Pearlstone Conference & Retreat Center
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5425 Mt. Gilead Rd
Reisterstown, MD 21136
Central Maryland
410-336-8500
www.pearlstonecenter.org
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As inhabitants of this world, it's our obligation to tend to it. Harmful environmental practices re
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Management and Leadership
We use the following best management practices:
bullet Environment Policy Statement:
bulletEnvironmental Team: Our entire management team is committed to running an eco-friendly, sustainable retreat center. Environmental practices are reviewed monthly as a management team.
bulletSet Annual Goals: We are currently working on four projects: 1) to replace or modify our sewage treatment facility with one that is environmentally friendly and green to protect our local waters and to provide us with valuable by-products which will be useful and not wasteful; 2) installation of solar panels on our greenhouse annex to be built this spring; 3) supplement or replace our water heaters with solar hot water collectors; and, 4) exploring ways for the center to be waste-neutral by composting every conceivable byproduct. All of these are intended to reduce our carbon footprint and our reliance on non-renewable fuels.
bulletWe have a purchasing policy to encourage the purchase of environmentally-friendly products and services
bulletList of our environmentally friendly products and services: All disposable dinnerware (cups, plates, etc.) are made from corn starch and sugar cane and are compostable. All our cleaning chemicals are green. We compost a portion our food and are looking to expand this component of our waste management plan.
bulletEnvironmental Restoration or Community Environmental Projects: Pearlstone hosts the Baltimore Jewish Environmental Network, which supports greening and eco-friendly efforts across the Baltimore Jewish community and partners with other faith-based organizations to accomplish its goals. We planted a seven-acre riparian buffer to protect our local streams and pond. We manage a five acre educational organic farm, lead multiple 3-day watershed pilgrimages to the Chesapeake Bay to learn about our environment and the impact on humans on it. We are a certified Maryland Green Center.
bulletIndependently Audited Environmental Management System: Pearlstone has a committee of lay people and professionals who act as an advisory board. They provide ongoing evaluation and recommendations for activities in this area.
Waste Reduction
We use the following best management practices:
bulletHave a plan in place to reduce property waste
bulletTrack overall waste bills and established baseline data for quantity of wastes produced
bulletPerformed a waste stream audit to determine baseline waste data and identify waste reduction opportunities
Guest Rooms
bulletUse bulk soap dispensers instead of individual soaps / shampoos in guest rooms
bulletUse real coffee mugs and no polystyrene products
bulletInstruct housekeeping to save and reuse unopened items
bulletUse refillable shampoo bottles rather than single-use bottles
Kitchen and Prep / Dining / Catering / Meetings and Events / Campground Snack Bar
bulletDonate excess food from events
bulletCompost food waste and other compostables
bulletUse effective food inventory control to minimize waste
bulletPurchase locally grown produce and other foods
bulletPurchase organic foods
bulletPurchase sustainably grown foods
bulletDo not use polystyrene coffee cups
bulletUse disposable food service items are eco-friendly - polystyrene is avoided
bulletIf disposable containers are used, they are made from - bio-based materials, recycled content, and/or compostable material
bulletUse cloth napkins and tablecloths
bulletUse reusable dishware and glassware and minimize use of disposables
bulletUse non-bleached napkins and coffee filters
bulletProvide condiments - (cream and sugar, etc.) in bulk
bulletUse water pitchers and filtered water to minimize the use of single-use bottles
bulletUse menus and table placards as opportunity to communicate green activities
bulletProvide organic, local or sustainable food choices
bulletUse screen-based ordering systems
Restrooms
bulletUse bulk soap dispensers in public restrooms
bulletPurchase recycled-content paper towels and toilet paper
Registration / Office
bulletUse last-in/first-out inventory and effective labeling systems
bulletUse electronic correspondence and forms
bulletPurchase from vendors and service providers with a commitment to the environment
bulletEncourage suppliers to minimize packaging and other waste materials
bulletPurchase recycled paper with a high percentage recycled content
bulletMake 2-sided copies / printed materials and avoid making extra copies
bulletRemove facility and staff names from junk mail lists when possible
bulletPromote other green attractions, activities and Maryland Green Travel facilities
Buildings and Grounds
bulletUse green cleaning chemicals
bulletDispense cleaning agents in bulk to reduce quantities used
bulletPurchase durable equipment and furniture
bulletPurchase low-VOC carpets and fabrics
bulletUse low VOC adhesives
bulletUse reused building materials or those from sustainable sources
bulletUse latex paints that are low or no-VOC
bulletProperly recycle and/or dispose of thinners and solvents - required by EPA regulations
bulletPerform preventative maintenance on all appliances, HVAC systems, plumbing and vehicles
bulletUse less toxic materials
bulletUse Organic Farming Principals
bulletUse integrated pest management - IPM
bulletMinimize the use of pesticides, herbicides, fungicides and fertilizers in landscaping
bulletUse a nutrient management plan that minimizes the use of fertilizers
bulletUse natural fertilizers instead of synthetics
bulletUse composted production materials for fertilizer
Our Innovative Ideas and Specifics in Waste Reduction:
bulletWe use drip irrigation for our farm. We do timed-watering cycles. We encourage local bicycle transportation.
Recycling
We have recycling bins in the main lobby areas.
We are recycling:
bulletAluminium Cans
bulletBatteries
bulletCardboard
bulletElectronics equipment
bulletFood Composting
bulletFood Wastes
bulletGlass
bulletFluorescent Lamps
bulletNewspaper
bulletOffice Paper
bulletPlastic
bulletPrinter and copy machine toner cartridges
bulletSteel Cans
Water Conservation
bulletHave a plan in place to reduce property water usage
bulletTrack water bills and established baseline data on water usage and wastewater generation
bulletHave a numeric goal to reduce water consumption over time
bulletPerform preventative maintenance to stop drips and leaks
bulletUse water-flow metering to discover leaks and areas of high use
bulletDiscourage water-based cleanup, ie. sweep first
bulletUse microfiber technology mops
bulletDefrost foods ahead of time in refrigerators to avoid the need for running-water defrost
Use or installed the following devices:
bulletlow flow restrictors on faucets and showerheads
bulletlow flow toilets (1.6 gpf or less)
bulletwaterless urinals
bulletcomposting toilets
bulletautomatic or sensored faucets or toilets in public restrooms
bullethigh efficiency Energy-Star rated dishwashers
Have an effective landscape management plan which utilizes:
Have an effective storm water plan management including:
bulletPervious pavement, and/or minimization of impervious areas like paving, concrete, etc
bulletUse cisterns
bulletUse drip line irrigation
bulletMaintain vegetative buffers around streams and ponds
Energy Efficiency
We use the following best management practices:
bulletHave a plan in place to reduce property energy usage
bulletTrack overall energy bills and establish baseline energy usage
bulletHave had an energy audit to identify efficiency opportunities
bulletHave an energy management system in place to track and meter energy usage
Kitchen
bulletRegularly evaluated existing ovens and other kitchen equipment for temperature settings and energy efficiency opportunities
bulletConfirmed that all refrigerator, freezer and oven gaskets provide a good seal, or replaced
bulletRoutinely clean condenser coils on all refrigeration equipment
bulletImplemented a startup / shutdown procedure which specifies timing for lighting, kitchen equipment, room temperature, etc.
bulletHave proper pilot light adjustment
bulletSetting / installing defrost timers for freezers
Lighting:
bulletDesigned use of natural lighting
bulletTurn off lights in unoccupied rooms
bulletMinimize the use of lighting during night cleaning
bulletUse of directional, downward-facing, lighting in parking areas and other outdoor areas
bulletUse high efficiency compact fluorescent light bulbs in rooms, canned lighting or wherever possible
bulletUse high efficiency fluorescent ballasts and lamps - T-5's & T-8's
Heating and Cooling
bulletHave a high efficiency heating and air-conditioning HVAC system
bulletRegularly perform preventative maintenance on HVAC system
bulletHave geothermal heating and cooling
bulletHave programmable thermostats for each room and ensure they are properly adjusted
bulletMinimize the use of lighting during night cleaning
bulletHousekeeping closes blinds and resets optimal temperatures
bulletHave installed additional insulation
Energy Efficiency:
bulletENERGY STAR computers, appliances, office equipments etc.
bulletTurn off all electrical items in unoccupied rooms when not in use or at the end of the day
Linen Service and Laundry:
We use these best management practices:
bulletProvide optional linen service - Change linens only upon request
bulletTrain staff on the process for optional linen service
bulletHave signage in each room explaining the linen reuse procedures
bulletHave water- and energy-efficient washers and dryers
bulletUse non-phosphate, non-toxic and biodegradable laundry detergents
bulletMinimize the use of bleach and chlorinated chemicals
bulletUse linen service providers that employ wet versus dry cleaning
Recycle Grease
We use the following best management practices:
bulletStore the grease and have it picked up by a rendering company
bulletPeriodically pump the grease traps
bulletHave a contract with grease filtering company that takes the grease away
Minimize Disposable Food Service Items
We use the following best management practices:
bulletUse disposable foodservice items made from bio-based, renewable materials (corn, bamboo, etc.)
bulletUse disposable foodservice items made with recycled content
bulletUse recyclable foodservice items and actively recycle them
bulletUse compostable foodservice items and collect such items for composting or direct this material to available composting operations in your area
Green Events
We use the following best management practices:
bulletUse ideas set forth in Maryland Green Travel's Checklist for Planning Green Events
bulletSupport event planners who want to hold green events
bulletInclude information on Green Events / Weddings / Meetings / Conferences in our marketing materials
bulletTrain all event planner staff on green event techniques
bulletProvide visible recycling at all green events
bulletMinimize the use of disposable food service items
Our Innovative Ideas and Specifics regarding Green Events:
bulletWe offer sustainability programs to groups using our facility and farm related programs.
Other Green Practices
Transportation:
We use the following best management practices:
bulletMinimize the Comute of our Employees-Many of our staff occupy a farmhouse that is 1.5 miles from our site. The center rents the townhouse. This allows our staff to live close by and to carpool and/or bike to work.
bulletAddressing Efficient Business Travel-We encourage groups to coordinate flight arrivals to pool rides to the center.
Green Building:
bulletSustainable Building Materials:Our new addition used only sustainable and LEED recommended building materials.
Our Innovative Ideas and Specifics regarding our Green Building techniques:
bulletOur Conference Center farm uses a "cob oven" made from local clay and straw and is building a service structure with mostly recycled materials.
Measurable Results
We installed ground-source heat pump (geothermal) for our recent new addition. This reduced our fossil fuel consumption by 40%.