotel Recycling Bins  
Donating to Charity  
Conference Center/Rooms  
Fitness Center  

Chez Sven is a one of those places that give one hope that the world's great places might yet be experienced but not despoiled--part of the promise of ecotourism. If all Cape Cod B&Bs were operated like this one --with a serious understanding of and real concern for their environmental impact-- the pressure on the fragile ecosystem there would be greatly reduced. As ecologists, my wife and I make our vacation plans with these concerns in mind. We spent almost a week at Chez Sven last year, and over this past winter made reservations to return for another week this year.

Sandy and Sven do a great job of balancing hospitality and respect for your privacy, which is key with the intimacy of a bed and breakfast. Their commitment to green principles is documented thoroughly at their excellent website-- --so I won't detail all that here. I will say it distinguished their operation from others on the Cape for us.

Sandy is also a superb source of information (both published and anecdotal) on the many less-visited places on Cape Cod of interest to green-minded travelers: the more out of the way beaches, the nature preserves and higher quality whale-spotting operations. Your stay will benefit substantially from her tips...don't be shy about asking for her opinion.

There were no plastic liners, no shower curtains at all, just a handheld shower with a button flow control to reduce unnecessary use and a stool for seated, focused bathing in a ceramic-tiled (no plastic) bath area; energy efficient refrigerator; no AC, but lots of cross-ventilating windows (mostly a summer place, being Cape Cod) and skylights which reduced the need for artificial lighting.

Some produce for meals comes from their own garden, and pervious surfaces are used in the parking and walkway areas. No apparent preference for native plants.

The only thing I would add to their set-up is loaner bicycles (to encourage reduced car use, which really kills the Cape in the summer, but liability nsurance costs might be prohibitive), and PV solar.

This is how we would run a B&B.

Mark Vian, September 2005

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For more information about green travel tips, read these articles:
Consumers Seeking Green Hotel Eco-labels
Why Environmentally Friendly Hotels
Why Sustainable Travel and Tourism

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