Travelers Palm Inn & Guest House has become certified through GLEE’s Green Business Program demonstrating many ways to reduce waste and cut expenses through investment in sustainable measures.
With attention to detail both green and esthetic, owners Michel Appellis and Roxanne Fleszar have created a green oasis at 815 Catherine St. The three-unit new construction has been painted with all low-VOC paints and stains. Low-flow toilets and faucets are installed in both kitchens and baths. Countertops are made from recycled glass and furnishings have been selected to conserve natural resources, using antique mirrors and sustainable wood sources.
At the Travelers Palm recycling bins are conveniently located next to the kitchen trash receptacle with Key West recycling guidelines available for visitors’ information.
The use of chemical-free green cleaners is practiced here while a 3,600-gallon cistern, installed beneath the garden for easy access, collects rainwater coming from the three roofs. The garden is planted with natives and drought-resistant plants watered by an in-ground water-saving irrigation system that reduces the need for hand watering. The system feeds off the rainwater cistern, saving owners the cost of both water and sewer fees while reducing run off, a main source of near-shore water pollution.
Low-profile solar installations provide hot water for all guest needs and also heats the pool during chilly winter days. Other energy saving features includes use of Energy Star appliances, natural lighting, and CFL, LED and halogen lights that use at least 40 percent less energy than tradition bulbs.
The return on investment has been measurable. The solar water heaters, combined with energy efficient appliances and insulation have saved owners more than $4,600 over a five-month period compared to the same months the previous year. Between February and June, there was a 67 percent decrease in overall KW hours used.
As for the cistern, water bill comparisons for the month of May 2009 and May 2010 show a 54 percent dollar savings, with potable water usage down by 7,400 gallons, saving more than $75 in sewage charges in one month.