By Sophie Sharp
The Juniper Hotel is located in one of the most beautiful places on the planet. Every day we look out at dramatic mountain peaks, lakes and forests and watch the landscape change with the seasons. We can’t ignore, however, the shifts occurring as the impacts of climate change and environmental pollution affect communities around the world. We feel it’s our responsibility to do what we can to be part of the solution. As Earth Day approaches on April 22nd, we wanted to share some of the environmental initiatives we’re using to minimize our impact. None of our successes would be possible without the participation of our guests, who continue to amaze us with their enthusiasm and love for our planet.
The Juniper Hotel is a proud member of EcoStay, a program that supports hotels across North America in taking action against climate change. A $2 nightly fee is added to each guest’s bill, which supports reforestation projects in Alberta and British Columbia. This fee is completely optional, but most of our guests embrace the opportunity to offset some of their environmental impact. In 2017, EcoStay were able to plant 10,000 trees thanks to participating hotels and their guests. As well as pulling carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, forests provide crucial wildlife habitat and cultural resources.
In our guest rooms, our linen reuse program allows guests to opt out of daily linen changes. It’s a small change – after all, most of us don’t wash our bed sheets and towels daily at home. But it has an enormous impact. For each guest that takes part, we save 140 litres of water, enough to fill half a bath tub. Over the course of a year, that really adds up.
We’re also increasing our efficiency in ways that our guests might not even notice. Our Energy Star efficient AC systems cut down on power consumption, and programmable thermostats keep our natural gas usage to a minimum. Low flow shower heads save 26 litres of water every time a guest takes a shower. If you drank a cup of water a day, that amount would last three and a half months! All the toilet paper and tissue products in our rooms are recycled: each metric tonne of recycled paper saves 19 trees from being felled.
Recycling is another big part of our commitment to the environment. We recycle everything possible: plastics, cans, paper and cardboard. The less waste we contribute to landfill, the better. In the Bistro, we’ve got rid of plastic straws and use ceramic containers for condiments, jam, milk and cream – no disposable plastic tubs here! Our napkins are linen, not paper, and even our to-go boxes are eco-friendly. We’re also working hard with our team and suppliers to reduce plastic use in the kitchen.
While we’re proud of what we’ve achieved so far, we know we can always do more, so we hope we’ll have more innovations to share by next Earth Day! We’re thankful for the support of our guests and dedicated staff in honouring our commitment to the environment.
A very happy Earth Day to you all!