We acknowledge the urgent need to protect our planet. Sustainability is no longer an option; it’s a necessity. Particularly in the vacation rental industry, we have a responsibility to limit our impact. At our cabins, we’ve understood the importance of this responsibility and embarked on a sustainability journey. Our goal is not just to provide a peaceful and fun retreat for our guests, but to do so in a manner that respects the environment we all share. Here’s how we’re striving to make a difference:
Our Commitment to Sustainability
Our sustainability journey is driven by a commitment to minimize our environmental impact. This commitment is reflected in the numerous measures we’ve adopted:
PG&E 100% Solar Choice Program: In partnership with our utility company, PG&E, we’ve joined their 100% solar energy program. This ensures that all electricity used in our cabins comes directly from the sun, a renewable and clean source of energy.
Low-Flow Toilets: With an eye towards water conservation, we’ve replaced all our toilets with low-flow models. These efficient fixtures use significantly less water with each flush.
Energy-Efficient Heating/Cooling: We replaced the Chalet’s gas furnace in the game room with a more efficient electric mini-split cooling and heating unit. This change helps us use more electricity than propane, and generally heat and cool that space more efficiently.
Using Eco-Friendly Products: As part of our commitment to the environment, we’ve switched to renewable toilet paper and paper towels from the eco-friendly company Who Gives a Crap.
Dual-Pane Windows: In our ongoing efforts to reduce energy use, we recently upgraded three windows in the Chalet to dual-pane models, which provide better insulation and reduce energy loss. Eventually we intend to replace more windows in the cabins, as more of a long-term investment.
Smart Energy Management: Learning from the habits of our guests and seasons, we use remote thermostats to control our heating and cooling systems. This process prevents energy waste when the cabin is empty.
Electric Vehicle (EV) Charging: Reflecting on changes in how people travel, we installed EV charging stations at both cabins, encouraging electric vehicle use among our guests.
Energy-Efficient LED Lighting: As part of our energy conservation efforts, we’ve installed energy-efficient LED bulbs in the majority of our lighting fixtures. These bulbs consume significantly less energy than traditional bulbs, leading to lower energy consumption and less impact on the environment.
We Can’t Do As Much as We’d Like
While we strive to be as green as possible, there are some sustainability measures that, due to our location in the mountains and the nature of our rentals, are just not feasible for us at this time.
Reliance on Propane for Heating: In our area, the chilly mountain climate requires reliable heating. Propane has proven to be the most effective means of heating our cabins, particularly when electricity can be unreliable. Additionally, the monumental cost of replacing the propane furnaces currently in place makes this a prohibitive change at this stage.
Solar Panel Installation: The installation of solar panels on our properties isn’t viable. Our cabins are nestled in a wooded area, which, while offering serene beauty and privacy, doesn’t provide ample sun exposure needed for efficient solar power generation.
Composting: At home, we compost our kitchen waste, but in a rental context, this just isn’t practical. Managing a compost program in a vacation rental situation would pose challenges that we are not equipped to deal with at this time. Similarly, our county waste company doesn’t offer green waste disposal for food scraps, yet — hopefully they will in the future.
These realities don’t curb our enthusiasm for striving towards sustainability, however. While we can’t implement every green option, we will continue our efforts where we can and explore new possibilities as they become available and feasible.
We Continue to Learn and Improve
While we are proud of what we’ve done, we realize there’s still a long way to go. Sustainability is a journey, not a destination. Every day, we learn something new about how to reduce our impact on the environment. Striving for sustainability at Evergreen Dorrington isn’t just about doing what’s right for our business; it’s about doing what’s right for our planet and future generations. We invite all our guests to join us on this journey.