If you are interested in an ecological holiday a good place to start is with www.organicholidays.com This site lists homes and holiday venues around the world. The Goats’ garden is listed on the site, and is in fact the only organic venue listed in Norway.
In addition, The Goats’ Garden is listed under Eco Hotels of the World with 5 stars. Eco Hotels give stars based on ratings of energy, water, disposal, eco-action, and protection. The Goats’ Garden has been listed with 5 stars and has been given the Eco Hotels seal of approval:
Since we were given the rating, we have made even more upgrades to our property and ecology, putting in a Biovac, biological septic system, additional composting, and new organic gardens. We are the only Norwegian listing on this site also. Here is our rating description on EcoHotels:
Green Star Rating Results:
For more information on how these work click here
Overall Rating: ★★★★★ (5)
Energy Rating: ★★★★ (4)
Staff Comment – Our home is heated mostly with wood. We have a wood stove in the kitchen and in the living room, and a ceiling fan in the living room to direct extra heat upstairs. The house is well insulated and we have two and three layer glass in all windows. We use low energy bulbs throughout the house and staff are aware of the necessity to turn off lights and appliances whenever possible. We use electric appliances sparingly; we have an energy saving vacuum machine and use energy saving settings on the washing machine and dishwasher. We air-dry all clothes, towels, and linens. Guest rooms have an electric panel with a thermostat and day night electricity sinking. We provide a guest guide to the thermostat and to saving electricity in general, and our staff and management are trained and aware of energy saving. We use a service of our local electricy authority that allows us to choose to buy alternative energy.
Water Rating: ★★★★★ (5)
Staff Comment – We have our own non-chemical septic tank and our own well. We use compost and water conservation methods in our ecological gardens. We reuse spent water from the goats or from the house in the gardens. We use ecological cleaning products and organic toiletries. We change sheets and towels only on demand. Staff are aware of water saving measures, turn off taps when not in use, use the washing machine on eco settings, use the dishwasher only when full. We have signs in the bathroom reminding guests to use water sparingly and have an ecological manifesto in the rooms with the room literature. Guests are advised to use showers instead of baths, and we have a written water saving memorandum in guest rooms. Guests may use ‘family cloth’ optional cloth wipes instead of toilet paper, if they choose; we provide wet bags for used family cloth and wash these for our guests.
Disposal Rating: ★★★★★ (5)
Staff Comment – We avoid as much waste as possible by buying only what we need. As much as possible we buy from local farms or use our own home grown products thus avoiding packaging. We shop with cloth bags and take care to buy organic products in ecological packaging. We sort all waste and advise guests on sorting waste as well. Guests are advised to use the recycle bins and the compost bin. We sort guest waste from the guest room bin ourselves when we clean the rooms if they have not done this themselves. We sort foodstuff, paper, plastic, metal, and glass. We have our own compost and compost all compostable material for the garden. We also have a second business called ‘Carbon Free Creations’ that recycles used clothing and other products into new clothes, accessories, toys, and other products. Everything is used, and scraps are used to provide stuffing for stuffed animal creations. Any used towels, sheets and so on are also recycled through our Carbon Free Creations. We do not use disposable tableware,etc, although we are experimenting with edible plates and cups, and handmade recycled paper plates and containers.
Eco-Active Rating: ★★★★★ (5)
Staff Comment – The owner and staff are members of our local Transition Initiative and we are active in community projects such as Incredible Edible, Freecycle, and organic planting, as well as Film nights featuring films to increase ecological awareness in our local town. We work together with local permaculture and seed saving organizations and take part in lectures and presentations held by local organizations such as MaJoBo (Food,Earth and Living) and Fremtid I Våre Hender (The Future in Our Hands) and NaturForbunet (the Nature Foundation) We are members of a local farm cooperative and get many of our vegetables from there or from our other neighbours. All profits from our Bed and Breakfast are deposited in the Cultura Bank, a local bank that funds ecological projects. Our blog and PR material emphasize our environmental priorities and practices, and guests are invited to join in activities if they like. All our PR material, envelopes, etc. are made of recycled paper. We offer pick up from our local airport in our electric car, which has mileage offset with credits for renewable energy from our local energy provider. We have made a commitment to offset air travel of overseas guest to our Bed and Breakfast by planting trees on our property and buying credits through Myclimate.org. We encourage the use of trains and will pick up and deliver guests at the local train station. We can loan out bicycles and encourage use of public buses. In our home we use ecological cleaning products, microfiber cloth, organic sheets, towels, and toiletries, and fully organic meals.
Protection Rating: ★★★★★ (5)
Staff Comment – We are dedicated to living as locally as possible. We source food, accessories, and vintage furniture from local farms, from local organic initiatives, and from local recycle shops. We protect our own land from pesticides and support the practice in our area. We grow organic food and share our seed locally. We aim to plant local perennial plants as well as plants localized through seed saving and selection. We advertise local events such as the annual Viking festival, the Roots and Reggae festival, and other music events as well as local products, in our in-room literature. We have a variety of Norwegian and other art, books, and music in our home. We are a bilingual home. We make local products available for sale at the location and advice guests of where they can find local handcrafts in the immediate local area as well as in the town.