Our Approach to Sustainability 

Sustainability is all about preserving and protecting the places you love. For us, sustainability is a moral imperative, and one that we have ingrained into our ethos and team. We strive to be gentle and mindful in all of our business operations, treading lightly on the land, and protecting our oceans and nearby ecosystems. Given our remote and natural surroundings, we are hyper aware of our carbon footprint and take steps each day so we can all do our part to preserve the natural beauty of the Mendocino Coast.

Chef Matthew Kammerer’s Approach to Sustainable Food in Our Kitchen and in the Restaurant:

  • Local Food: Our food comes primarily from the coast and within Mendocino county, within 50 miles of where we are located. Most food is picked up by the staff on their way to work, reducing our carbon footprint by not having it delivered on trucks from far away places, while minimizing boxes and packaging. 
     

  • Foraging Within Our Immediate Surroundings: The ability to forage for seaweed, mushrooms, herbs and edible weeds in our backyard, the surrounding coast, and nearby forest, has shaped the cuisine to be a true local snapshot of our area. This is a crucial part of what makes our property so unique, and something that pushes our sustainable approach even further as we draw from our nearby surroundings, while reducing the need for imports.
     

  • Harnessing Local Seafood: We source local and sustainable species like black cod or cabezon, which we pick up directly from local fishermen. 
     

  • Utilizing Whole Animals With a Limited Focus on Meat: Our 8-12 course tasting menu is  primarily comprised of seafood and vegetables, and will sometimes feature 1 small meat course. We only use whole animals raised in sustainable ways, most often lamb or pork. The pork we use has all of its feed grown onsite at the ranch it was raised on. The animals are aged onsite at the Harbor House which allows us to tenderize and utilize the entire animal, not just the prime cuts. Anything left over is turned into sausage or terrines for breakfast at the inn.
     

  • Onsite Gardens: We grow as much produce as possible onsite in our gardens following organic and sustainable practices. We have most recently purchased 320 acres in Point Arena, where we will stand up our own farm.  
     

  • Onsite Chickens: Our onsite chicken coop provides eggs as well as manure and compost for our gardens. 
     

  • Onsite EcoRich Composter: We have an onsite mechanical composter that can turn 50 pounds of our organic waste, and turn it into usable compost in 24 hours.  We take this compost and spread it throughout the gardens, greatly reducing our waste at the landfill.
     

  • Onsite Water Filters and Reusable Glass Water Bottles: Our water filtration system, Nordaq Fresh, cuts down any plastic bottle waste and water deliveries we would otherwise need for both the Inn & Restaurant. This allows us to be self sustainable, while reusing glass containers to offer filtered water for guests on our property. 
     

  • No Usage of Cling Film and Plastic Wrap: The kitchen has eliminated the use of cling film to cut down on single use plastic. Any other single use plastic is brought to a local store that will recycle it for us responsibly.
     

  • Reuse of Grey Water: Any ice baths or left over clean water is saved and then used to water the grounds.
     

  • Dinner Menus are Printed on Seed Paper: Guest dinner menus are printed on recycled paper, imbedded with wildflower seeds. We ask guests to consider planting their menus to grow their own wildflower gardens, rather than throwing them away. 
     

  • Local Plates and Ceramics: Our plates, bowls, coffee cups, sakeware and steak knives are all made by local artists. The steak knives are forged using a recycled saw blade from an old redwood mill just north of us. 
     

  • Use of Locally Felled Trees for Gardening and Decor: Local, naturally felled trees are turned into wood chips and then spread in a layer across our gardens to reduce the amount of watering needed. This greatly reduces our watering in the 6 month dry season by 30%. Our dining tables are also made from a local naturally felled old growth redwood.
     

  • Recycling of Wine Corks: We collect wine corks from bottles ordered by guests, and drop them off at a nearby grocery store that recycles them.

Our Approach to Sustainable Operations for Our Inn:

We’ve chosen to partner with brands and products who follow sustainable practices, or allow us to operate in a way that reduces our waste, and that of guests staying with us.

  • Nordaq Fresh Reusable Water Bottles in our Guest Rooms: Bottled water has a major negative impact on our environment. Our reusable glass water bottles feature reusable rubber tops that reduce the need for unnecessary, lengthy transportation of water, and reduce plastic waste on-site. 
     

  • Public Goods Amenities: Besides offering high quality products, we are big fans of Public Goods for their thoughtful and sustainable packaging. Our bathrooms feature large format refillable bottles of shampoo, conditioner, body wash, and lotion, using sugarcane-based bioplastics instead of petroleum packaging. This approach is more sustainable because the processing of sugarcane emits far less carbon dioxide than fossil fuels. Additionally, every time we purchase amenities from Public Goods, they send a portion of their proceeds to Eden Reforestation Projects.This organization restores forest in areas that are vital in the fight against global warming.
     

  • Local Soaps from Albion River Farmer’s Market: Local soapmaker Joel Kies, who is based out of Albion, CA (located 10 minutes north of us), produces our in-room bath soaps, with the addition of calendula flowers grown from our backyard. 
     

  • Trash/Recycle Separation Bins: Each guest room comes with a trash can that has a separate container for recycling and trash. We use compostable paper liners in these trash cans to reduce our plastic waste.
     

  • Bath Towels: We encourage guests to do their part by reusing their bathroom towels more than once, to reduce water/detergent waste. 

Michelin California 2019
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5600 South Highway 1,

Elk, CA 95432

(707) 877-3203

© 2020 Harbor House Inn