For plenty of big corporate hotels, it’s not easy being green. Here at The Dunes, it’s just part of our daily routine. 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 since day one. That’s 80 seasons of green lodging, and we’re only going greener. After all, Ogunquit’s natural beauty is why we’re here in the first place. These five initiatives help keep us on Mother Nature’s good side.
Clean and Green with the Global Soap Project
The founders of the Global Soap Project and Clean the World realized that throwing out barely used bars of soap every time a guest checks out doesn’t make any sense. They collect our used soap, recycle it, and distribute new bars of soap to people in need around the world. The soap stays out of our landfills and ends up washing hands and preventing deaths in areas where the hygiene we take for granted isn’t yet the norm.
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.
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.
When you’re located adjacent to such a rare wildlife habitat as the sand dunes along Ogunquit Beach, green lodging is less a decision and more a way of life. The next time you’re here rising with the sun or relaxing in the sand, rest easy knowing your Maine vacation is as eco-friendly as possible.