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. In addtion to our efforts here at Skamania Lodge the owners of Skamania Lodge are passionate about sustainability, see here for more information.
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 4,860 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 12,960 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 12,960 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 specilaized filters and UV systems that clean and disinfect up to two thirds of our laundry washing machine water.
When your backyard is as big as ours, it's important to limit water consumption. The decision to re-purpose parts of the property from golf to other uses has resulted in a reduction of our water usage. The new Gorge 9 short course and Little Eagle 18 hole putting course encapsulate about 15 acres of irrigated area with artificial greens that reduce our water usage by 15% and eliminate the use of fungicides needed.
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 to be energy efficient.
Drive electric? Park in one of our eight electric vehicle charging stations. (Currently Under Renovation)
Using Less, Useless Plastic.
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. We get our produce from sources as close to us as possible. Nearly 100% of our protein is grown and sourced by the 15 family ranchers of Oregon's Country Natural Beef." - Zac Janssen, Executive Chef
Fry Smarter, Not Longer.
After incorporating the advanced frying system Frylow, Executive Chef Matt Hale and the 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.
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 recycling bins throughout the Lodge interior and exterior, including all housekeeping stations.
- We bale cardboard on site and then transport it to the County Transfer site.
- Tin and aluminum are both sorted on site and then transported to the County Transfer site.
- Glass is crushed on site and 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.” - Ken Daugherty, General Manager
- The Gorge Room structure and flooring were built with recycled timber.
- Many of the vertical supports throughout the lodge were repurposed 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 stayover cleaning upon request only. This saves on chemical use and limites water waste.
- Our Housekeeping team uses H2Orange*, a peroxide-based solution that is used in two dilutions, one as a disinfectant and one as a glass cleaner. Its dual-purpose helps us minimize the number 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 2021 Skamania converted to a short course with synthetic tees and greens cutting down on the number of chemicals used and reducing water usage.
- In 2015 Skamania updated our irrigation system to include 350 part circle heads to prevent overspray 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 guest bills and final invoices.
- In room collateral has been significantly reduced as we utilize a QR code for hotel information.
- 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.
Ownership Commitment to Sustainability and Social Responsibility
- 63% of our properties have a sustainability coordinator or green champion
- 80% of our properties have meeting rooms with digital thermostats
- 98% of our properties have a preventative maintenance plan that checks building energy and water equipment at least quarterly
- 61% of our properties have a water efficiency program
- 94% of our properties have faucets with low-flow aerators to conserve water
- 48% of our properties have eliminated single-use plastics (or reduced to an absolute minimum) from the property
- 74% of our properties have eliminated plastic straws
- 65% of our properties have implemented a food waste prevention strategy
- Nearly $19 million invested on environmental initiatives
Pebblebrook Hotel Trust (“Pebblebrook”) strongly supports AHLA’s 5-Star Promise. Our pledge to AHLA complements the practices and policies in-place by our company and our hotel operating partners which are designed to ensure that the hotel employees at our more than 50 owned hotels across the United States abide by the law, respect individual’s rights, and do not tolerate sexual harassment of any type at our properties. We have dedicated a significant amount of resources to assist our hotel operators with sexual harassment awareness training and avoidance programs, in addition to training and resources to prevent human trafficking. We will continue to engage with our hotel operators to provide the resources to further assist them in ensuring the safety of our hotel employees and our guests. Pebblebrook is committed to funding the purchase of hotel employee safety devices for use at all of our owned hotels by the end of 2020, as well as to provide funding for additional training and education programs on sexual harassment and human trafficking at our corporate level and our hotel properties. Through our pledge to the 5-Star Promise, Pebblebrook intends to contribute to positive, industry-wide improvements to continue to make hotels a safe place for all our employees and guests.