Experience Eco-Friendly Lodging in New York State

The rhythms of our cottage retreat, Thyme in the Country, revolve around green practices: recycling, using renewable resources as much as possible, minimizing our environmental impact in every decision we make, supporting and interacting with the local community in Hudson and surrounding towns, and sharing the knowledge and benefits of this lifestyle with our guests.

Our attempts to make our cottage get-away sustainable started gradually and we continue to adopt behaviors that reduce our carbon footprint. We are fortunate to live in scenic Columbia County, with a rich agricultural heritage at a time when interest in agritourism is rising. People are looking for simpler and more meaningful vacation experiences and earth-friendly accommodations. Even the economy of the city of Hudson, an antique destination, is largely based on recycling.

Living this “simple life” is not so simple, and sustainability takes sustained effort and will, but the benefits are great. Living “Eco”nomically takes on new meaning: less consumption and more conscious contentment with what you have grows into clarity and self-control. The value of an hour’s work relative to the value of a dollar brings about respect for others – people, animals and the environment – and in turn, builds peace and love.

shower room with black walls and white horizontal stripe of tile half way up the wall. Water running form shower head

Minimizing our Impact

Water: We minimize water use in laundry and dishwashing with very efficient appliances, including the laundry washing machines available to our guest inside the cottages. Our solar hot water system supplies hot water to each of the cottages.  Rain barrels collect water for the gardens. Our driveway and parking area absorb excess water through a recycled polyethylene grid that decreases runoff and returns water back into the ecosystem. It also keeps the yard cool and green in the summer.

Electricity: Three solar panels supply 66% of our electricity. Our appliances are Energy Star-approved, and we use a root cellar to store much of our harvested and bulk foods. Outdoor lighting is solar electric, automatically timed to turn on in the evening. We use a clothesline instead of a clothes dryer.

Cleaning: We use vinegar, baking soda and other non-chemical cleaners to clean the rooms, dishes and laundry. We use washable, reusable rags for cleaning.  Chemical-free cleaning helps eliminate built-up soap residue in our linens, environmental pollutants, and reduces petrochemical consumption. Fresh air is a key part of keeping things clean at Thyme in the Country. We open windows when we clean, to air out the rooms. We hang out the area rugs every week and vacuum with a HEPA-filtered vacuum. Curtains are washed seasonally, and floors are wiped by hand weekly. In this way, we reduce allergens, keep the indoor environment fresh and healthy and make Thyme in the Country the ideal get-away for anyone sensitive to the chemicals and fragrances in typical cleaning products.

Reduce, Reuse, Recycle and Restore

We use recycled building products as much as possible.  For example, the shower walls in the Eco cottage are cut from now obsolete local grade school chalk boards.  We get our bathroom tile from the Columbia County Restore, light fixtures, sinks, plumbing hardware are all reused.  The windows in the Eco cottage are all reclaimed.  Our composting toilets in the Garden Shed and the Eco cottage have virtually no environmental impact.  They require no plumbing so they conserve water, are chemical free, do not smell.  
To minimize garbage we provide compost containers and recycling bins.  Our trash baskets are lined with recycled tissue to eliminate plastics.  Our toilet paper is 100% recycled paper.  
Our saline pool requires no added chlorine after it is opened in the spring and it stays crystal clear all summer thanks to Barry’s efforts.
The vegetable and flower gardens, filled with native plants,  the pond and the meadows all contributing to attracting many diverse species of insect, bird and wildlife communities.