Thursday, March 15, 2007

VIPs for a Day!

Yesterday Sven and I traveled to Newport, RI, where
GoNewport had invited me to participate at their March event, “It is Easy Being Green,” a panel on Eco-Tourism. Hibernian Hall rapidly filled with business owners, eager for tips and advice, who began munching organic pastries. Other panelists were Rob Cardeiro of the Norman Bird Sanctuary and Champe Speidel of Persimmon Restaurant in Bristol. Kara DiCamillo of served as moderator.

After a quick introduction by Kathryn Farrington, GoNewport V.P. of Marketing, and short speeches by two local personalities, I explained why Chez Sven is green, and what the challenges and advantages are. All members of the panel agreed that the single most important thing one can do is set a good example and spread the word.

Sven cheered me on and claims I was the most articulate of all the speakers, enthusiasm which does not surprise me, under the circumstances. I found the discussion of biodiesel particularly fascinating. Champe Speidel, to my right, immediately signed up. (A fledgling biodiesel company will travel to restaurants to collect cooking oil. Wellfleet could do with a similar service. To the left, Dyer Pond in March, looking very green.)

Afterwards, Sven & I were given a VIP pass. We stayed at lovely Ivy Lodge, close by the mansions of Newport, and toured the Breakers with a guide who kept mentioning Anderson Cooper’s connection to the Vanderbilt family.

It was encouraging to see a County Convention & Visitors Bureau take such an initiative. I felt pleased to have been able to share our experience at Chez Sven and only wish the Cape Cod Chamber of Commerce would organize a similar event.