Open Gates Farm Bed & Breakfast
6525 Huntingtown Road
Huntingtown, MD 20639
Southern Maryland
Open Gates Farm Bed & Breakfast is committed to practicing "green" disciplines & reducing unnecessary waste.
Management and Leadership
We use the following best management practices:
bulletEnvironment Policy Statement
bulletEnvironmental Team: As a single-suite bed & breakfast, our environmental team consists of myself and my husband. This allows us to have total control over how waste is disposed of; how resources are used; how, when, where and from whom supplies are purchased; the quality of supplies purchased; the ability to purchase recycled-content supplies; the ability to purchase local products whenever possible. We are both very conscious of our resources and practice environmental responsibility on a daily basis. We continually seek new ways to conserve our resources and to put back into the Earth a little of what we take out.
bulletSet Annual Goals: It is our goal to do a little more each year to practice environmental responsibility. As owners and caretakers of a historic home, we are constantly presented with opportunities to find creative ways to recycle and repurpose. We also search for environmentally-friendly products and services. In 2009 we committed to buying more local produce and products. We will continue this practice as we implement our goals for 2010 which include organically growing herbs and vegetables in our gardens.
bulletWe have a purchasing policy to encourage the purchase of environmentally-friendly products and services
bulletList of our environmentally friendly products and services: We buy local whenever possible including local produce from area farmers & wine from Calvert County wineries. We always combine shopping trips & errands to reduce fossil-fuel emissions. We avoid shopping out-of-county in order to support local business as well as to reduce fossil-fuel emissions. We use reusable shopping bags. We purchase recycled-content paper products. We purchase only 100% cotton bed, bath, kitchen, and dining linens.
bulletEnvironmental Restoration or Community Environmental Projects: Weekly, we walk along the roadsides and pick up litter. We separate recyleable items before hauling it to our local collection site
bulletIndependently Audited Environmental Management System: As a small Bed & Breakfast establishment, we are in a unique position of having complete control over all environmental practices. As we practice "green" disciplines on a daily basis, we are able to maintain consistency as we comply with & surpass the Maryland Green Travel program's core requirements.
Waste Reduction
We use the following best management practices:
bulletHave a plan in place to reduce property waste
bulletTrack overall waste bills and established baseline data for quantity of wastes produced
Guest Rooms
bulletUse bulk soap dispensers instead of individual soaps / shampoos in guest rooms
bulletUse real coffee mugs and no polystyrene products
bulletInstruct housekeeping to save and reuse unopened items
bulletUse refillable shampoo bottles rather than single-use bottles
Kitchen and Prep / Dining / Catering / Meetings and Events / Campground Snack Bar
bulletDonate excess food from events
bulletCompost food waste and other compostables
bulletUse effective food inventory control to minimize waste
bulletPurchase locally grown produce and other foods
bulletPurchase organic foods
bulletPurchase sustainably grown foods
bulletDo not use polystyrene coffee cups
bulletDo not use any disposable containers, dishware, cutlery or cups
bulletIf disposable containers are used, they are made from - bio-based materials, recycled content, and/or compostable material
bulletUse cloth napkins and tablecloths
bulletUse reusable dishware and glassware and minimize use of disposables
bulletUse non-bleached napkins and coffee filters
bulletProvide condiments - (cream and sugar, etc.) in bulk
bulletUse water pitchers and filtered water to minimize the use of single-use bottles
bulletUse menus and table placards as opportunity to communicate green activities
bulletProvide organic, local or sustainable food choices
bulletUse Maryland Green Travel logo or other emblem to indicate organic, local or sustainable menu choices
bulletLaunder staff uniforms using wet or other environmentally friendly methods versus chemical-based dry cleaning
bulletUse bulk soap dispensers in public restrooms
bulletPurchase recycled-content paper towels and toilet paper
Registration / Office
bulletUse last-in/first-out inventory and effective labeling systems
bulletUse electronic, paperless registration
bulletUse electronic correspondence and forms
bulletPurchase from vendors and service providers with a commitment to the environment
bulletEncourage suppliers to minimize packaging and other waste materials
bulletPurchase recycled paper with a high percentage recycled content
bulletMake 2-sided copies / printed materials and avoid making extra copies
bulletUse recycled content paper for copies / printed materials
bulletRemove facility and staff names from junk mail lists when possible
bulletReuse scrap paper for notes
bulletReuse or donate shipping and packing supplies (peanuts, bubble wrap, etc.)
bulletPromote other green attractions, activities and Maryland Green Travel facilities
Buildings and Grounds
bulletPurchase durable equipment and furniture
bulletPurchase low-VOC carpets and fabrics
bulletInstall carpet with sustainable or recycled content
bulletUse reused building materials or those from sustainable sources
bulletProperly recycle and/or dispose of thinners and solvents - required by EPA regulations
bulletPerform preventative maintenance on all appliances, HVAC systems, plumbing and vehicles
bulletUse less toxic materials
bulletUse Organic Farming Principals
bulletUse integrated pest management - IPM
bulletMinimize the use of pesticides, herbicides, fungicides and fertilizers in landscaping
bulletUse a nutrient management plan that minimizes the use of fertilizers
bulletUse natural fertilizers instead of synthetics
bulletUse composted production materials for fertilizer
Our Innovative Ideas and Specifics in Waste Reduction:
bulletWe always combine shopping trips & errands to reduce fossil-fuel emissions. We avoid shopping out-of-county in order to support local business as well as to reduce fossil-fuel emissions. We use reusable shopping bags. We purchase recycled-content paper products. We purchase only 100% cotton bed, bath, kitchen, and dining linens.
Guest waste is sorted and recyclables removed from trash to be recycled.
bulletWe have clearly marked recycling bins or provide convenient drop off locations
We are recycling:
bulletAluminium Cans
bulletElectronics equipment
bulletFood Composting
bulletFood Wastes
bulletFluorescent Lamps
bulletOffice Paper
bulletPacking Supplies
bulletPrinter and copy machine toner cartridges
bulletSteel Cans
bulletOther: Household chemicals; used motor oil
bulletMt. Hope Recycling Center, Sunderland, Maryland
Our Innovative Ideas and Specifics in Recycling:
bulletRecycling containers available and in use at all special events. Convert worn towels to cleaning rags, etc. Convert worn sheets to drop-cloths, etc. Expensive Ziploc bags are washed and reused whenever possible rather than added to the landfill. Properly dispose of hazardous items at our local collection site. Reusable air-duct return filters used. Still useful items no longer needed are sold or donated to local thrift shops and/or charities. Soiled livestock bedding & dung is composted and added to gardens to reduce the need for commercial fertilizers. Compost and/or feed livestock food scraps. Compost and/or feed livestock yard and garden debris. Feeding livestock food scraps and yard & garden debris significantly reduces the need to purchase manufactured livestock feed supplies & reduces the number of trips required to the supplier.
Water Conservation
bulletHave a plan in place to reduce property water usage
bulletTrack water bills and established baseline data on water usage and wastewater generation
bulletPerform preventative maintenance to stop drips and leaks
bulletOffer water versus serving automatically
bulletDiscourage water-based cleanup, ie. sweep first
bulletUse microfiber technology mops
bulletDefrost foods ahead of time in refrigerators to avoid the need for running-water defrost
Use or installed the following devices:
bulletlow flow restrictors on faucets and showerheads
bulletaerators on faucets (0.5 gpm or less for lavatory and 2.2 gpm or less for kitchen faucets)
bulletlow flow toilets (1.6 gpf or less)
bulletwaterless urinals
bulletcomposting toilets
bulletautomatic or sensored faucets or toilets in public restrooms
bullethigh efficiency Energy-Star rated dishwashers
Have an effective landscape management plan which utilizes:
bulletnative species
bulletdrought tolerant species
bulletrain gauges
bulletminimizes lawn areas
Have an effective storm water plan management including:
bulletPervious pavement, and/or minimization of impervious areas like paving, concrete, etc
bulletMaintain vegetative buffers around streams and ponds
Our Innovative Ideas and Specifics in Water Conservation and Efficiency:
bulletWasher and dryer, and dishwasher are only run with full loads. Line-drying is used whenever possible. Maintain a water-softening system which reduces the amount of cleaning products, soaps, detergents, etc. required to maintain clean and safe facilities & linens, and to reduce mineral build-up. Mulch is used in all gardens to retain moisture and reduce watering. No watering of gardens except during extreme periods of drought. No watering of lawn. Drinking water is filtered in a reusable Brita pitcher. Nozzles used on garden hoses to prevent freely-running water. Plant and cultivate native species & drought-tolerant plants. Erosion-controlling plants are used.
Energy Efficiency
We use the following best management practices:
bulletHave a plan in place to reduce property energy usage
bulletTrack overall energy bills and establish baseline energy usage
bulletHave an energy management system in place to track and meter energy usage
bulletRegularly evaluated existing ovens and other kitchen equipment for temperature settings and energy efficiency opportunities
bulletConfirmed that all refrigerator, freezer and oven gaskets provide a good seal, or replaced
bulletRoutinely clean condenser coils on all refrigeration equipment
bulletDesigned use of natural lighting
bulletUse lighting sensors to turn on/off lights
bulletTurn off lights in unoccupied rooms
bulletMinimize the use of lighting during night cleaning
bulletUse of directional, downward-facing, lighting in parking areas and other outdoor areas
Heating and Cooling
bulletHave a high efficiency heating and air-conditioning HVAC system
bulletRegularly perform preventative maintenance on HVAC system
bulletHave programmable thermostats for each room and ensure they are properly adjusted
bulletHave a centrally controlled HVAC system that is activated only when occupied
bulletMinimize the use of lighting during night cleaning
bulletUse ceiling fans
bulletKeep office doors and windows closed if HVAC system is on
bulletHave ENERGY STAR rated windows and doors
bulletHousekeeping closes blinds and resets optimal temperatures
bulletHave installed additional insulation
Energy Efficiency:
bulletENERGY STAR computers, appliances, office equipments etc.
bulletHave thermal-rated windows and insulation
bulletTurn off all electrical items in unoccupied rooms when not in use or at the end of the day
Our Innovative Ideas and Specifics in Energy Conservation and Efficiency
bulletMaintain a water-softening system which reduces the amount of cleaning products, soaps, detergents, etc. required to maintain clean and safe facilities & linens. Maintain a separate heating/air conditioning system for guest quarters in order to reduce the amount of energy required for the entire house (during periods of vacancy, temperature in guest quarters is adjusted - 64 degrees/winter, 80 degrees/summer - while quarters are unoccupied). Guest quarters are equipped with a programmable thermostat. Maintain clean reusable air duct return filters. Boiler is cleaned and serviced yearly for optimum efficiency. Use of low-wattage bulbs for lighting (we do not use compact fluorescent lighting due to their mercury content and the obvious potential hazards mercury poses to humans, animals, and the environment). Windows are opened on temperate days and heat or air conditioning is turned off. Washer, dryer, and dishwasher are only run with full loads. Cold water used in washing machine 90% of the time. Dimmer switches used on all overhead lighting. Lights, electronic equipment, etc. turned off when not in use. Timers used for electric lights. Battery-powered and key-wound clocks are used to reduce the need for electric clocks. Battery-powered smoke-detectors are used rather than hard-wired electric smoke-detectors.
Linen Service and Laundry:
We use these best management practices:
bulletProvide optional linen service - Change linens only upon request
bulletTrain staff on the process for optional linen service
bulletHave signage in each room explaining the linen reuse procedures
bulletHave water- and energy-efficient washers and dryers
bulletUse non-phosphate, non-toxic and biodegradable laundry detergents
bulletMinimize the use of bleach and chlorinated chemicals
bulletLine dry items whenever possible
Our Innovative Ideas and Specifics for Laundry and Linen Service:
bulletCold water used 90% of the time for laundry. Washer and dryer are only run with full loads. Line-drying is used whenever possible. Maintain a water-softening system which reduces the amount of cleaning products, soaps, detergents, etc. required to maintain clean and safe facilities & linens, and to reduce mineral build-up. Cotton kitchen linens (towels, dishcloths, and napkins) are used in the guest quarters kitchenette rather than disposable paper products.
Other Green Practices
We use the following best management practices:
bulletMinimize the Comute of our Employees-As we live in the Bed & Breakfast, we have no commute other than walking down the stairs in the morning!
For guests:
bulletEducate guests on the availability of mass transit
bulletOur innovative ideas to minimize the impact of Transportation:Encourage guests to avoid rush-hour traffic to reduce fuel consumption and emissions.
Green Building:
bulletHistoric Property:Over the course of 10 years, we completely restored/renovated our c. 1945 farmhouse and outbuildings.
bulletSustainable Building Materials:We retained and/or re-used existing materials whenever possible, and/or purchased existing or previously owned/used materials whenever possible. We also used local contractors whenever possible.
bulletAwards:FIRST Certified Maryland Green Travel Partner in Southern Maryland Voted FREE STATE'S FINEST Southern Maryland Bed & Breakfast for 2012 & 2013
Measurable Results
By committing to recycling waste generated by our household and Bed & Breakfast (glass, metal, plastic, paper products, lawn & garden debris, etc), we estimate that we divert at least 1,200 pounds of waste from our local landfill each year. By line-drying laundry whenever possible, we estimate that we reduce our electricity consumption by about 48 kilowatt hours per year. By combining errands and by taking advantage of online-ordering/purchasing we estimate that we reduce our fuel consumption by about 175 gallons per year. By feeding our livestock food scraps and lawn & garden debris, we estimate that we reduce our need for manufactured feed by about 1,200 pounds per year.