Living

Southernmost adds to green accolades

The Southernmost on the Beach has become certified by Keyswide environmental nonprofit Green Living & Energy Education’s Green Business Program.

Behind the scenes of this 124-room property with Atlantic views, a pool bar and hammocks in the sand, management and staff have created a sustainable environment that is good for visitors and serves the bottom line.

At check in, guests receive a key card that activates the energy system in their room when they enter.

When guests leave their room to see the sights, a sensor detects that there is no one in the room and sets the dedicated energy system to sleep mode, adjusting the air-conditioning accordingly.

Energy Star-rated appliances are the standard here, and amenities such as organic Rainforest Alliance-certified coffee set the tone.

Soap and shampoo in recyclable containers, dual-flush toilets, low-flow showers and eco-friendly bags for recycling lower the impact of each guest stay, the hotel says, without compromising their comfort.

All cleaning products are Green Seal certified, and a linen reuse program gives guests the option of using sheets and towels for more than one day, helping to conserve water and energy.

Even with lush landscaping throughout the grounds, the hotel reduced its water consumption by more than 61,000 gallons in one year after installing more efficient sprinkler heads. Maintenance engineers are now looking at using rainwater for landscaping, which would conserve potable water, reduce runoff into nearshore waters and eliminate the added expense of sewer fees metered by water usage.

Southernmost on the Beach was already certified as Green Lodging property by the Florida Department of Environmental Protection, as well as receiving an energy audit from an environmental consultants EcoSante.

The hotel is providing a blueprint for the company’s other hotels — Southernmost Hotel, La Mer Hotel and Dewey House — while demonstrating that going green is good for business.

The GLEE certification is a do-it-yourself program available to local businesses at www.keysglee.com. It’s designed to help local companies reduce their environmental impact and trim their bottom line money.

For more information about the GLEE program, contact Bridget McDonald at 923-1994 or write to info@keysglee.com.

— Are you a business or nonprofit taking steps to make your operation a little more environmentally friendly? Drop a line with the details to kquist@keynoter.com.

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