Sustainability at the INN

Reduce, reuse and recycle ... that's sustainability, INNdeed!

Thursday, April 22, 2021

“Welcome to Lewes. Mother Nature, let’s do this.” Adorning the wall just above our cottage fireplace at the Dogfish Inn, this quote – which was hand-painted by Dogfish Head founder Sam Calagione, and his son – encourages co-workers and guests to get out and enjoy coastal Delaware’s natural beauty. A meaningful reminder of the splendor just beyond our doors, it evokes our duty as people to take care of and give back to the lovely planet we’re lucky enough to call home.

To reduce our plastic and carbon emissions, as well as decrease our overall production of waste, we’re committed to using reusable, recyclable and all-natural products whenever possible. Our primary cleaning solution* Meyers is a biodegradable agent made with plant-based ingredients and natural essential oils. As if that’s not enough, the bottle containing the solution is made from 25% post-consumer plastic! Our floor cleaner Ecospro is also plant-based and biodegradable, as well as septic safe. We even make our own chemical-free cabin spray in-house, using a variety of all-natural ingredients and oils, including Dogfish Head Distilling Co. Analog Vodka. 
*We are currently using a peroxide-base cleaning agent to ensure the highest protection against Covid-19.

Our dedication to sustainability extends far beyond our cleaning regiments. In fact, guests encounter our ‘means to be green’ from the moment they step foot in one of our beer-centric rooms. From our reusable & beloved coffee mugs and recycling bins with which each room is stocked, to the high pressure, low flow Speakman shower heads installed in each bathroom, our ecological efforts are everywhere! We provide designated ‘facial wipes’ in each room – black washcloths made specifically to remove makeup – instead of offering other disposable options, and we can’t forget about our door snakes … er, sharks to help folks keep the cold out of their rooms and support our quest to save energy. These were hand-made by co-worker Cara!

Also in each room, guests will find tissues and toilet paper made by Who Gives a Crap. Who Gives a Crap’s off-centered packaging and playful name weren’t the only two things that caught our eye. Who Gives a Crap and its products have a strong mission focused around sustainability. The tissues are made of bamboo and sugar cane, and are 100% forest friendly. The toilet paper is made with 100% bamboo, and is chlorine-, dye- and scent-free. And if that wasn’t reason enough for us to like them, Who Gives a Crap donates 50% off all its profits to building toilets in third-world countries.

Other sustainability efforts include using only LED lights throughout our rooms and cottage, recycling the water collected in our dehumidifiers to mop the floors and water our plants, and utilizing an Inn-wide temperature control system that allows us to manage the amount of electricity and energy used in each room.

And we can't forget our courtyard garden! Co-worker Cara dreamed up this sustainable (and delicious!) space a few years back, and since then we've grown all sorts of goodies from tomatoes, zucchini, cucumber, jalapenos, oregano and more! We've also got a stash of mint growing by our fence line too, which just so happens to be a natural insect repellant! 

Sustainability is more than just what we do within our walls though, and that's why we're so proud of our partnerships with like-minded companies and non-profits who help us invest in our community and the world around us. One of our yummiest collaborations is with Rise Up Coffee Roasters, a local coffee roaster & coffee shop, who we teamed up with to create 'Basecamp Blend', a medium roast coffee specially made for our guests at the Dogfish Inn and available in every room. And like all of their coffee, it's completely organic and 100% Fair Trade Certified. 

Last, but certainly not least, we donate all of the gently-used linens and towels being pulled from stock, partially used bars of soap and toiletries, partial rolls of toilet paper and more to Casa San Francisco – a charity that provides temporary housing, basic household items and meals to the homeless – in Milton, Delaware. These efforts allow us to recycle our gently-used goods, reduce our waste production and give back to the community that supports us and our efforts to keep coastal Delaware and the world beautiful. Funny how things come full circle, isn’t it?