Gillespie House recognized for environmental sustainability

Andrew Wagstaff
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Local B&B picks up TIANS award

Gillespie House in Parrsboro was a big winner at the recent TIANS conference.

Lori Lynch and David Beattie, owners of Gillespie House Inn in Parrsboro, were pleased to pick up the Sustainable Tourism Award at the recent Tourism Industry Association of Nova Scotia conference in Halifax.

PARRSBORO – Communities in Bloom’s five-bloom ranking was not the only big win for Parrsboro at the recent Tourism Industry Association of Nova Scotia (TIANS) conference. One local business was also awarded for its efforts.

Gillespie House Inn received the Sustainable Tourism Award in front of the packed awards banquet in Halifax on Nov. 26, much to the delight of David Beattie and Lori Lynch, who have been operating the business for 17 years.

Surrounded by big-city players in the industry like the Halifax Delta hotels, which picked up community service awards at the same event, Lynch said they felt “symbolic of the little guy” in how everyone can make a difference for their environment.

“As a small outfit, when you do that sort of stuff, you do it because you believe in it,” she said. “But you don’t really think anyone notices, or it makes a difference. Obviously, somebody noticed.”

For years the Gillespie House operators have done their part, from choosing clotheslines over dryers, to changing their light bulbs to a more energy-conservative format. Backyard composting efforts have meant their garden has not seen any chemical fertilizers, and solar panels were installed several years ago to lower the strain on the fuel bill.

“It saves on energy, and we do try to have an environmental conscience,” said Beattie. “Also, at the end of the day, it saves money. Because we heated our domestic water with oil, we used to need 2-3 deliveries during the summer. Now, we go pretty much all summer on one tank.”

Gillespie House was previously awarded by the Central Nova Tourist Association (CNTA) with its Accommodation Award in 2004. All such kudos are not expected, but appreciated, according to Betatie.

“For us, it’s just business as normal,” he said. “We haven’t really changed anything specifically to go after an award. But it’s really nice.”

For Lynch, it helped her realize that everyone’s efforts in helping their environment, whether big or small, can make a difference.

“If a big hotel adopts green practices, it really makes a difference,” she said. “But if all the little B&B’s, inns and other businesses do it collectively, that’s the way it starts. Little people can make a difference too.”

The Sustainable Tourism Award is presented to an individual or business who exemplifies leadership in balancing the economic, environmental and cultural authenticity of the tourism industry. It was one of nine crystal tourism awards presented at the TIANS event.

Twitter: @ADNandrew


Organizations: Gillespie House

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