Every Day is Earth Day at Yellowstone National Park
For Immediate Release
YELLOWSTONE NATIONAL PARK, April 22, 2015 – Today is Earth Day, and in honor of the 45th anniversary of this annual celebration, Yellowstone National Park Lodges (YNPL) is increasing its sustainability and decreasing its impact, just as it does every day of the year. That’s because every day is Earth Day at Yellowstone, the world’s first national park.
Concessions in Yellowstone are operated by Xanterra Parks & Resorts, known for its “Legendary Hospitality with a Softer Footprint.” Xanterra entities include lodges, restaurants, tours and activities in national and state parks as well as resorts, a cruise line, railway and tour companies.
Xanterra has been a leader in sustainability programs for more than two decades, long before most other travel companies. For example, in the mid-1990s the company built a state-of-the-art laundry system in Yellowstone National Park with a built-in water recovery system to conserve water, incorporated sustainable design elements into the construction of Yellowstone’s Old Faithful Snow Lodge in 1998, installed alternative or clean-burning fuels in company vehicles, installed energy-efficient light fixtures and converted from electric to more fuel-efficient gas equipment wherever possible.
“In addition to providing rooms, food, activities and retail items to our guests, we have a responsibility to minimize the environmental impact in our operations whenever possible,” said Dylan Hoffman, director of sustainability for Yellowstone National Park Lodges. “It is our goal to constantly improve our sustainability program and be the best stewards possible.”
Since many of Xanterra’s operations are in remote locations, sustainability initiatives are customized to suit the needs and possibilities of each location.
Here are some of examples of sustainability initiatives in Yellowstone:
• The historic Lake Yellowstone Hotel received the Green Seal Lodging Standard Bronze Certification for Hotels and Lodging Properties in 2014. Green Seal manages one of the most rigorous and holistic sets of eco-certifications for cleaning products, related services, restaurants, and hotels in the industry. The standard prioritizes are waste minimization, water and energy efficiency, hazardous substance handling and organizational commitment to programs like environmentally sensitive procurement.
• YNPL is currently undergoing two major construction projects in Yellowstone – the Canyon Area Lodging Redevelopment and a new dormitory at Old Faithful which are making progress toward achieving LEED green building certifications.
• For the 2014 summer season, YNPL began a program to utilize repurposed wine bottles as in-room glasses. These glasses are branded with a unique sustainability message and Yellowstone logo and provide an excellent interpretative opportunity for guests. Another version has been popular in retail outlets.
• In 2014, Yellowstone certified lodging properties through the Trip Advisor GreenLeader program. The program recognizes lodging properties that display a commitment to the environment through integrating sustainability in their operations.
• As part of the Canyon Plaza Redevelopment, YNPL worked with Geomatrix, Inc. in Bozeman to create custom recycled glass and fly ash concrete picnic tables and benches for all plaza installations. Each of these recycled-content tables has approximately 1,500 pounds of recycled glass in them (about 3,700 glass bottles per table).
• In 2014 YNPL added a new tunnel washer that employs a water recovery system with reported increases in water efficiency of more than 70 percent for the two million pounds of laundry that washed annually. It now takes only about 0.3 gallons of water to wash one pound of laundry.
• In 2014, the company diverted more than 74 percent of its waste from landfill disposal. Through innovative composting and recycling programs, nearly four million pounds of material was prevented from entering local landfills. In addition to conventional recyclables (cans, bottles, paper, etc.), Xanterra also recycles or donates for reuse electronic waste, used oil, tires, laundry bags, linens, curtains, batteries, cooking oil, manure, solvents and more. All told, all of these recycled and donated items added up to more than two million pounds.
• Xanterra has a serious commitment to serving employees and guests healthy and sustainable cuisine whenever possible. In 2014, approximately 38 percent of total food purchases were sustainably sourced.
• Operations achieved more than 40 percent sustainable retail sourcing in 2014 as part of an ongoing commitment to responsible procurement practices. Guests who spend more than $50 get a free reusable tote bag made of 85 percent recycled content. Disposable bags are made with 100 percent recycled content. Paper bags are 95 percent post-consumer recycled content and certified by the Forest Stewardship Council.
• The company installed 17 Back Alley Metals waste/recycling containers throughout its operations.
Complete details about accommodations, restaurants, tours and activities in Yellowstone National Park can be made by visiting www.YelllowstoneNationalParkLodges.com or calling 1-307-344-7311 or toll free 1-866-GEYSERLAND (1-866-439-7375).