The Boulder Inn is the most solar-powered hotel in Boulder County. The solar electric system will save 28,694 kWh of electricity production annually, and provide approximately 25% of the hotel’s overall electrical needs.
In the 42 year history of the hotel, this was the Boulder Inn’s biggest year for environmental initiatives. Our goal is to reduce our guests’ carbon footprint during their stay and to become the most environmentally conscious hotel in the market.
Our Green Initiatives include:
- The majority of our guest rooms are now equipped with dual flush toilets, which offer an amazing 0.8/1.28 gpf water use. This equates to 44% water savings compared to traditional 1.6 gallon toilets.
- We pioneered a Best Western Rewards program in which hotel guests are rewarded with additional points for choosing to diminish their energy usage. Our General Manager, Steven Wallace, presented our idea to Best Western’s governors in an attempt to spread the idea chain-wide.
- The Boulder Inn has implemented a single stream recycling program through Western Disposal, allowing for aluminum cans, glass, bottles, tin, paper, plastic and more to be recycled together.
- Bicycles are made available to guests at no extra charge, and the front desk staff is highly knowledgeable of bike trails, walking paths, and public transportation to help guests reduce their carbon footprint.
- Guest rooms utilize compact fluorescent lamps in place of traditional incandescent bulbs where ever possible to reduce electrical use.
- New Designtex upholstered chairs throughout the hotel are made from 91% post-industrial recycled material, and 9% post-consumer recycled material.
- All Boulder Inn staff is encouraged to use alternate methods of transportation, and receive a free RTD Eco Pass. The majority of the employees utilize their Eco Pass on a regular basis.
- All disposable dishware for our hot breakfast is now made from recycled paper, rather than Styrofoam.
- We have completed a rigorous certification program by Sustainable Tourism International, and have been approved as a Bronze member.
By the end 2012, we have plans to install the Evolve Energy Management System to control temperature, lights, and television, the source of major power depletion in guest rooms. The system is commonly used throughout Europe and Asia. We are currently in negotiations to install an electric car charging station. We also plan to replace our compact fluorescent bulbs with LEDs, and explore the option of creating a special carbon offset rate.
A Green Team, comprised of volunteer Boulder Inn associates, meets regularly to brainstorm, plan, manage, and implement environmentally based programs. Their efforts have so far yielded the implementation of the following ideas:
- Housekeeping policy dictates that black-out window coverings are utilized during warm-weather days to block unwanted solar radiation, and are opened during the cold-weather days to allow for natural heat to enter guest rooms, thereby lessening need to air condition/heat.
- Guest room televisions are Energy-Star rated, 40 inch LCD high definition units.
- Guests are given the opportunity to contribute to our commitment to the environment by choosing to reuse bed linens and towels, reducing energy, water, and detergents required from daily washings.
- The Boulder Inn makes a very conscious effort to buy locally. This supports the local economy, as well as reduces transportation-based pollution.
- Housekeeping uses vendors’ environmentally friendly line of cleaning chemicals.
- Rather than using disposable cups, guest rooms are outfitted with drinking glasses and coffee mugs.
- Heating and air conditioning is reduced in all vacant rooms.
- Reusable hand towels are offered in all public restrooms to reduce paper usage.
- Motion sensors control lighting in low-traffic areas.
- All exterior lighting is controlled via photo sensors to avoid unnecessary daytime usage.
- Recycled paper and double-sided copies are used whenever possible in day to day operations.
- All printers used by the Boulder Inn use refillable ink cartridges.
- All employees are required to use their own refillable beverage containers.
- Linens that have been replaced and unused toiletries are donated to local shelters and charities.