Black Ankle Vineyards
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14463 Black Ankle Rd
Mount Airy, MD 21771
Capital Region
301-829-3338
www.blackankle.com
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We believe sustainably grown grapes make the best wine, and are therefore committed to sustainable farming.
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Management and Leadership
We use the following best management practices:
bulletEnvironment Policy Statement
bulletEnvironmental Team: We have a small staff, and everyone is expected to keep our sustainability goals in mind at all times. Our goals are regularly reinforced in staff training meetings.
bulletSet Annual Goals: We have no formal process in place, but everyone is expected to keep our goals in mind. We regularly make informal audits to make sure that anything possible is being recycled. We work to make our delivery schedule as efficient as possible to minimize fuel use.
bulletWe have a purchasing policy to encourage the purchase of environmentally-friendly products and services
bulletList of our environmentally friendly products and services: We have no formal policy, but use environmentally-friendly services as much as possible. We have a low-water use dishwasher, use Eco-friendly cleaning agents, usenEco series glass bottles for our packaging, and try to never use disposable plates, cutlery, etc for special events.
Waste Reduction
We use the following best management practices:
bulletHave a plan in place to reduce property waste
Kitchen and Prep / Dining / Catering / Meetings and Events / Campground Snack Bar
bulletCompost food waste and other compostables
bulletUse effective food inventory control to minimize waste
bulletPurchase locally grown produce and other foods
bulletPurchase sustainably grown foods
bulletDo not use polystyrene coffee cups
bulletDo not use any disposable containers, dishware, cutlery or cups
bulletUse reusable dishware and glassware and minimize use of disposables
bulletUse non-bleached napkins and coffee filters
bulletUse water pitchers and filtered water to minimize the use of single-use bottles
bulletProvide organic, local or sustainable food choices
Restrooms
bulletUse bulk soap dispensers in public restrooms
bulletPurchase recycled-content paper towels and toilet paper
Registration / Office
bulletUse electronic correspondence and forms
bulletPurchase recycled paper with a high percentage recycled content
bulletMake 2-sided copies / printed materials and avoid making extra copies
bulletUse recycled content paper for copies / printed materials
bulletReuse scrap paper for notes
bulletReuse or donate shipping and packing supplies (peanuts, bubble wrap, etc.)
Retail
bulletSell organic cotton shirts
bulletSell environmentally friendly products
bulletSell sustainable, organic or local products
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
bulletUse Biodynamics
bulletMinimize the use of pesticides, herbicides, fungicides and fertilizers in landscaping
bulletTrain staff effectively to use agrochemicals correctly and in proper applications
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 save and collect corks from customers so that they can be re-used for flooring or craft projects. We use local florists who grow seasonal flowers when we need flowers. We re-use and re-purpose everything we can. We use re-washable towels in our restrooms.
Recycling
We have recycling cans available to all guests. All staff are trained to recycle glass, paper, metal and plastic. We collect corks from customers for re-use (in secondary applications) or recycling. We feed scrap food to our farm animals.
bulletWe have clearly marked recycling bins or provide convenient drop off locations
We are recycling:
bulletAluminium Cans
bulletBatteries
bulletCardboard
bulletElectronics equipment
bulletFood Composting
bulletFood Wastes
bulletGlass
bulletFluorescent Lamps
bulletNewspaper
bulletOffice Paper
bulletPacking Supplies
bulletPallets
bulletPlastic
bulletPrinter and copy machine toner cartridges
bulletSteel Cans
bulletWaste Management -- On-site dumpsters. Any hazardous items such as lights or batteries are taken to recycling centers.
Water Conservation
bulletHave a plan in place to reduce property water usage
bulletPerform preventative maintenance to stop drips and leaks
bulletOffer water versus serving automatically
bulletDiscourage water-based cleanup, ie. sweep first
bulletUse microfiber technology mops
Use or installed the following devices:
bulletlow flow restrictors on faucets and showerheads
bulletaerators on faucets (0.5 gpm or less for lavatory and 2.2 gpm or less for kitchen faucets)
bulletlow flow toilets (1.6 gpf or less)
bullettankless hot water heaters
bulletan air-cooled versus a water-cooled icemaker
bullethigh efficiency Energy-Star rated dishwashers
bulleta WaterSense-rated pre-rinse dishwasher valve (1.6 gpm or less)
Have an effective landscape management plan which utilizes:
bulletnative species
bulletdrought tolerant species
bulletlandscaping using BayScapes techniques
Have an effective storm water plan management including:
bulletHave a green roof
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
Kitchen
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.
Lighting:
bulletDesigned use of natural lighting
bulletTurn off lights in unoccupied rooms
bulletUse high efficiency compact fluorescent light bulbs in rooms, canned lighting or wherever possible
bulletUse LED Exit Signs
bulletUse LED lighting for:Outdoor lights and some interior lights
bulletOther details on lighting: Out door lights are only used after dark on days we are open.
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
bulletHave a centrally controlled HVAC system that is activated only when occupied
bulletKeep office doors and windows closed if HVAC system is on
bulletHave installed additional insulation
Energy Efficiency:
bulletHave a solar water heating system
bulletENERGY STAR computers, appliances, office equipments etc.
bulletHave thermal-rated windows and insulation
bulletTurn off all electrical items in unoccupied rooms when not in use or at the end of the day
bulletPurchase Green Power from utility
Our Innovative Ideas and Specifics in Energy Conservation and Efficiency
bulletWe have two strawbale buildings on the property -- one for sales and tasting, and the second for barrel and case goods storage, which are extremely energy efficient. We use bio-diesel in our tractors and in owners personal car when -- 100% in summer months, and blend in cold months.
Linen Service and Laundry:
We use these best management practices:
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
Green Events
We use the following best management practices:
bulletSupport event planners who want to hold green events
bulletTrain all event planner staff on green event techniques
bulletProvide visible recycling at all green events
bulletMinimize the use of disposable food service items
bulletUse double-sided printing and copying
bulletUse recycled content paper and soy based ink
bulletUse green signage at the event
bulletActivities we undertake to make our events green are:We try to make every event as green as possible. We strongly encourage use of non-disposable plates, cutlery, etc. We insist on recycling all recyclables. We use chalkboards for notices and signs wherever psooible.
Other Green Practices
Transportation:
We use the following best management practices:
bulletMinimize the Comute of our Employees-Employees work from home when possible.
Green Building:
Our building is LEED certified:
bulletSustainable Building Materials:Straw bale buildings. Designed to be passive solar. Green roof on several roofs of buildings. New construction is built as much as possible (85+%) from materials found or grown on our farm: wood, straw, clay and stones.
Our Innovative Ideas and Specifics regarding our Green Building techniques:
bulletAll garden areas are 95+% native plants. We never irrigate after initial planting.
Other:
bulletAwards:Maryland Office of Tourism Award for Sustainability
Other Innovative / Creative / Commonsense Green ideas:
bulletWe are a very small organization, so we don't have a lot of formal structures in place, but everyone knows that environmental sustainability is a core value. Staff regularly think of small ideas that will help with sustainability -- ways to re-use things, ways to save on disposables, etc. It is part of who we are as a company.
Measurable Results
We recycled approximately 2 tons of material last year.