Chimney Rock State Park has become North Carolina’s 70th tourist destination to earn recognition for its environmentally friendly practices, according to officials with the N.C. GreenTravel Initiative.
Chimney Rock Management LLC, which operates Chimney Rock, earned its place among N.C. GreenTravel locations by installing public recycling containers, using locally-produced food in the park restaurant, reducing water usage, installing energy-efficient lighting and appliances, removing invasive plants and increasing public environmental awareness.
NC GreenTravel, a N.C. Department of Environment and Natural Resources program launched in October 2011, recognizes tourism-oriented businesses for their accomplishments in environmental stewardship. In addition to lessening environmental impacts, research has shown that environmentally friendly businesses reduce operating costs and are more profitable without sacrificing the comfort of guests.
While several other states have created programs to certify “green” hotels, the N.C. GreenTravel Initiative gives recognition to hotels, restaurants, museums, parks, attractions and other tourism-related businesses.