Have Fun the Green Way

Innovative ideas to spruce up your life from a weekend getaway to green pampering

Apr 17, 2009

Take a break and relax with one of these green, health-happy options while boosting the environment, too.

Escape to an eco-friendly getaway

Arbor House Bed and Breakfast

Located in the heart of Madison close to the beautiful Arboretum, The Arbor House Bed and Breakfast is a great place to bring family members or a significant other without draining your gas tank or running up travel expenses.

“We wanted to be the first urban destination to do innkeeping,” says Cathie Imes, who along with husband John opened the environmental inn in 1994.

The Imeses wanted not only to work in a green environment, but also live a green lifestyle.

“We are not consumption-oriented by any means. Our family of six owns only one iPod, which we all take turns choosing songs and using. We like to share resources to conserve energy.”

The Imeses’ environmentally conscious attitude carries over to the amenities they offer their guests at the inn.

“We team up with fellow green businesses for our products. We use Burt’s Bees for our hair care products, SunFeather Natural for soap and candles, Just Coffee for all of our coffee goods, Blue Marble Family Farm delivers our dairy and The Company Store out of La Crosse contributes to our linen and bamboo products,” says Cathie.

While touring the Arbor House, guests may also find inspiration from John and Cathie on how to utilize their landscape.

“Our landscape is divided into three areas. One we use to cut fresh greens from like fresh flowers. Another we harvest pear trees, rhubarb, and raspberries for breakfast, snacks, or desserts that we serve to our guests. We also grow herbs which saves us time and money to produce fresh goods. The third area consists of things that we use for shading, water retention or anything to keep our environment cool,” says Cathie.

The couple hopes that guests will not only enjoy a calming weekend but also take away some tips on how to become more eco-friendly.

“When people are here, they may draw ideas from the landscape as well as the products in our Inn—like buying a dry sauna, for instance,” says Cathie.

Pamper yourself and hold a green party

Arbonne International

Instead of rushing home from work to load up the car for a weekend vacation, plan a night in with your closest friends to host an Arbonne skincare party.

Madison-based executive regional vice president and independent consultant Beth Malcook has hosted at least one hundred parties in the Madison area and beyond and continues to expand her business.

The line itself is pure, safe, beneficial and applies to people of all ages. Malcook says Arbonne is a company with a conscience that creates products to enhance beauty and health. The products consist of nine different product lines ranging from Detox Seasource Spa and anti-aging to baby care, nutrition and wellness and color. The products are botanically based, vegan, free of petroleum products, dyes and mineral oil.

“Guests enjoy learning about the contribution of skin care, body care, color and nutrition to one’s health and wellness as well as the benefits of pure safe products by testing them themselves with things like spa parties or foot soaks,” says Malcook.

Prepare to clean green without leaving your computer

Organization: Women’s Voices for Earth (WVE) Green Cleaning Parties

Not in the mood to entertain? Keep those comfy sweatpants on after a long work week and plan a future gathering with the WVE Green Cleaning Party Kits.

Anticipating scrubbing the kitchen floors may not be how you pictured spending your weekend, but the Women’s Voices for Earth Organization is a Montana-based nonprofit offering Green Cleaning Party Kits. Their kits have been ordered online by many Madison area residents who plan to share fun, eco-friendly ways to make those floors sparkle.

“The whole goal of the green cleaning party kit is so people may order the pamphlet online and host their own parties. We want people to be aware of the health risks of the carcinogens we put on our face or inhale from our cleaning products,” says Ali Solomon, WVE director of communications and donor development.

The green cleaning kit idea came to fruition after WVE released a report in 2007 titled “Household Hazards”, which focused on specific chemicals that are not listed on cleaning product labels. Some of the listed chemicals had serious reproductive health impacts, like asthma. Due to the response of the report, Solomon, along with fellow members of WVE, began to do research for their organization to create and promote their own earth-friendly products.

“We started testing age-old recipes for cleaning products. We had scientists and producers on staff make sure the ingredients were safe,” says Solomon.

Baking soda, lemon juice, olive oil and vinegar are among some of the ingredients WVE and their team tested to produce the six different recipes offered in the kit. WVE also has a survey page on their website where party hosts can report on the success of the products.

“We’ve had people gush about how happy they are. One woman felt like they were giving their kitchen a ‘spa treatment’ because our products felt and smelled so good,” says Solomon.

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