Our Ouray CO hotel exploits our geothermal resources (natural hot springs onsite) and has been able to reduce natural gas consumption by more than 70% in the past 4 years and we have made many modifications to the facility to allow for these savings. We also strive to put other procedures in place that demonstrate our environmental commitment. As a result of our efforts, the Box Canyon Lodge & Hot Springs has earned a four key rating from Green Key, a well known eco-rating program.
A 4 Green Key rating is awarded to a hotel that has shown national industry leadership and commitment to protecting the environment through wide-ranging policies and practices. The Hotel has mature programs in place that involve management, employees, guests, and the public, and which have shown substantial and measurable results. We would love to learn from you should you have ideas, comments, or questions as we only want to get better in this arena.
Green Hotel Blog
We consistently keep our guests and potential guests in mind when we write our Ouray Vacation blog and we have several articles that describe our green hotel programs in even more detail. We encourage you to provide us feedback as we learn ways to improve through research and discussions. It is important to know that our guests find our commitment to the environment important to them.
Geothermal Energy Usage
We use our geothermal water for our guests to soak. We never heat the water as it comes out of the ground at about 140 degrees Farenheit. We also use the geothermal water to heat guest rooms and to heat the city water used for bathing in our guest rooms. We also use our geothermal hot springs to heat the water used in the laundry too. We have intentions of exploiting this resource even more in the coming year. In 2009, we completed a substantial upgrade to our buildings so that the preponderance of our water is heated with our geothermal resources and most heat in our buildings is derived from our geothermal springs. Since 2007, the Box Canyon Lodge & Hot Springs has reduced natural gas consumption by 70%. Additional energy efficiency projects are being contemplated.
We have added insulation to all of our buildings. We believe that this expenditure will keep the buildings warmer in the winter and cooler in the summer and will conserve energy overall by maintaining our site at comfortable temperatures year round with considerably less energy consumption.
We have installed energy efficient light bulbs, use low flow systems for toilets and showers and use a towel/linen reuse program.
We installed two new Continental Girbau washer-extractors that use less electricity and less water and spin at a substantially higher number of RPMs. Laundry cycles complete with considerably less moisture so drying times are 30% faster resulting in a big reduction in usage of natural gas. We have also added two new dryers to our commercial laundry and they use less electricity than our prior dryers.
In the fall of 2010, we replaced all windows with new vinyl double paned windows in all of our buildings to ensure that less electricity is used in the summer season when the A/C units are in use. We worked with our staff and community members to recycle our old windows and we took the remaining hardware to Recla Metals in Montrose. We purchased these windows from All Glass Station in Delta and this is a true small business. It turns out that our purchase of windows allowed All Glass Station to celebrate their biggest window order to date.
We now use bulk products in refillable bottles for our in-room amenities. The refillable bottles greatly reduce the waste associated with in-room shampoos, soaps, lotions, etc. It is also free of parabens, phthalates or artificial colors.
In 2011, we pledged our commitment to green cleaning and are in the process of switching our cleaning products to those with a minimal environmental impact. We are currently in the process of ensuring that our cleaning chemicals will be Green Seal certified (Green Seal Industrial and Institutional Cleaners, GS-37). If a Green Seal certified product for a specific use is not available, then a product will be selected that is “Environmentally Preferable” (GS-42). If a non-green product must be used, it will only be used for an isolated issue that can only be resolved by using that product.
If a green product does not exist in a given product category, then product use will be minimized or eliminated. Evaluation of future developed product options will continue in the identified category. Naturally derived bio-based products are preferred.
The numbers of cleaning products that we use are minimized to facilitate training and simplify the cleaning program.
In-Room Recycling Program
We are working to serve and save this planet. We recycle the following items from our guest rooms:
- Tin and Metal Cans
- Glass Bottles (Brown, Green & Clear)
- Plastic Bottles/containers with Recycle symbols
You can do your part by leaving these items on the table/counter or in the recycling receptacle that is in your room. Please decide for yourself. Help us to become the greenest of Ouray Colorado Hotels.
We strive to utilize local suppliers and suppliers that demonstrate a commitment to the environment and to our community. We utilize a local caterer to prepare our muffins in the morning and we procure our coffee from a local roaster (Exotic Earth) with a firm commitment to the environment. At every opportunity, the Box Canyon Lodge & Hot Springs attempts to buy local, to always buy Colorado, and to buy Made in the USA. It is an important commitment we make to our community.
We are currently installing new, decorative lighting in all of our guest rooms and although it is difficult to find a US manufacturer of quality lighting fixtures, our local lighting supplier in Montrose hooked us up with Avalanche Ranch out of Bellingham, Washington. They were not the least expensive but we have been very pleased with their quality and service and know we are supporting another small US business. As for our gently used fixtures, we donated them to Habitat for Humanity ReStore in Montrose, Colorado.
Guests Can Participate in Environmental Programs Too!
Many of our green hotel initiatives rely on our guests’ participation and we thank you for your thoughtful and deliberate attention to the environment. Read our list of suggestions that visitors to any Colorado hotel, motel or inn can follow to be greener during their stays away from home!