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