Green on the Cape
I’m really excited today to present a guest post by one of our loyal readers, Alexandra Grabbe, an innkeeper of Chez Sven, a green B&B on Cape Cod. If you have ever had the desire to visit the Cape and can do so in April, Alexandra is offering 10% off the room rate for Living Large readers. Just mention us when you make your reservations!
I’m thrilled to address the readers of Living Large in Our Little House, one of my favorite blogs. My house is not as small as Dale and Kerri’s, but it isn’t big either, and I’m proud of that fact.
My husband Sven and I live in a traditional three-quarters Cape, in Wellfleet, Massachusetts, an old house that once belonged to my parents. We actually have too much space for my taste. I wanted to keep this marvelous house in the family, so five years ago I started a green bed & breakfast called Chez Sven.
Around 1750, the building was moved to its present location on Old King’s Highway, a scenic dirt road used by George III’s tax collectors. I like to imagine what the area looked like before the American Revolution. The house dates to a similar period as the Atwood-Higgins house, a top attraction in the Cape Cod National Seashore nearby. Our house was moved here on rollers. Sven found a 1798 Liberty Coin under the floor.
In renovating the northern wing we paid particular attention to detail, making the new space as authentic as possible, and as green as possible. Old 12-inch wide yellow pine boards were recycled in the “keeping room,” as were most of the doors and hardware. One exception is the lovely private bath, hard to imagine back in the 1700s when the owners used a two-seater outhouse! I was delighted to find some salvaged tile for free on Craigslist, enough for the whole bathroom. And, it’s GREEN, too!
Guests at Chez Sven can count on eco-friendly towels and 100% organic cotton sheets, washed in a low-energy front-loader and air-dried in spring, summer and fall. We offer natural amenities and use only non-toxic cleaning products. We serve as much organic food as possible, including homemade granola and yogurt, and provide water that has passed through 3-stage PUR filters. No plastic bottles here, although we recycle any that turn up in the trash.
We have a wonderful swap shop at the local transfer station. One fellow in town claims he furnished his whole house with objects discarded from other people’s lives. With that statement, he earned my total admiration.
I used to worry about taking used batteries to the dump. Were they being recycled the way they should? No longer, now that I have my own rechargeable Eneloop batteries and charger, thanks to the drawing sponsored by Sanyo on Living Large a month or so ago.
I use the batteries for my Canon Powershot camera, with which I photograph the local scenery for my blog, Wellfleet Today. My readers, who live all over the world, share both my love for Cape Cod and for an eco-friendly lifestyle. The Eneloop ready-to-use rechargeable batteries and compact battery charger fit in perfectly at Chez Sven. I like the way I can simply plug the charger into the wall and get on with my B&B chores.