As an organic vineyard we have always placed great importance in the health of our land. While we have always been active in recycling of the standard items such as newspapers, glass, aluminum, & plastic we took a look at our fundamental practices of the footprint we are leaving and thought we could do better. First, we calculated that we distributed over 5,000 water bottles to our guest every year. While we hoped most were recycled we also knew many were not. In an effort to reduce this environmental waste we stopped offering individual plastic water bottles and now offer a main water station for our guests. This has been very well received and appreciated by many who knew that our habits show who we are and our actions show who we want to be.
The next environmental concern we addressed was the water and electricity consumption of washing Inn guest towels. To reduce unnecessary waste we now offer guests who stay multiple days the option to refresh the linens daily or when they are soiled. We are happy to report that almost every guest chooses to save our resources.
Next, I looked at the empty glass wine bottles that we were transporting to the recycling center weekly. I thought of how we could use this amazing glass products at Youngberg Hill. After much trial and error I now make our own wine plates that are used at breakfast from our own recycled glass wine bottles. I have also created one of a kind wine glass sinks that have just been made available. We are currently recycling every wine bottle at Youngberg Hill with expansion of products in the future. Both the wine plates and sinks are available for purchase at Youngberg Hill.
In the next year we are investigating other ways to reduce environmental waste. One area that will be changing are the individual shampoo, conditioners, & soaps in all our bathrooms. These small plastic bottles are not recyclable and are the biggest form of plastic waste at any hotel or Inn. We will be installing dispensers in each bathroom with high quality environmentally friendly products. I look forward to hearing from our guests about this change and listening for other areas and ideas that they may have as well.
Our future plans are mission sensitive to the environment. From solar options, gray water recycling, and using recycled products in all areas we are committed to this cause. While we know we are not perfect we strive to achieve practices that not only educate our guests but build a better environment for all of us.