The River Gem B&B at the Littleton T. Clarke House
407 Second St
Pocomoke City, MD 21851
Eastern Shore
Management and Leadership
We use the following best management practices:
bulletEnvironment Policy Statement
bulletEnvironmental Team: My team consists of my 2 daughters and me. We meet everyday and find new ways to recycle and reuse our food waster (compost/worm bin) and merchandise. Being green has always been our policy - at home and at the inn and we strive to be good examples for our guests.
bulletSet Annual Goals: We inherited a 3 section compost bin and haven't quite used it to its potential. We also drowned, replace and then cooked the worms in wormbin - we are figuring out the potential and how to minimize our kitchen and yard waste.
bulletWe have a purchasing policy to encourage the purchase of environmentally-friendly products and services
bulletList of our environmentally friendly products and services: We do not use disposable dinnerware, utensils, or cups. We launder our cloth napkins (at home) and use the clothesline whenever possible to dry linens. Papertowels are used as a last resort (hazardous waste spills). And when possible, we use non-virgin paper toilet paper. We do not use power equipment to mow the lawn (we push an old-fashioned mower to avoid noise and air pollution). We do not use pesticides and grow food organically in our garden. We also have multiple native plantings to attract pollinators !
bulletEnvironmental Restoration or Community Environmental Projects: We are new in town (not 1 year in Maryland until January). We have already started teaching and planting projects at the Downtown Pocomoke Community Garden, using middle schoolers to work the land.
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
bulletPerformed a waste stream audit to determine baseline waste data and identify waste reduction opportunities
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
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
bulletUse disposable food service items are eco-friendly - polystyrene is avoided
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
bulletUse reusable coffee filters
bulletUse water pitchers and filtered water to minimize the use of single-use bottles
bulletPrint menus on recycled FSC-certified, recycled-content paper with vegetable-based inks and include recycling symbols, recycled-content, and a message about the inks
bulletProvide organic, local or sustainable food 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
bulletUse vegetable based inks for copies / printed materials
bulletUse refillable pens and toner cartridges
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.)
bulletOffer Leave No Trace tips and green travel education to guests
bulletPromote other green attractions, activities and Maryland Green Travel facilities
bulletSell environmentally friendly products
bulletSell sustainable, organic or local products
Buildings and Grounds
bulletUse green cleaning chemicals
bulletDispense cleaning agents in bulk to reduce quantities used
bulletPurchase durable equipment and furniture
bulletPurchase low-VOC carpets and fabrics
bulletInstall carpet with sustainable or recycled content
bulletUse low VOC adhesives
bulletUse latex paints that are low or no-VOC
bulletReuse paint thinners
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 integrated pest management - IPM
bulletUse Biodynamics
bulletMinimize the use of pesticides, herbicides, fungicides and fertilizers in landscaping
bulletTrain staff effectively to use agrochemicals correctly and in proper applications
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:
bulletUsing a worm bin for kitchen waste to produce great fertilizer.
Recycle bin is located in the dining room, next to and in front of the trash bin (with a Green sign from Trip Advisor on the wall to make it look like important fun). We remove discarded water bottles from the trash in guest rooms (ich) and we provide water and glasses on the landing between rooms and water in a pitcher (or tea) is in the guest refrigerator.
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
bulletOur county has recycyling bins in 2 locations. We save all of our recycyling to deposit at these sites on a weekly basis (comingied until we separate it).
We are not able to recyle certain items:
bulletWe cannot recycle plastics beyond 1 and 2 now, so we try to minimize and reuse those yogurt containers!
Our Innovative Ideas and Specifics in Recycling:
bulletWe have an arrangement with the local shelter to bring extra food after breakfast. So far, we have planned well enough to not have extra, but we are looking forward to bringing surplus to the homeless families when we can.
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
bulletHave a numeric goal to reduce water consumption over time
bulletAssessed production for water-conserving opportunities during cleaning procedures
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)
bullettankless hot water heaters
bulletan air-cooled versus a water-cooled icemaker
Have an effective landscape management plan which utilizes:
bulletnative species
bulletdrought tolerant species
bulletminimizes lawn areas
Have an effective storm water plan management including:
bulletRain gardens
bulletPervious pavement, and/or minimization of impervious areas like paving, concrete, etc
bulletUse rain barrels
Our Innovative Ideas and Specifics in Water Conservation and Efficiency:
bulletWe do not water our lawn (it gets a little brown but survives). So far we don't own a sprinkler. We water our vegetable garden by hand held hose or bucket (using collected rainwater when possible - ie, no mosquito issues).
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 a numeric goal to reduce energy usage over time
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
bulletImplemented a startup / shutdown procedure which specifies timing for lighting, kitchen equipment, room temperature, etc.
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
bulletUse high efficiency compact fluorescent light bulbs in rooms, canned lighting or wherever possible
Heating and Cooling
bulletHave programmable thermostats for each room and ensure they are properly adjusted
bulletMinimize the use of lighting during night cleaning
bulletKeep office doors and windows closed if HVAC system is on
bulletHousekeeping closes blinds and resets optimal temperatures
bulletHave installed additional insulation
Energy Efficiency:
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
bulletWe freeze in winter and sweat in summer (not when guests are here) in an effort to be efficient!
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
bulletUse linen service providers that employ wet versus dry cleaning
bulletLine dry items whenever possible
Green Events
We use the following best management practices:
bulletSupport event planners who want to hold green events
bulletTrain all event planner staff on green event techniques
bulletProvide visible recycling at all green events
bulletMinimize the use of disposable food service items
bulletUse green signage at the event
Other Green Practices
We use the following best management practices:
bulletMinimize the Comute of our Employees-We live on the property. And we walk to town to pay our bills and post mail.
Green Building:
bulletHistoric Property:Some windows have been updated. Storm doors have been added. Insulation was inserted.
Other Innovative / Creative / Commonsense Green ideas:
bulletWe package food for our guests if they cannot eat all that we serve - in paper wrappers tied with a pretty cotton string bow. We also offer plates to guests who bring food in to eat in our cafe, rather than using paper or styrofoam.
Measurable Results
We’ve monitored our average monthly trash, recycling and food waste diversion weights by counting containers filled and using the conversion rates. We calculate that our annual totals are 1,450 lbs of recycling, 2,500 lbs of composting and 4,400 lbs of trash which gives us a landfill diversion rate of 47%.