At our Duluth bed and breakfast we have chosen to implement a strong green policy because we believe that it is our responsibility to reduce our impact on the environment and take all the steps we can toward sustainability. Our bed and breakfast may be a small business, but we certainly play a role in creating a more sustainable future in general, especially here in Duluth, Minnesota, our home.
Our goal in implementing our green policy is to reduce our environmental impact. We understand that by reducing energy consumption and waste at our bed and breakfast in Duluth, we can decrease our carbon footprint.
This philosophy and commitment to a green policy keep us in step with the majority of the eco-conscious guests of our bed and breakfast who are acutely aware of the impact of travel on the environment and who would hesitate to stay at a bed and breakfast lacking a commitment to sustainable practices and a stated green policy. Our green policy actually enhances the guest experience because by using eco-friendly products and incorporating sustainable practices, our guest experience is made healthier, more unique, and certainly more memorable.
We are proud to have set such a standard in Duluth and enjoy the way other bed and breakfast proprietors strive to emulate our standards.
Overall, we believe that implementing a strong green policy is the right thing to do for our business, our guests, and the environment. Of course, it requires some initial investments, but the long-term benefits are well worth it. We are committed to continuously improving our sustainability practices and reducing our impact on the environment.
Some of the specific steps we have taken to implement our green policy include:
Following are examples of the many ways that we reduce energy consumption:
- Selecting energy efficient appliances and compact fluorescent or LED lighting
- Turning devices off when not in use
- Adding insulation and using Low E insulated glass
- Installing low-energy light bulbs
- Installing thermostatically controlled radiators and checking settings
- Reducing our water and energy consumption with low-flow fixtures and a towel reuse program (the option to not have your towels replaced every day)
- Installing household appliances that are Energy Star rated
- Offering rooms with windows that open for fresh air
- Making all our rooms non-smoking
- Using environmental-friendly, phosphate-free cleaning products
- Using email as much as possible to save paper
- Offering soaps, shampoo, and conditioner in bulk dispensers instead of individual bottles, reducing packaging, costs, and landfill impact
- Using durable, non-disposable service items—long-lasting cups, glasses, mugs, dishes, tableware, and other items
- Recycling paper, newspapers, plastic, metal, and glass in bins that are clearly marked with visual aids for simplicity
- Using 100 percent cotton towels and sheets, which do not add VOCs to the air in guest rooms (Synthetic fabrics are not sustainable and use petrochemicals.)
- Minimizing our use of toxic cleansers in the bathrooms without sparing our standards for clean rooms (Everything that goes down the drain eventually reaches the environment.)
- Using locally-made products as much as possible
Food – Fair Trade and Organic
- Buying organic, free-range, and locally-sourced food, which reduces transportation impact costs
- Purchasing fair trade products, including teas and coffee
- Serving breakfast items that are fresh and made from scratch, eliminating additives that are used to chemically preserve foods
- Taking care of guests with chemical sensitivities and food allergies
- Composting our fruit and vegetable waste (The bins produce compost which we spread on our gardens, and the worm “juice” is used to fertilize our outside lawn, gardens, and inside house plants.)
- We have installed 29 solar panels to help offset our energy usage
- Using recycled building products in the finishing of interior spaces—doors, moldings, handrails, balustrades, fireplace mantles, light fixtures, and glass
- Double-glazing windows and installing 6″ wall insulation along with 12” to 16” attic insulation
- Hiring local tradespeople and companies for maintenance work
Outdoor Space Conservation
- Our Duluth bed and breakfast building footprint is well below shoreline management watershed restrictions.
- We have extensively recycled rock material in our landscaping by reusing old sandstone street curbs, cobblestones, building foundations, and stone work.
- We cover flower beds in bark mulches.
- We do not use herbicides or pesticides on our lawn or garden. The berries and herbs in our garden are organically grown.
- Our bed and breakfast in Duluth is located in the heart of a network of footpaths and bike trails. We encourage our guests to explore the area without driving, and we provide maps and directions to recommended locations.