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8+ Ways to Be Sustainable at Home and on Vacation

We know being sustainable and “going green” is on many people’s minds these days, but sometimes it can be hard to act on your desire to help our Mother Earth. Need some fresh ideas to get you started? Look no further.

Sustainability on Vacation

While on vacation there are ways to engage in earth friendly practices.

1. Consider chosing a vacation spot that engages in sustainable practices. Just by choosing a resort or hotel that is “green” you are making an impact. At Madden’s sustainability is a big priority. Our friends in Naples, FL also practice what they call “Good Earthkeeping”

2. Keep up your habits of recycling while vacationing. At Madden’s we provide friendly reminders to recycle as well as many recycling receptacles around the resort.

Signage and recycling bags in guest rooms allow guests to keep up their recycling habits from home.

3. Consider walking or biking rather than driving. A brisk walk or bike ride isn’t just good for the environment, its good for YOU! Madden’s offers bicycle rentals for moving around the resort and for using local trails. Stop by the front desk or the Tennis and Croquet Club for trail maps.

4. Flip the switch. While on vacation we sometimes forget about the lights or air conditioning because we’re distracted with some many fun things to do. Just flipping the switch before leaving the room can make a big difference. Plus by shutting off the air at night and cracking open the windows, you can often take in the local sights and sounds–our favorite at Madden’s are the loon calls at night.

Cut the juice in the evening. Loon calls are much more relaxing to listen to than an air conditioner!

5. Reuse your towels and sheets. Consider using your towels and sheets for more than one day. If you choose to reuse your towels let your housekeeper know by hanging them rather than leaving them on the floor. For sheets, look for a note card or sign in your guest room to place on the bed.

6. Take home your in room amenities. You can reduce waste by taking home opened bottles of shampoo, lotion, etc. Use them at home to feel like you’re still on vacation. Then recycle the bottles when you’re finished with them for a doubled helping of sustainability.

Sustainability at Home

1. Saving fuel helps both the environment and your pocket book. Here are some tips to improving your fuel mileage:

  • Avoid “jack rabbit”starts and aggressive driving. Flooring the gas pedal not only wastes gas, it leads to drastically higher pollution rates. One second of high-powered driving can produce nearly the same volume of carbon monoxide emissions as a half hour of normal driving.
  • Think ahead. Try to anticipate stops and let your vehicle coast down as much as possible. Avoid the increased pollution, wasted gas, and wear on your vehicle created by accelerating hard and braking hard.
  • Follow the speed limit! Driving 75 mph instead of 65 mph will lower your fuel economy by about 10 percent, and can dramatically increase tail pipe pollution in man yvehicles.
  • Plan your trips to avoid rush hour. Stop-and-go driving burns gas and increases emissions of smog-forming pollutants.
  • Combine trips. Warmed-up engines and catalysts generate much less air pollution, so combining several short trips into one can make a big difference.
  • Take a load off. Carrying around an extra 100 pounds reduces fuel economy by about 1 percent. Take a few moments to unload your cargo area.
  • If your vehicle has it, use overdrive gear at cruising speeds. When driving a manual transmission, shift up as soon as possible. Running in a higher gear decreases your rpms and will decrease fuel use and engine wear.
  • Try using the vents and opening windows to cool off before you turn on the air conditioner. Air conditioner use increases fuel consumption, increases noxious emissions in some vehicles, and involves environmentally damaging fluids. Note: At higher speeds, using the air conditioner can actually increase milage compared to leaving windows open. So in town open windows and on the freeway go with the AC.
  • Carpool. Riding with others both keeps you in good company and saves multiple cars from being on the road.

2. Reuse plastic grocery bags. If you haven’t yet converted to canvas or other types of reusable grocery bags, try using unique ways to reuse your plastic ones. Here are a few ideas to get you started

  • Small garbage bags
  • Doggie Do Bags
  • Homemade bubble wrap for packing or storing
  • Travel bag for wet swimsuits and towels
  • Cover smaller stored items in the garage or attic to protect them from dust
  • Wrap around paint brushes to keep the brush from drying out while you take a break
  • Ball up bags and put them inside purses to help them keep their shape when not in use
  • Line litter boxes with them
  • Did your favorite antique vase break? Line the bottom with a plastic bag to keep it from leaking so you can keep using it

For more super fun and creative ways to reuse plastic bags, visit http://blog.craftzine.com/archive/2007/08/plastic_bag_crafts.html

**What do you do to help out Mother Earth? We’d love to hear your tips! Comment below or email us at blog@maddens.com**

Your green friends, Madden’s Green Team

 
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Posted by on October 20, 2011 in Resident Bloggers

 

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Sustainability at Madden’s: A Way of Life

At Madden’s sustainability is a daily way of life. Ask any employee from our golf course maintenance to laundry staff and from front desk to food and beverage staff; they each could tell you at least a few things about our green initiative. Built from a “seed” of an idea by President Brian Thuringer in 2008, our green program covers all aspects of resort life.

The initiative is led by a Green Team made up of staff volunteers who want to help make the world a little greener. The team is made up of members of Madden’s management team and seasonal employees. There are representatives from all departments on the resort.

Having representatives from all departments on the resort is essential to the success of the program as each department plays a role in its success. Here are some specific things departments are doing:

Food & Beverage Department:

Our horticulture team works on our newest herb garden at The Classic Grill

Herb Gardens: On-site vegetable and herb gardens reduce shipping costs and our carbon footprint while providing our guests with fresh produce and herbs.

Wine selection: Since the incorporation of the green program we have begun to serve more wines from vinters who practice sustainable or organic viticulture. Sustainable viticulture: wine produced with the goal of producing the finest and healthiest grapes while conserving resources, maintaining the environment, and cultivating positive relationships with employees and surrounding communities. Organic viticulture: Wine produced based on local organic regulations with the standard premise of avoiding all chemical fertilizers and chemical pest controls.

Placemats replace table linens and flowers are fresh cut from Madden's gardens.

Dinnerware: All outdoor bars and dining areas utilize reusable glasses and dinnerware.

Placemats: Placemats replace table linens to reduce laundry energy and water consumption.

Fresh Cut Flowers: Flowers used in dining areas are fresh cut from Madden’s gardens. This reduces our carbon footprint by minimizing transportation costs.

Property Management

Vending Energy Misers: Recently installed vending misers help save energy daily by automatically monitoring the lighting and temperature in vending machines. If no one is around the vending machine, the lights will shut off. It also montiors room temperature and runs the cooling system when neccessary.

Faucet Aerators: Faucet aerators have been installed in all of our guest rooms to help save water.

Light Bulbs: Energy efficient lightbulbs have been installed throughout the property to reduce energy usage.

“Exit” Lights: Emergency Exit lights have been converted to LED light bulbs.

Efficiency Assessments: We have examined areas where heating and air-conditioning efficiencies may be improved with additional insulation.

Air Conditioning Units: We have phased out older air conditioning units to upgrades that will improve our energy efficiency.

Grounds & Golf Department:

Allowing natural fescues to grow on our golf courses reduces inputs like mowing and fertilizing

Transitioning to Bent Grass: Bent grass on our golf course allow for less maintenance expenses with a slower growth rate.

Natural Fescues: Allowing fescues to grow on mounds and out of play rough areas has decreased input costs like mowing and fertilizing while adding to the pristine natural view of our golf courses.

Reduced fertilizer and pesticides: By increasing our bent grass populations and adding fescues we have reduced our use of fertilizers and pesticide use by 25% with lower inputs in maintenance such as mowing and venting.

Look for a post later this week to learn more about our sustainability effort on our golf courses.

Laundry Department

Ozone Laundry System: Our property’s overall carbon footprint was significantly reduced with this new Ozone system. We greatly reduced our natural gas consumption and improved sewage water quality by 30-50%.

Staff Training

Staff members can "bust" a co-worker for not being green

“Cut the Juice:” Staff are trained on our green program in their orientation and are expected to follow our guidelines at work and for our live-on seasonal staff, at home as well. We encourage staff to “Cut the juice when not in use.”

Green Award: We take nominations for a monthly Green Award recipient. Madden’s staff are recognized for going above and beyond when it comes to being sustainable.

“Busted:” We’ve implemented programs for a staff to add a little fun to staying green. When an employee catches another employee not being green (like not shutting off lights or computer monitors) they can post a “Busted for not being green” sign on that staff member’s desk or light switch.

All Around Green

Karen's little red recycling wagon is towed by a red FarmAll tractor

Daily recycling: Karen Enberg is well-known around the resort as the recylcing lady. Her full-time job is daily pick up and transference of recyclables including cardboard, paper/office waste, plastics, steel, aluminium, and glass.

Purchasing Green Products: All new room amenities are made of recyclable plastic. All new appliances and equipment carry the “Energy Star” seal when available. All restrooms have been converted to using Green Seal Certified soap and paper towels made from 100% recycled material, made by using a chlorine-free process which reduces water usage by 80%

Guest Rooms: Guest rooms contain informational signage for sheet and towel changing program. Each room also has a recycling bag with a card encouraging guests to recycle plastic, glass, aluminum, and newspapers. Finally there is signage to encourage guests to shut off lights and air conditioning when not in use.

Signage in Guest Rooms Encourage Guests to Recycle

Reduce, Reuse, Donate

All guest room amenities are made with recylcable plastic bottles. Leftover amenities are dontated to local charities.

Green Range Renewable Energy: All used fryer oil is locally recycled to make biodiesel fuel.

Guest room amenities: Leftover guest room amenities like soap and shampoo donated to local charities.

Furniture: Mattresses and other furniture items are donated to local Habitat for Humanity and the Bridging Organization serving families in transition.

Batteries: All AA batteries from guest door locks are reused to completion in resort paging system.

**Check back throughout the week for more posts about the sustainability effort at Madden’s. Thanks for reading, Elizabeth**

 

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Madden’s Fall School Break Weekend

This three night/four-day weekend will fly by with activities like bonfires, horseback riding, trap shooting, yoga, pontoon cruises and much more.

The school season is well underway but Fall Break is right around the corner! How will you keep the kiddies entertained? Enjoy the last weekend of the 2011 resort season at Madden’s on Gull Lake during our Fall School Break Weekend Oct. 20 – 23.

The Madden’s team will also help prepare for another spooktacular Halloween. Guests can stop by our pumpkin patch to pick up a pumpkin to carve for the contest as well as enjoy some hot cider and cookies! Kids can win prizes and trick-or-treat at our kids Halloween costume parade. No worries parents, you’ll have your chance to claim victory during the family costume contest a few hours later.

Before hitting the road and saying goodbye for the season, our bag piper will make his annual stroll across the Pine Beach East golf course at noon on Sunday to signal the end of the season at Madden’s.

 
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Posted by on October 13, 2011 in Family Time

 

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Madden’s 2011 Murder Mystery Recap

Miss out on this year’s Murder Mystery Weekend at Madden’s? Have no fear, we’ve summed up the mystery scenario for those who need to get their crime solving fix. Don’t forget to join in on the chilling fun next October. The 2012 Murder Mystery Weekend is a weekend to die for.

The sun was about to set over a serene Gull Lake on the evening of Friday, September 30, 2011 as guests at Madden’s Resort enjoyed cocktails and hors d’oeuvres, unaware that at that very moment a killer was stalking one of them. Suddenly a single gunshot shattered the festivities and the night suddenly spiraled downward. When the pandemonium died down, a well-known record producer from the Twin Cities lay dead on the floor. Police and EMTs were called immediately as two nurses, who just happened to be in the group, tried frantically to resuscitate the lifeless body. Just as Detective Lieutenant Calhoun, an expert in robbery and homicide arrived the victim was pronounced dead.

As the body was being removed, Detective Calhoun announced to the guests that they were all witnesses of a murder and were now part of a homicide investigation. At that point one of the guests revealed what appeared to be a blackmail note that had been earlier discarded by the now-deceased record producer.

When Saturday morning arrived, matters took a turn for the worst. During lunch, one of two young girls staying at Madden’s together had a mysterious gift delivered to her table. Moments later she was gasping for air, finally expiring as the result of a poison she had unsuspectingly ingested. Hysterical over her friends’ demise, the other young girl had no idea that she too had only hours to live.

At dinner on Saturday evening an obituary about a chauffeur dying in prison turned up, followed by an article from a Minneapolis newspaper detailing the death of a woman and little boy whom, years earlier, had been struck and killed by a limousine owned by the now-deceased record producer.

Suspicion was focused on the remaining young girl but the next time Detective Calhoun and the guests saw her, she was dead in her room with a large butcher knife sticking out of her chest.

Complicated? Yes. Did Calhoun solve it? Yes, but only with the aid of the guests. An arrest was made and the case was closed at Sunday brunch.

 
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Posted by on October 11, 2011 in Uncategorized

 

Madden Family Tradition Continues as Fourth Generation Joins the Fun

Madden’s on Gull Lake has always been a family owned and operated resort. It began when the first piece of the resort was purchased in 1936 by Jack and his uncle Tom Madden. Since then, the tradition has continued. Whether you see family members strolling around the resort and mingling with guests or working hard behind the scenes in various roles such as decorating & design, managing lodging, or working in sales, the Madden family tradition persists daily here.

The 4th generation joins the fun at Madden's. (l-r) Beau Thuringer and Charlie Pieper enjoy a "little" round of golf

Generations of Madden’s:

1st generation: Jack Madden & Jim Madden
– – Opened resort with their uncle Tom in 1936

2nd generation: Brian & Deb (Madden) Thuringer
– – Current owners. Brian, President/General Manager
– – Deb, Vice President/

3rd generation: Ben & Becky Thuringer and Abbey (Thuringer) & Brad Pieper
– – Ben, Vice President/General Manager of the Lodge
– – Abbey, Vice President/

4th generation: Beau Thuringer and Charlie Pieper (pictured above)

Interested in learning more about the Madden family tradition?
The Star Tribune published an article recently and we have a more detailed post on our website.

 
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Posted by on October 10, 2011 in Behind the Scenes, Family Time

 

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Bagpiper Rings Out the Golf Season

For 6 years now, Madden’s have taken on the the Scottish tradition of putting the golf course to sleep by playing bag pipe music. We don’t “tuck in” the golf course every night, but twice a year we use the signature sounds of a live bag pipe. Once to open the golf season in April and again in October to close the season.

The idea stemmed from a visit to Pebble Beach golf resort in Pebble Beach, California. President Brian Thuringer enjoyed their tradition of the Scottish bagpiper playing every evening to put the golf course to sleep. He loved the idea and so we have incorporated it into our opening and closing traditions.

Opening the golf courses: At 7:30 am Saturday morning of Opening Party in April, the bag piper walks across the Pine Beach East golf course (playing the pipes), comes into the lobby, plays for about 15 minutes, then walks down the hall into the hotel lobby and magically disappears.

Closing the golf courses: At high noon of our closing day in October (typically Sunday), the performance is reversed.  He starts in the lower lobby of the hotel, plays in the lobby, then walks across the Pine Beach East course and disappears into thin air.

The bagpiper in the photo is Michaeal Breidenbach. He is the Director of piping at Macalaster College.  and is the Pipe Major of their Grade 3 competition band. He has been a full time bagpipe teacher and performer since 1999. Click here to learn more about Michael and his Bagpipe Associates.

Brian Solum, of Bemidji has also piped for us in the past. He started piping in 1993 with the Macalester College Pipe Band in St. Paul, MN.  After relocating to Bemidji in 1999 he formed the 1st City Pipe Band, which eventually dissolved in 2005, and simultaneously assisted the Fort Frances
Highlanders in Ontario, Canada.  These days he is back touring and competeing with Macalester’s G3 Band under Michael Breidenbach (our other piper!).

What you need to know:

What: The Bagpiper putting the course to sleep for the winter.
Where: Pine Beach East golf course
When: October 23, 2011, at 12 pm.

 
 

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Madden’s Memories 2011

We have just over one month left in our season. We’re starting to get a little sad! Madden’s is not only a job we come to each day, it is our passion! For me, Madden’s main blogger, this summer was just plain fun! I got to do nearly everything around the resort plus some! I’ve flown in two airplanes (a seaplane and a biplane)  in my short tenure as our blogger. I’ve taken gone on the Gull Lake Water Expedition, taken a ranch tour, gone horseback riding and trap shooting. I’ve been able to hone my photography snapping shots of families, kids playing at Adventure Cove, and some awesome landscapes and flowers. There is so much more I”ve done, but I don’t want to bore you. I’ve decided to share some of my favorite pictures and one video to give you a glimpse into my summer as the Madden’s blogger.

Enjoy, Elizabeth

A bee enjoyed the Liatris flower even more than I did.

The Seawood family

At Madden's we can make anything happen. A group requested a path of American flags to guide their guests to event destinations.

An immature bald eagle perches outside of its parents' nest.

Herb Garden at The Classic Grill in early summer

Mary Alverson offers Seaplane certification at Madden's. She is pictured with her restored 1969 Piper Super Cub

Our horticulture team works on our newest herb garden at The Classic Grill early this summer

A view of one of the peninsulas in Gull Lake from a seaplane.

Madden's guests enjoying the natural sand beach at the Lodge including water toys at our water park.

A mother and daughter prepare for their ride at the Outback Ranch

The entrance to Madden's

The beach at Madden Lodge

The McManus-Hanson's pose for me at the welcome reception on July 1st.

The Hanson-Syverson family poses in the well-known Madden's chair.

Facepainting at the welcome reception on July 1st.

My biplane ride with Clay Adams of Nostalgic Wings

View of Madden's from my biplane ride

Pottery from local artists are available for purchase at the Stable Gallery

Children play at Madden's waterpark

Brother and sister enjoy badminton at Madden's Tennis & Croquet Club.

By the end of our ranch tour, this little girl had built up the courage to pet a horse for the first time.

Head Golf Pro at Madden's, Glenn Hagberg, talks a young boy through how to swing a golf club his first time.

 
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Posted by on September 22, 2011 in Behind the Scenes

 

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