PROTECTING OUR ENVIRONMENT
Conservation Policies and Practices.
Oakland House Cottages by the Side of the Sea was Re-Certified by the State of Maine as an "Environmental Leader" in the spring of 2010. Based upon this certification we have pledged to follow as much as economically possible these following guidelines. As a cost-cutting measure, Maine has eliminated this program but we want you to know what we have done and continue to do.
Establishment of Green Environmental Nurturance Guidelines. Distribute copies to all department heads. Meet at spring start-up, season's opening, and fall closing to review departmental adherence and possibilities for advancing our green environment.
Utilization of zoned heating in all winter offices
Reduce heat levels in storage spaces to ambient outside temperature as much as possible. Utilize zone heating in winterized office spaces.
Off-site office with 100% zone heating to reduce unnecessary heating.
Display and make available to guests brochures on environmental issues of special interest to our coastal world: "Leave No Trace on Maine's Fragile Islands", etc.
Keep a copy of the most recent Oakland House Environmental Nurturance Policy on file for distribution to department heads.
Double sided printing of copies. Utilization of both sides of every sheet of paper. Unused menus are cut and the backs used for notepaper.
Office uses 30% or greater recycled copier paper whenever feasible.
Print brochures and other print collateral on as much recycled paper as possible.
Recycle used printer cartridges. (ship back to HP or recycle at Staples for Staples Reward)
Recycle computer parts. Purchase used equipment. Take our own non-functional computers to the Surry Transfer Station for special "electronics" recycling. This is Maine law.
Recycle (erase and reuse) computer diskettes.
Utilize as much LED lighting as possible, replacing old florescent bulbs as they burn out.
Utilize LED CHRISTMAS AND FESTIVAL LIGHTS when lights need to be replaced.
Storage of solvents and paints in areas at minimally required heat levels during the winter.
Take used motor oil to the recycling center for motor oil.
Recycle florescent tubes to the Surry Transfer Station to reduce mercury contamination of our environment.
Store CRTs (computer screens and televisions) and send yearly to a consolidation or recycling facility. This is a legal obligation for all businesses in the State of Maine.
Replace florescent bulbs with LED ones that are more energy efficient and do not have mercury in them. Our records for electric consumption show a dramatic reduction over the past 10 years in which we have been doing this.
Restoration of historic buildings is with VOC reduced paints if at all possible while still maintaining the historic character of our many buildings. Utilize water-based products that will hold up to the job at hand.
Saw lumber from excellent quality logs that we get from accidental blow downs.
Cut remaining hardwood into firewood for the fireplaces. Shred/chip the brush and blow in wide dispersion into the forest from whence it came. Replenish the forest floor with logs.
Maintain coastal zoning tree ratios. Keep erosion-controlling shrubbery along the shore.
New high efficiency 87.0 AFUE propane hot water base board heating system in off site office and workshop. Nine zones to reduce heating need in used spaces.
Installation of new "energy star" rated appliances whenever an appliance needs to be replaced. We have replaced two washing machines for cottage and hostel linens. We have replaced both washer and drier that are for staff use in their living quarters.
Install programmable on/off timers and light sensors on exterior lighting.
Targeting the installation of new/recycled hot water heating system on the roof of the barn for the laundry use.
Grounds and Gardens:
Lawns are not treated with herbicides and non-organic chemicals.
Pesticides for garden insect control are limited to insecticidal soaps and specialized odors and attractants for Japanese beetle control. Hand pick pests instead of using poison. Keep in mind that butterflies come from caterpillars.
Fertilizers limited to natural organic farm compost, fresh grass clippings, bone meal, blood meal and various natural rock based mineral amendments.
Composting of garden vegetation mixing with raked leaves and fireplace ash.
Utilize beach seaweed in composting.
Use non-invasive ornamental trees, shrubs, and plants. Remove invasive plants. Plant native flowering perennials.
Oakland House's Water Supply System:
All water is from deep wells. It is tested routinely by the State Laboratory. It meets State Water regulations for a "Non Community Public Water Supply." It is not chlorinated.
Guests are notified of water supply shortages and suggestions are made on ways to reduce water consumption. Significant savings can be made by turning the water off when brushing teeth and being proactive when spotting leaks or drips.
Install flow regulating showerheads (2.5 gpm or less) as feasible.
As toilets are replaced insure that they are 1.6 liter or better.
Replace shower heads and faucets as required with low volume fixtures as needed for replacement and as finances allow.
2.2 gpm faucets and aerators
2.5 gpm showerheads
1.6 gpf toilets
Use natural organic guest cottage ammenities and cleaning products.
In laundry use non-phosphate cleaning products if possible. Do not use chlorine bleaches or those with NTA (nitrilotriacetic acid). Instead use those that utilize hydrogen peroxide for disinfectant purposes.
Manage commercial drier settings to dry no more than necessary.
Purchase supplies in bulk and avoid single use type products. Use reusable pump sprays instead of aerosol cans.
Utilize biodegradable High Efficiency cleaning liquids in new off-site equipment.
Wash in cold water things such as curtains that can be cleaned effectively that way.
Linens that have gone beyond their level of usefulness are cut into kitchen and housekeeping rags. Blankets are used for wrapping fragile furniture during moves.
Old Yankee expression: Use it up, wear it out, make it do, or do without.
Guests are offered towel and linen second day use option.
Use biodegradable liquid soap, shampoo and lotions in guest rooms in refillable dispensers as much as possible. Do not use products containing palm oil as it is obtained from mono-culture harvesting which is harmful to the environment.