Our commitment to conserving our resources:
Most hotels talk about conserving consists of a small card asking you to use your towel more than once. The cynics will rightfully see this is a simple plan to do less work rather than and effort towards any meaningful conservation. When remodeling the Amigo, we were in a unique position to update systems in order to ease our use of valuable resources, make your experience better and hopefully save us a few bucks in the long run! Here is a list of changes we have made and systems we have implemented that impact our natural resources:
Water: Living along the Arkansas River, which is used extensively for irrigation and even a Nestle bottle water plan, we are constantly reminded about our water usage. We do, after all, live in the high desert. To that end, we are happy to report that we have reduced our water usage by over 30% since inheriting the property, which translates to tens of thousands of gallons. We accomplished this by installing low flow shower heads and toilets, and converting our landscaping to a much more water-sensible drip-irrigation system growing native and hearty plants. We have plans for more landscape conversion that should help us reduce our consumption even further.
Waste: You know those annoying small soaps you have to fumble with at most hotels, only to use a small portion of them? Well, that annoyed us too. So, we use a pump system to dispense all of our liquid Malin+Goetz soaps, saving lots packaging and product waste while delivering you a higher quality product. In addition, we try to do small things like use glass cups, ceramic coffee mugs and metal silverware, all of which reduces our use of paper and plastic. Next, we are currently working on an on-site recycling program to include glass and aluminum. Because the waste companies to not currently offer a recycling program for commercial businesses in the area, we are responsible for the collection, sorting and transport of recyclables, which can be a fairly daunting task. That said, adding an area for people to dispose of glass and cans will be coming soon (and we can't wait to use the can crusher!). Finally, during our renovation, we made every effort to donate and reuse all the furniture we could. That included donating tons of furniture to locals free of charge, including the Habitat for humanity re-store that generates income to help build their project homes.
Electricity: We use a surprisingly limited amount of power at the motel (less than a lot of large homes, in fact). We aided this by converting just about every light on our property to LED. From the lobby to the bathrooms to the exterior, you'll find LED bulbs. In addition, we have installed newer, more efficient air-conditioners in the rooms to reduce load during the warmer months and removed fridges from the room (though we are happy to give you a mini-fridge if needed!). All of this has resulted in power usage savings of about 35%
Gas: Natural gas is our most expensive utility as it's used in heating our buildings, our water, drying our clothes and more. The good news is that gas powered hyrdronic heating systems are generally quite efficient compared to forced air or electric heating (though the trade off is that it is 'slow' heat). We have since installed digital thermostats in all rooms and one building has been converted to use much more efficient boilers. When we have the time (and funds) we will covert our other boilers to more modern, efficient units.