Bacara is committed to the three R’s: REUSE, REDUCE, RECYCLE and achieves this by conserving energy and water, reducing waste and eliminating the use of toxins. We accomplish this while maintaining the highest service and quality standards anticipated and expected by our guests.
Below are a few of the environmental initiatives currently in place:
• Bacara’s Heating, Ventilation & Air Conditioning system is state-of-the-art. When requested by Southern California Edison (typically during the hot summer months), Bacara reduces its electrical usage, which aids in the prevention of rolling blackouts in the region. In 2008, Bacara’s participation in this Demand Bidding Program resulted in the reduction of 24,486 pounds of Carbon Dioxide greenhouse gas emissions. Bacara’s continued participation in SCE’s Demand Response programs helps ensure power reliability in the community and defer the need to build new generation plants.
• Compact fluorescent lights, which use less power and have a longer life than incandescent lights, are used throughout guestrooms. In guestrooms alone, some 345,600,000 watts of power is saved per year using CFLs. Ground lighting is CFLs where possible. Halogen lamps, found in guestrooms, are in the process of being switched to Light Emitting Diodes, which
emit minimal heat and have a long life expectancy.
• Bacara proactively participates in a recycle program with the local waste management service provider. Recycling is separated into categories including glass, plastic and paper. The resort increased its average total recycling from 32% in 2007 to 43% in 2008, even achieving 50% recycling over busy summer months. The goal for 2009 is 55%, which we hope to realize by
performing more individual and department training in all the recycle programs utilized.
• Green waste from Bacara’s kitchens acts as fertilizer in the resort’s 10-acre organic garden at the nearby Ranch at Bacara.
• Bacara’s laundry wash water reclaim system reduced the need and usage for fresh water by 35-40%. In the process, water drained from washers is filtered and treated for reuse in wash cycles, while much of the heat needed to reach proper wash temperatures is recovered as well. The system not only saves energy but a minimum of 500,000 gallons fresh water per year.
• Reclaimed water is utilized as required to maintain the resort’s artificially irrigated landscaping.
• Bacara’s dry-cleaning equipment is known amongst the laundry team as the “Green Machine,” and, in compliance with state standards, it utilizes hydro carbon material DF 2000, a less toxic chemical than the traditional Perchlorolethylene.
• Guest newspapers are delivered in reusable cloth bags.
• Landscaping equipment is battery, rather than gas, powered. Bacara also minimizes the use of power equipment by doing the majority of landscaping work by hand. Rather than insecticide, horticultural oil and soap is used in landscaping to prevent pest damage. Green clippings are recycled as mulch and land fill where appropriate.
• Carts, both operational and for guest transport, are battery operated.
• Preferred parking is available for Team Members who carpool. Bicycle parking, used by many local Team Members, is also provided. Special parking spaces are available for guests who need electrical sources for their hybrids.
• Bacara offers to reimburse its Team Members up to 50 percent of the cost for Mass Transit District and Clean Air Express passes. In 2008, Bacara Team Members utilized 255 monthly passes. The Clean Air Express was created by the Santa Barbara Air Pollution Control District in 1991 as a way to improve regional air quality by reducing the number of commuters driving
• Bacara employs a Falconer Program. Flown at intervals throughout the day, a fleet of rescue birds (raptors including an Eurasian Eagle Owl named Bubba) keep the seagulls at bay simply by their ominous presence. Just as most of us wouldn’t find a pool of sharks an inviting place for an afternoon swim, the seagulls would rather not look for lunch where predators are flying
around. These raptors are flown solely to appear like they’re hunting. The Falconry Program is strictly non-lethal. No harm, no fowl.
• Bacara’s pools are saline, like the tears in our eyes. The Resort once used approximately 6,240 gallons of chlorine per year in order to maintain the regulatory required chemical levels for public facility pools and hydrotherapy spas. By filtering the water with natural saline, damaging chlorine isn’t released into the ground water, storm drains or air. It also keeps
chlorine away from the body, where it can cause harm.
• All viable shipping and packaging materials, including “peanuts” made of corn, received by the warehouse are reused and recycled.
• Rather than generating e-hardware waste, Bacara donates gently used electronic items to nonprofit organizations. Over 100 personal computers have been donated to Computers for Families, a Santa Barbara community project providing students from less-than-privileged income families with refurbished computers. Sixty cell phones, never reclaimed by guests, were donated to Cell Phones for Soldiers, a program enabling soldiers serving oversees to phone home. Televisions and DVD players were donated to the Santa Barbara Public Library to support a Teen Gaming Night. Over 200 clock radios were donated to Domestic Violence
Solutions, Transition House, Community Action Commission and Unity Shoppe.
• Lobby arrangements consist of Tillandsia Bromeliad, aka Air Plants. Gathering moisture and nutrients from the air (dust, decaying leaves and insect matter) through structures on the leaves called trichomes, Tillandsia need very little water. The Foliage for Clean Air Council states that Bromeliads have the ability to absorb as much as 80% of certain airborne pollutants.