The Anchor Inn is a ‘Green’ Hospitality business
When the current owners of the Anchor Inn Hotel first bought the property 20 years ago, there was very little thought given to running an environmentally friendly, “green” hospitality business. Times have changed and we are proud of the conscientious effort that the entire team has put into making our small business, we think, very environmentally conscious. Today, every piece of cardboard is broken down and hauled away to a local re-cycling facility. Over ten years ago we decided to implement a re-cycling program for the plastic and glass that is generated in our commercial kitchen, housekeeping and laundry departments. Unlike residential programs, in our municipality no one picks up our recycling at the curb. We physically take it up to our local landfill site by the truck load. This job is done mostly by the owners of the company and we probably generate ten times the amount of a typical household. Think of all of your neighbors on your street putting their weekly re-cycling in a pile. It’s a fair bit of work, but the right thing to do, and as a bonus we get to visit Dave Draper our local municipal landfill top dog.
Several years ago we began a composting program at the Hotel. Today every coffee grind, egg shell and trimming from our fresh vegetables is placed in green bins and hauled, by the truck load, year round. This summer (2014) Justin Tilson has made composting extremely easy by picking it up and using it on his organic farm. In the past LoonSong Garden, owners Paul and Heather http://loonsong.net/ return the compost to their farm’s soil which produces vegetables, oats and wheat. This again is a lot of work, and can be a bit smelly on a warm summer day, but we believe it’s the right thing to do. In fact, to avoid stem rot on tomatoes, we routinely separate egg shells from the other compost, which are then crushed and planted at the plant base, so that Heather and Paul can use a greater percentage of their tomato yield. Together, the re-cycling and compost efforts at the Hotel have reduced the volume we ship to the local landfill by as much as 50%.
The Anchor Inn Hotel was built over 100 years ago. It was no surprise that some of the building’s infrastructure was not efficient by today’s standards. The first project was to replace our 1970’s vintage boilers that heat the Hotel. The new boiler immediately reduced our heating oil consumption and greenhouse gas emissions by approximately 30% and additionally the Hotel was warm in the winter. Our next project was the single largest capital investment in the Hotel since it was built in 1888. With some financial assistance from Industry Canada, we replaced 51 exterior windows and 13 exterior doors. At the same time we replaced all the lighting in the hotel with more efficient options, installed motion sensors that turn lights on when people are in rooms and hallways, and replaced our air-conditioning on the main floor with a new efficient system.
We have just launched a towel and linen guest “reuse” program allowing guests to choose to have their towels/linens changed daily or reuse for a couple of days. As well, we have recently replaced our housekeeping equipment laundry with high efficiency, low water consumption washers and high effiency dryers. At the suggestion of one of our dining room staff, we have replaced individual creamers for coffee with small stainless pitchers for both cream and milk. This may not sound like much, but we used to throw out a bag of those empty creamer containers every shift, two bags a day, 62 bags a month! We now use bio-degradable takeout containers, takeout out cutlery, garbage bags and disposable glasses, made out of sugar cane. These are more expensive, but again the right thing to do. Another simple inexpensive initiative that we undertook was to simply ask customers ordering takeout , if they required the takeout packets of ketchup, vinegar, cutlery, etc. We were amazed that 70% of people declined those items…they were simply taking the food home and usually just threw out the condiments! Finally, we recently installed low flow toilets in our public washrooms, in an effort to reduce the approximately 1 million gallons of water we use each year.