Going Green to Remain Evergreen
Our environment is part of our identity, and we intend to protect it. Skamania Lodge continues to take actionable steps towards sustainability and be a leader in environmental best practices. Continue reading to learn what we've done and more importantly, where we're going.
Reducing Stay Over Cleaning
Why it Works
Through the past two years we have learned that by reducing our stay over cleaning we can reduce your carbon footprint.
Forgoing daily housekeeping room services reduce water consumption, electricity usage and the amount of chemicals used daily.
We are grateful to our guests for their support.
Making this choice at our hotel, we together save...
- Enough electricity to operate your tablet for 5 days
- 45 Gallons of water – enough to water a 15 pound dog for a year
- The same amount of natural gas needed to bake five dozen cookies
- Fewer cleaners which mean less chemicals released into the environment
Our Move to Zero Single Use Plastic
By the end of August 2020, our goal is to provide an alternative to all plastic use in our restaurants and meeting venues.
“In our effort to move to zero SUP’s (single use plastics) on property, we've taken an unprecedented lead in the industry to remove all plastic bottles from our convention areas and restaurants. Guests who wish to have single packaged water, juice, etc., will be given a non-plastic option. We've also eliminated the use of plastic kids cups and replaced them with stainless steel reusable tumblers and silicone lids in all our restaurants. Lastly, we've set up water stations throughout the hotel, including a water bottle fill stations located each guest room floor.” - Jon Haslam, Director of Food & Beverage
Green Apron Transitions to Compostable Products
All Green Apron take out service containers, boxes, cups, straws, lids, cutlery and condiment containers are 100% compostable and/or recyclable.
The Move to Zero Starts From Within
All Skamania associates receive a reusable mug when hired to use and reuse at work. Our employee break room eliminated the use of all plastic cups and straws to encourage associates to use sustainable alternatives.
How we reduced fireplace pollution to just 5 pounds a year.
"We all enjoy a large crackling fire, but did you know that each cord of wood burned in our Gorge Room fireplace created up to 81 pounds of pollution? This means that the 60 cords of wood we burned each year created roughly 4,880 pounds of pollution. Combine this with the 100 cords of wood used in the past to fuel Skamania’s guestrooms, the River Rock Lounge and Stevenson Ballroom fireplaces, Skamania would emit 12,880 pounds of pollution each year. This required about 5,000 trees to absorb the carbon emissions created. By converting all our fireplaces to gas, we have significantly reduced our emissions from 12,880 pounds to just 5 pounds per year and saved more than 100 mature trees in firewood."
- Kara Owen, General Manager
Every Drop Counts
Skamania Lodge uses AquaRecycle, a laundry water recycling system with specialized filters and UV systems that clean and disinfect up to two thirds of our laundry washing machine water.
Skamania Lodge's panoramic windows bring in loads of natural light. But to supplement our sight, we converted all lighting to energy efficient LED bulbs.
When we're not in action, neither are our lights. Skamania uses motion detectors in meeting rooms, back hallways, restrooms, and closets be energy efficient.
Drive electric? Park in one of our eight electric vehicle charging stations.
Using Less, Useless Plastics.
How We Save 80,000 Plastic Bottles From Our Landfills Each Year.
“Our in-room toiletries shampoo, conditioner, shower gel, hand soap, and lotion use spa quality products and are dispensed from wall-mounted fixtures which keeps approximately 80,000 single use plastic bottles out of our landfills every year.”
- Robin Hale, Executive Housekeeper
Food for Thought
Sustainably Sourced Ingredients
It's vital to us and our guests that we serve the most local and sustainably sourced ingredients possible.
"All of Skamania's Steelhead is sustainably sourced right here in the Columbia River Gorge. Our produce is always coming from as close as we can get it. While nearly 100% of our protein is grown and sourced by the 15 family ranchers of Oregon's Country Natural Beef." - Zac Janssen, Executive Chef
Country Natraul Beef - "Generational sustainability is an intention we practice everyday in our cooperative. Many of our ranches are multi-generational family ranches, with the hopes of keeping the ranch operating for many generations to come."
Fry Smarter, Not Longer.
After incorporating the advanced frying system Frylow, our culinary team are able to extend the lifespan of cooking oils by nearly 400%. This has resulted in less environmental waste, reduced electric consumption and lower gas costs. Not to mention it significantly reduces cook times and drastically lowers Skamania's carbon footprint.
Minimizing Food Waste
Skamania is a leader when it comes to managing food waste. Our executive Food & Beverage team has released a comprehensive e-book outlining the best food waste management practices for each hospitality department to follow. This practice has saved over $650,000 of food product from being wasted in the landfill.
Managing Food Waste Best Practices by Skamania Lodge
It Doesn't Stop Here
Continue reading to learn more about Skamania Lodge's sustainability efforts.
What and how do we recycle?
- We recycle paper, cardboard, tin, aluminum and glass.
- There are recycle bins throughout the Lodge interior and exterior, including all housekeeping stations.
- We bale cardboard on site then transport it to the County Transfer site.
- Tin and aluminum are both sorted on site then transported to the County Transfer site.
- Glass is crushed on site then transported to the County Transfer Site.
“Recycling has been part of our DNA since we opened in 1993. We recycle everything from paper, cardboard, aluminum, glass and even toner in all our printers and copiers. We also recycle laundry water using specialized filters and an advanced UV system that cleans and disinfects up to two thirds of our laundry washing machine water. Ultimately, recycling is an extremely important part of how we operate and helps us save energy, prevent pollution, create jobs and save money in our community.” - Kara Owen, General Manager
- The Gorge Room structure and flooring was built with recycled timber.
- Many of the vertical supports throughout the lodge were re-purposed from the Bumble Bee Tuna factory in Astoria Oregon.
- The wood floors in the Gorge Room, River Rock Lounge and the Cascade Dining are well over 100 years old and were sourced from a tobacco warehouse in Georgia.
- We have implemented a Linen Reuse Program, where guests who stay three or more days do not have linens changed until the 3rd night.
- Our Housekeeping team uses H2Orange*, a peroxide based solution which is used in two dilutions, one as a disinfectant and one as a glass cleaner. Its dual purpose helps us minimize the amount of chemicals used.
- All guestroom air fresheners are all-natural and work through the AC vent or vacuum cleaner.
- We donate old sheets, towels and blankets to shelters and families in need, as well as to the fairgrounds for quilters. We also cut up towels to reuse as cleaning towels for Night Cleaners.
Golf Course Maintenance
- In 2015 Skamania updated our irrigation system to include 350 part circle heads to prevent over spray in native areas. In addition, we implemented a new computer system and satellites to increase our individual control in reducing overall water use.
“Our irrigation renovation has reduced our water use and made our course firmer and faster for our guests.” - Golf Course Superintendent, Scott Coogan
- Skamania is a part of the Audubon Cooperative Sanctuary Program for Golf, an award winning education and certification program that helps golf courses protect our environment and preserve the natural heritage of the game. Being a part of the program helps to enhance and protect the valuable natural areas and wildlife habitats that golf courses provide, improve efficiency, and minimize potentially harmful impacts of golf course operations.
Heating & Cooling
- Instead of using a natural gas pool heater, we use the discharged heat from our dehumidifier (that would normally exhaust the excess heat outdoors) to heat our pool vastly reducing our demand for natural gas for heating our pool.
We have adopted a new HVAC building automation system. This system allows us to better control our HVAC systems by monitoring occupancy and will shut units down when rooms are not in use.
- Guests no longer write on a paper registration card. All policies can now be signed electronically which creates less paper waste.
- Guests receive an emailed invoice overnight rather than a paper invoice under their door. This helps to reduce the amount of paper we use to print off a guest bills and final invoices.
- Skamania uses reusable keys in guest rooms as well as specific meeting rooms. These keys can be programmed for single use as well as joint use. For example, instead of providing a guest three separate keys to access their room, its adjoining room, and their meeting room. Skamania creates one universal key with access to unlock all three rooms.
- Guests are encouraged to drop their keys in an express checkout box for future key reuse.
- Skamania is a recognized TripAdvisor Green Leader
- Skamania's eligibility certification is in progress for the Green Restaurant Association and Audubon International.