Energy & Water Conservation at Yellowstone National Park
- Installed a “tunnel washer” in the laundry that employs a water recovery system with reported increases in water efficiency of more than 70% for the over 2 million pounds of laundry that we wash annually. It now takes only about 0.3 gallons of water to wash 1 pound, in addition to demonstrating a reduction in chemical use.
- Unless visitors request more frequent replacement, we only change out towels and linens in guest rooms after three days, in order to reduce water and detergent use.
- Our Food & Beverage staff are trained on food preparation techniques that do not include “water thawing” by running items under the faucet.
- We do not irrigate our grounds except in some limited areas, as required by NPS.
- In 2011, we upgraded Mammoth Dining room lights with 330 Light Emitting Diodes (LED) lights from Eco-Story, which save an estimated 86,000 kwh and reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 67 tons annually.
- We continue to replace halogen bulbs with much more energy efficient LEDs at park-wide retail locations. For example, we replaced 20 watt halogen bulbs with 3 watt LEDs in the gift shop at the Old Faithful Lodge—this reduces greenhouse gas emissions by over 6 tons a year!
- We upgraded over 500 light fixtures at Mammoth from T-12 to T-8 lamps (which use on average 35% less energy), and reduced number of existing lamps by half.
- The Old Faithful “Old House” rooms, front desk candelabras and dining room, as well as the Roosevelt Lodge chandeliers, are receiving retrofits in 2015 that will feature LED lights that mimic filament bulbs in order to uphold the historic aesthetics of these iconic buildings.
- In 2011, several large-scale lighting retrofits occurred in our General Accounting Office and all of the facilities in Gardiner, MT. This project involved the retrofitting of all existing T-12 fluorescent lighting to more energy efficient T-8 bulbs and electronic ballasts. These T-8 bulbs not only consume less electricity, but have a higher light output.
- Overall, we have replaced tens of thousands of incandescent bulbs with Compact Fluorescent Lighting (CFLs) and LEDs. CFLs and LEDs can be between 60 and 90% more efficient and last 10 times longer than incandescent lamps while providing the same light quality.
- Our maintenance crew shuts down boilers where applicable on locations during times of low demand. We continue to phase in boilers that operate on propane, which burns more cleanly than fuel oil.
- We utilize vendor misers—a power saving device—to reduce lighting on most of the park’s vending machines.
- Replaced old coffee makers with Keurig® brewers. On average, the machines save 16 oz. of water per day and reduce energy use by 90%. We are now examining ways to recycle and compost the coffee pod components.
- We have implemented an aggressive energy management program in Food & Beverage focusing on managing and minimizing energy use including water, electricity, and propane. We distribute posters, stickers, and checklists that make managing the program straightforward and user friendly.
- Housekeeping has created an energy conservation program that includes unplugging appliances (hair dryers, mini fridges and fans) in vacant/due-out guestrooms to conserve energy.
- Our procurement and design standards for appliances, equipment, and structures are based on green best practices, including those required for LEED certification and in conjunction with Xanterra’s overall efficiency guidelines. For example, we favor Energy Star-rated purchases wherever possible.
- A significant aspect of sustainability is durability; we value the resources and materials that go into our buildings, furniture and other equipment and seek to make it last as long as possible through restoration by dedicated staff, before buying replacements. For example, our support services team rebuilds vehicles, thereby reducing the need for natural resources and energy to generate new vehicles.
- In 2011, the Mammoth Hotel Dining Room became certified as a Green Restaurant by the Green Restaurant Association, a non-profit organization that provides a way for restaurants to demonstrate their commitment to environmental sustainability. To achieve its Green Restaurant certification, the Mammoth Hotel Dining Room installed waterless urinals, high-efficiency hand dryers, dual-flush toilets, and super energy efficient LED lamps, and sources of local, organic, and sustainable cuisine, including sustainably sourced salmon.
- Because on-site generation of renewable energy can be quite challenging within the boundaries of a National Park, Yellowstone has included the purchase of Renewable Energy Credits (RECs) in our environmental portfolio. In 2015, we purchased 15,168,637 kilowatt hours (kWh) of American Wind from Renewable Choice Energy. This accounts for 100% of our total electricity usage in one year. RECs are intended to reduce the impacts from the use of electricity when on-site solutions may not be available. By purchasing RECs, Xanterra is taking responsibility for our environmental impact and raising awareness of the changes that are needed in the way our business operates and how we impact the world around us.
- We collect thousands of gallons of ‘waste’ vegetable oil generated from food service operations for reuse by a local business that converts it into biofuel. We hope to close the loop by using that fuel in our own fleet through a pilot program starting in 2016.
Resource Conservation & Efficiency