We are well on our way into the New Year and about a week into our New Year’s Resolutions. This time of year can be stressful for some when trying to stick to a weight loss plan while staying on a tight budget. I decided to take a different route for my resolution this year and resolve to improve my impact on the environment, however small it may be, I know my effort counts.
By focusing on what I can do for the environment, and more specifically being more conscious about the amount of trash I produce from single use items such as Starbucks cups, to go containers and other plastic packaging, the feeling of improvement is immediate and gratifying.
If we all try to do just one thing to improve our impact on the environment it will make a difference. As a member of the Eco Care Committee for East West Destination Hospitality we seek to invoke that mentality in not only our fellow employees but also our guests and homeowners. Here are some of my fellow committee members resolutions to help inspire you to make a difference.
- Reduce personal Carbon Footprint by driving personal vehicles less and using alternative forms of transportation
- Replace drafty sliding door to reduce electric consumption
- Turn off the water while brushing teeth to reduce water use
- Teaching kids to close the door behind them when the go outside to play to reduce energy waste
- Reducing water consumption in 2017, as water conservation is always paramount in our dry state
- Education. Continuing to educate not only staff but guests as well on the importance of recycling even in small amounts. Also spreading the importance of recycling to our youth. Check out Walking Mountains Science Center page for programs to save energy and money Energy Smart Colorado
- Always remembering to bring reusable bags when shopping
- Unplug gadgets from the wall when they are not being used
- Eat less meat, due to the negative impact that meat production has on the environment check out this article for more info and also support local sustainable meat companies such as Colorado Meat Company
- Educating family members regarding reusing and learning what should be recycled
If you want to learn more about how you can make a difference in the environmental world, and even save money doing it, check out Walking Mountains Science Center
“You cannot get through a single day without having an impact on the world around you. What you do makes a difference, and you have to decide what kind of difference you want to make.” —Jane Goodall
I don’t know if it is the natural beauty of the mountains that draws me or the people with like minded motivations to preserve them. East West Destination Hospitality empowers and encourages it’s employees to relish in our individual impact. Our company recognizes the impact we have on our community and environment and strives to inspire through environmental leadership and empowered employees. Paid volunteer time, and a plethora of tools are provided to employees to create involvement and individual awareness.
One of these tools is the Colorado Environmental Leadership Program (ELP). The program provides an array of benefits, incentives, and recognition for its members that go above and beyond state and federal regulations through environmentally conscious development and dedication to sustainability. Within the program are 3 tiers of recognition bronze, silver, and gold. East West Destination Hospitality as a whole is receiving the gold designation. Seven East West Destination Hospitality properties are being recognized at the upcoming ELP awards-
Check out what these properties are doing to preserve our beautiful planet. Hopefully it will remind you that you too can make a difference.
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.—Margaret Mead
The town of Vail recently began to explore becoming a sustainable destination. Our fragile mountain eco system depends on active preservation efforts from all members of the community.
Vail Spa and East West Destination Hospitality have established an Eco Care committee that takes great pride in active involvement and leadership in sustainable practices. As a member of the Eco Care team I feel empowered by the opportunity to support the preservation of our high country heaven. Through programs such as Actively Green and the Environmental Leadership Program, we seek to create environmental awareness for guests and employees. Measurable results such as:
- Common area lighting upgrades reduced electricity usage by 114,800 KWH (2013-2015)
- Consistent measurement of waste diversion rate: 18% in 2015 with a new goal of 25% in 2016
spark recognition in the value of sustainable practices.
Our property is currently undergoing a major renovation that includes green initiatives to modernize inefficient systems. Pool heaters are changing from electric and boiler systems to solar heat, refurbishment of elevators, and replacement of windows and doors. The project will conclude this fall and we are excited to see measurable results in energy savings.
The idea of sustainability is an ever evolving creature and requires constant attention and encouragement. Here in the Vail Valley the seasons set the pace for life, nature is life.
East West Partners and East West Destination Hospitality have teamed up with U.S. Forest Service and the Vail Valley Mountain Bike Association as part of the Adopt-A-Trail program. Our crew,
North Trail -office view for the day
of about 9 people, worked a portion of the popular North Trail from Buffehr Creek to Davos.
Andy Gunion and Cody Wyse lead the pack on the first work day last Friday, July 29th. Forest Service was on site to provide guidance, tools and first aid if needed. The afternoon involved of trimming back vegetation, improving trail drainage, great views and lots of sunshine! Also thanks to Edwards Station for providing some snacks and drinks!
It was a soul satisfying experience to be able to give back to the community, get some exercise, and get outside at work. Keep a lookout in your email for upcoming opportunities to give back to our high country paradise!
East West volunteer crew
With another storm moving in and the current snowpack still looking good, it’s time to get out there and get after it for one last frozen adventure. Here are some tips to capitalize on the gifts of snow and sunshine that mother nature has graciously provided us this spring:
- Be sure to get a good spring tune on your skis or snowboard before you head up the hill. This will greatly improve speed and mobility in the sticky spring conditions. Head over to Charter Sports to get on the fast track to smooth turns.
- Slather up with sunscreen! The sun is shining and that means sunburns! The reflection off the snow intensifies the suns rays so be sure to protect yourself with at least SPF 30
- BBQ on mountain! Bring your brats and dogs to the on mountain grills and you are sure to have a sizzling spring experience.
- Get decked out in the craziest costume you can find. From banana costumes to vintage onesies closing day dawns a sight to see!
- And of course be safe on your last run down.
For me, my favorite part of closing day is the last run down. This usually occurs long after the lifts have stopped spinning.The mountain takes on the lawless persona of a ghost town, and those last few turns remind us all good things must come to an end. Fear not, the lifts will turn again and that frozen freedom we long for all summer will return.
The days are growing longer, and crystalline snow capped peaks give way to mountains of mud. While some of us handle this transition with grace and hope for new adventures, others simply crumble like corn snow.
We focus on the renewed feelings of spring in an effort to embrace the grace of mother nature, yet our thirst for fresh powder turns, and the sense of freedom found on the slopes cannot be quenched.
Closing Day here in Vail brings about a slippery slope of melancholy. Glorious pow stashes that free our souls all season long, endless blue skies, and the love of winter that brings us all together in this special place, these are my favorite things and thinking about them ending for a few months gets me choked up every time.
For the most part I cope with the end of the season with sheer hope. Hope that next year will bring more pow and endless adventure, as it always does. The same hope that I carry around all season and dedicate my snow dances to. Hope is a powerful feeling and a necessity on the path of life. Ernst Bloch proclaims that human hope is an “utopian hunger” in his work “Principle of Hope.”
Then there are all of the end of season festivities to get excited about! Pond Skimming Championships, FREE Live Music and silly costumes are highlights of the celebration. Don’t miss it!
Now get out there and embrace what time we have left in our winter wonderland, while holding hope that next season will be filled with endless adventures, blue skies, deep powder, and freedom found.
Hope is the thing with feathers that perches in the soul – and sings the tunes without the words – and never stops at all. ~Emily Dickinson