Daily Best Practices

Here is a comprehensive list of the things that we do on a daily basis at Siwash Lake Wilderness Resort to help preserve the planet.


Community Involvement
SLR guidelines and procedures for sustainability are:
  • Addressed in our operations manual
  • A key component of the SLR Mission statement
  • Taught during staff training
  • Taught via guest education & activities
  • Promoted via marketing and the media
  • Practiced and adhered to daily throughout the operation
  • Evident in the great care we take to preserve the history and integrity of the ranch site and the regional culture
  • Supported by recruiting and training a cross generation, multi-cultural staff that is drawn from a wide variety of sources, both local and international, including young people starting out and retired professionals—empowering them to become a team of multi-talented, multi-tasking ambassadors for environmentally responsible living close to nature

Administration
  • The majority of our printed marketing materials are constructed from recycled paper.
  • Whenever possible, communication is electronic versus print.
  • Printers are set for double-sided printing
  • Scrap paper is used for drafts and for fire starter or sent for recycling.
  • All computers, printers and monitors are turned off on a power bar when not in use.

Housekeeping
  • Biodegradable, natural cleaners and detergents, no phosphates or harsh chemicals, purchased in bulk and concentrated, which we put into re-usable spray nozzle bottles.
  • Toilet tissue and Kleenex are made from recycled paper.
  • Guest toiletries are purchased in bulk.
  • Guest toiletries are made from natural ingredients & are biodegradable.
  • Aesthetically pleasing, refillable containers are used in each guest room for toiletries, with a list posted showing ingredients for hand soap, bath foam, shampoo, conditioner and body lotion.
  • Notice in bathrooms for guests regarding SLWR environmental policies & procedures.
  • Notice in guestroom info books regarding SLWR environmental initiatives.
  • Laundry always washed in cold water (except kitchen linens).
  • All lodge laundry is hung to line dry in the fresh air when weather is good.
  • Used magazines are donated to local library.
  • Used newspapers are used for fire starter or sent for recycling.
  • Used hand soaps are donated to third world countries via the local church.
  • Curtains and doors are kept closed in unoccupied rooms to conserve energy.
  • Housekeeping staff are trained to switch off any lights that guests may have left on (but the guests are encouraged and reminded to cooperate with this too).
  • The goal is to produce no more than one or two bags of garbage per month.

Food & Beverage Operations
  • Most appliances are Energy-star rated and/or managed properly for peak efficiency and low energy consumption.
  • Vegetable & fruit peelings, plus guest & staff plate scrapings are fed to SLWR pigs and chickens.
  • Coffee grounds, tea bags etc. are composted (compost is used on garden).
  • Meat scraps are given to working ranch dogs.
  • Strict portion control is practiced and meals are plated so there is very little left-over food.
  • Any left-over food is incorporated into staff meals.
  • Left over and trail food is packaged using eco-friendly containers/wrappings.
  • Use of tin foil and plastic food wrap kept minimal and only when necessary.
  • Ranch grown organic produce and meat is used as much as possible (vegetables & herbs from our garden; free-range eggs; beef; and pork).
  • For other supplies and food we provision locally and organically as much as possible, purchase in bulk, and we use suppliers whom make sustainable practices a priority.
  • Beverage containers, tin cans, glass, cardboard, and plastics are recycled.
  • Household batteries discarded by guests are collected and taken to an allocated site (SMAC).
  • Resort household batteries are all rechargeable.
  • No aerosols whenever possible – choose pump spray alternatives.
  • The dining room is set with linen napkins and place mats. Guests are assigned one napkin for 3 meals per day (with a color coded napkin ring).
  • The 2-acre ranch garden is organic and the ranch owners, their children and all staff members partake in its care.
  • Guests are given a stainless steel, washable, re-usable water bottle for their personal use throughout their stay, to take on hikes, riding etc.

Engineering
  • A 6KW solar photo voltaic array sends energy to a power bank of 48 deep cycle industrial batteries, which provides 100% of a day’s electricity for the lodge when the weather is fair (96% annually).
  • No air conditioning units in rooms – all windows open for fresh air and lodge is designed for natural ventilation of air. Log buildings are naturally well-insulated – cool in summer, warm in winter.
  • Heating is provided by CSA approved/emission controlled wood stoves that burn beetle-killed timber, which is harvested on the property taking care to cause minimal impact on the surrounding terrain.
  • Our own portable sawmill is used to create lumber from the beetle-killed pine and this lumber is used for ranch construction projects.
  • All lighting is with energy efficient CFL and LED bulbs.
  • Our own private water system treats well water using an innovative high-tech filtration system and absolutely no chlorine.
  • All of our faucets & toilets have flow-restriction mechanisms
  • Our sewage system is a lagoon that functions like a compost and breaks down waste by natural bacteria and evaporation.
 
  • Hazardous waste is kept to a minimum, and is sent for recycling whenever possible (i.e. used vehicle batteries and oil).
  • No harsh chemicals, solvents, pesticides or herbicides are used. We use water–based paints and stains 80% of the time.
  • Hot water is pre-heated by a solar thermal system and then sent to propane fuelled “on demand” geyser systems (as opposed to traditional hot water heaters).
  • The Resort ATV is used only when required for ranch work and when walking or riding a bike or a horse is not a viable option.
  • No engine idling policy for all vehicles.
  • Diesel truck is plugged in for half an hour prior to starting on cold days, which reduces carbon emissions associated with cold starts.
  • Trips off the resort are planned for efficient use of time and fuel and made only when necessary – errands are saved up and grouped under one “town” day per week or preferably once every ten to fourteen days.

Recreation & Land Use
  • Everyone stays on the trails.
  • All garbage is packed out.
  • Used toilet paper is packed out and human waste is buried.
  • Wildlife is to be enjoyed, but respected and not disturbed, and breeding areas are to be avoided
  • We abide by the Ministry of Environment Wildlife Guidelines for Commercial Backcountry Recreation.
  • Fishing is catch and release with the option of keeping just one for the table.
  • No smoking on the trails and in limited areas at the ranch.
  • We take care not to spread noxious weeds and invasive plants by vehicle, by boat, by foot and by horse and we monitor for this.
  • All activities are nature-based and we take care to mitigate any potential impacts