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Friday, January 11th, 2008 -- 12:20 PM

With people thinking "green" these days, the owner of Foxfire Gardens near Marshfield is encouraging more businesses to look into a new state program.

Foxfire Botanical Gardens near Marshfield has been certified a "Travel Green Wisconsin" business. Although "business" is a misnomer as the philosophical garden is free and open to the public.

Linda Schulte says a visitor told her about the program over the summer.

"I filled out the sixteen page application and went through some e-mail interview-type responses and a phone follow-up and was delighted to find that I had 84 points, enough to make us eligible to be Travel Green," Schulte explains.

According to their website, Travel Green Wisconsin is a "voluntary, affordable program that reviews, certifies and recognizes tourism businesses that have made a commitment to continuously improve their operations in order to reduce their environmental and social impact. This program helps businesses evaluate their operations, set goals and take specific actions towards environmental, social and economic sustainability."

"It's just basically controlling rainwater and run-off here, recycling newspaper and mulch, how our skylights are utilized for passive solar," Schulte explains. "I really believe many businesses, whether they're bed and breakfasts, restaurants or police departments, we all need to be more aware of our footprint."

"Thank goodness for this program. It really gives us tremendous guidelines."

And, more and more tourists are looking for environmentally conscious businesses to visit.

"I believe this initiative is already happening in other businesses and it would be lovely if they had the little Travel Green sticker," Schulte says.

You can learn more at [url=http://www.travelgreenwisconsin.com] http://www.travelgreenwisconsin.com[/url]

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