Living Green at The Dunes on the Waterfront

Things are always coming up green around The Dunes. And we’re not just talking about flower beds and manicured grounds. We’re talking about sustainability and climate control. Living green is an essential part of our daily routine. We’re passionate about preserving and protecting our beautiful natural habitat, our fabulous views and our historic buildings. After all, Ogunquit’s natural beauty is why we’re here in the first place. And we’re making sure it stays that way. We haven’t had to change much to be a green hotel by today’s standards. Taking care of the environment has been a top priority of ours since day one. That’s 86 seasons of green lodging, and we’re only getting greener. With only 36 lodging units spread across 12 acres of land, we recognize the importance of providing an eco-friendly place to visit. Becoming a Certified Environmental Leader is an important initiative. We want to make sure we are doing everything possible to provide our guests with a safe and environmentally responsible experience for years to come. Here are some of the measures that are helping to keep us on Mother Nature’s good side.

Green Cleaning Supplies.

Water doesn’t disappear when it goes down the drain, so why stop thinking about it? The traditional harsh chemicals used to clean showers and sinks in hotels are often overkill and they end up hurting the environment. We follow the Maine Department of Environmental Conservation’s green lodging recommendations and use Green Seal certified cleaning products that avoid bleach and other harmful additives. A little extra elbow grease goes a long way.

Reuse and Recycle.

The basics of green lodging are still going strong at The Dunes. We give guests the opportunity to reuse linens and towels from day to day, reducing water and detergent waste. Every guest room has a recycling bin, and our staff works to keep everything possible out of the landfill. What’s more, we supply bathroom amenities made from natural ingredients with recycled packaging materials.

Going Local.

We purchase from as many local companies as possible to prevent excess vehicle usage while supporting local businesses. For items we are unable to procure locally, we order in bulk to decrease the number of deliveries while reducing our carbon footprint.

Extra Green Grass.

When it comes to lawn care, we’ve got a lot of ground to cover. Most of our 12 acres are covered with grass, and since we’re right on the shore of the tidal river, runoff from industrial fertilizer would be a major threat to the estuary ecosystem. If you’re wondering how we manage to keep it all looking so lush, look no further than local Maine farms. At the end of each season, right after we close in the fall, our landscaping company spreads one big application of natural fertilizer. It makes for a smelly couple of weeks, but it’s worth it. The fertilizer breaks down into nutrients and fresh soil by the time guests check in in the spring.

Not Your Average Swimming Pool.

We treat our pool with bromine instead of chlorine, and it’s good for both swimmers and the environment. The benefits are all in what’s not there — no chemical smell, no corrosive effect on skin, no bleaching of swimwear. Bromine has been used in spas for years, and our system makes it practical and efficient for use outdoors in our pool. Though the pool has a propane heater for backup, we hardly have to use it. The insulated cover reduces heat loss at night and the pool’s darker liner helps absorb plenty of sunlight.

Wildlife Preservation.

While our gardens and green spaces are lovely to look at, they serve another important purpose as well.  We carefully manage what we put into the ground to help foster the preservation of our local wildlife. In fact, much of the plant material we grow actually provides food for nesting birds, mammals and insects.  We maintain two large woodlots, which we keep wild, to help create a stable natural habitat.  And our extensive strands of milkweed have helped us become a waystation for monarch butterflies. We’re also growing plants and flowers that attract and feed pollinators such as bees. More important, we focus on staying organic and not using chemicals that would adversely affect insects and the health of soils.

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