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ELY- From the heating systems to the furnishings and beyond, for the Adventure Inn in Ely, sustainability isn't just a philosophy, it's a way of life.When Sue and her husband decided to open a bed and breakfast, they knew exactly how they wanted to do it.
Owner, Sue Edgington said, "All of our business practices, our personal practices had trying to follow the three R's. Reduce our consumption, reuse whenever possible and then recycle."
At every turn the hotel makes an impact on the world around it.
"To me it's a moral responsibility and that's just how it should be," said Edgington.
They use water heated by solar energy, collect run-off rain to water plants and clean with natural products.
"A plant based detergent for all of our laundry, which is made right here in Minneapolis."
The beds are even made out of parts of old grain elevators from Superior and the décor on the walls comes from local artists.
"We buy locally whenever possible. Whatever we can do to support our local businesses," said Edgington.
The decision to go green was a costly one but one worth its weight in gold.
"It was risky. It was frightening cause we were out of our comfort zone with the debt. I'm very glad we did it. Our business has increased substantially," said Edgington.
The guests say it makes a huge difference.
"We didn't realize how sick so many people are to chemical allergies and we would have people staying with us and comment that this was the first night they didn't wake up with a headache," said Edgington.
Adventure Inn is a member of "Green America," an organization that strives to make communities healthy and persevere for generations.
Sue would have it no other way.
"To build the building in a green fashion probably added 20–25% more to the building cost, however, we have a very strong, sturdy building," said Edgington.
In the end it may have cost a little but more, but Sue and Mark say it was all worth it.