VG Virginia Green Gazette
August 2012
In This Issue
VG Advisory Committee Meeting
Free Webinars!
Cooper Vineyards Earns LEED Platinum
New Sustainability Tool Available
Welcome Newest VG Members!


2012 Green Travel Stars Application Now Available!
TrophyMake sure to get your application in for the second annual awards program for VG participants to recognize outstanding green programs, innovative green projects, and green suppliers. Winners will be announced at the VA-1 Tourism Summit in October.


Upcoming VG Advisory Committee Meeting

September 7, 10 am - 1pm, Gloucester

This meeting will be hosted by the Virginia Clean Marinas Program and held at the Virginia Institute of Marine Sciences (VIMS). All VG participants are encouraged to come provide input, learn about ongoing program activities, and tour VIMS. If you'd like to attend, please email us

Free Webinars!

"Greening the Food Services Sector" 1-2:30 pm, August 22:  Learn how the food service industry can improve efficiency, reduce pollution, and save money by implementing sustainability and best practices. Space is limited; reserve your place now. 


"People, Planet, Profit - How to Benefit from Sustainability Initiatives in Hospitality" 12-1 pm, Sept 18: Learn how to market your sustainability initiatives. Space is limited; reserve your place now. 



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Virginia Green is a voluntary self-certification program for the hospitality and tourism industry intended to reduce the environmental footprint of the industry while promoting its economic sustainability. It operates as a partnership between the Virginia Tourism Corporation, the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality and the Virginia Hospitality and Travel Association.

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Cooper Vineyards outside viewVG Member Cooper Vineyards Earns LEED Platinum

First Winery on East Coast to Meet the Standard!


Cooper Vineyards, in Louisa, recently became the first winery on the East Coast to earn the prestigious LEED Platinum Certification for its tasting room. LEED, which stands for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, validates the integrity of a green building, and platinum is the highest level of recognition.


Among the benefits of a green building are improved air quality and waste reduction, reduced operating costs and a minimized strain on local infrastructure. Some of the green features of the nearly 5,000 square foot building are:

  • A rainwater harvesting system that filters rainwater for irrigation and toilets
  • Solar powered panels that provide more than 15% of electricity for the building
  • An ultra-efficient geothermal HVAC system that uses underground temperatures to heat and cool the building
  • Energy-efficient lighting fixtures and windows
  • Several 30-foot light tubes to harness solar light indoors
  • Low-impact land disturbance practices
  • Natural stone and native cypress siding
  • Structurally Insulated Panel System providing 70% greater insulation value over traditional stick frame construction
  • Extensive use of reclaimed, recycled and locally-sourced materials, including custom-concrete counter tops on the tasting bar.

Co-owner Jeff Cooper noted, "We love the way that our Platinum LEED certified tasting room presents our wines, creates an uplifting atmosphere for tasting, and confirms our commitment to sustainability."


Way to go Cooper Vineyards!


The Greening of FloydFest!

Every year, the nearly 20,000 people who descend upon the Blue Ridge Parkway for 5 days of music, crafts and food are committed to leaving it the way they find it. The FloydFest green team andFloydfest their army of volunteers help educate participants and make sure that they are recycling and reducing all wastes. Floydfest focuses on the collection and composting of all food wastes in their quest to be a zero waste event. This year, VG event banners were displayed proudly at Floydfest. We are vey proud to have Floydfest as a Virginia Green Event!


Hotels: Do You Need Help Tracking Your Sustainability Projects?

A new tool is available to estimate the financial and environmental benefits from sustainable practices at your hotel(s). All you have to do is answer a few simple questions, such as the size of your facility and the types of activities that you do. The calculator does the rest! Developed by the New England Waste Management Officials Association, the tool provides two options for calculating savings:


- Calculate Benefits by Media Type: Estimates environmental outcomes based on media type, such as impacts to water, energy use, or waste generation. This approach would be most useful for users that are interested in a particular outcome, such as the total amount of water saved by a hotel that has implemented several water-conserving practices (e.g., reducing the frequency of when their linens are laundered and installing low-flow water fixtures).


- Calculate Benefits by Sustainable Practice: Estimates all of the results achieved by facilities implementing a particular practice, such as the associated reductions in water, energy, and chemicals resulting from reducing the frequency of when their linens are laundered.


Welcome to our newest members!


- Bacon's Castle (Surry)

- Blue Mountain Barrel House (Arrington)



 - 55 & Better Pig Pickin' 2012 (Chesapeake)

- Association of Nature Center Administrators 2012 Summit (Wallops Island)

- Clean City Cookout 2012 (Norfolk)

- FloydFest 2012

- OpSail (multiple events at multiple locations)

- Rappahannock Riverfest (King George)

- VA Beach SPCA 34th Annual Walk for the Animals

- VA Sustainable Building Network Annual Meeting (Etlan)



- Fairfield Inn & Suites (South Boston)

- Hampton Inn (Dumfries)

- The Mason Inn Conference Center & Hotel (Fairfax)

- The Tower House at Bryce Resort (Basye)



- Balliceaux (Richmond)

- Imperial Catering & Events (Richmond)

- Lift Coffee Shop & Cafe (Richmond)

- Stella's (Richmond)

- The Empress (Richmond)


Supporting Organizations:

- NLG USA (VA Beach)

- Waste Watchers of the Eastern Shore (Onancock)