Facebooktwitterrss

Eco Rating Volcano GuestHouse

Name of propertyVolcano Guest House
Person completing this formBonnie Goodell
PositionCo-owner
Address of propertyPO Box 6
11-3733 Ala Ohia Street
Volcano HI 96785-0006
CountryUSA
Phone number including country code and area code1-808-967-7775
Web siteVolcano GuestHouse
E-mailinnkeeper@volcanoguesthouse.com
Type of propertyBed and breakfast cottages
Number of rooms or cottages5
Maximum number of guests20
Eco membershipsHawaii Ecotourism Association
Eco ratings, certifications, awardsEco Tropical Resorts Eco Rating: 4 out of 5.

1.     Do you have a written environmental or social sustainability policy?     YES
If yes, please attach.  See previous statement sent 8/31/07

Do you have a written environmental management system?               NO
If yes, please attach.

Describe the property – aim, size, facilities, amount of land owned and leased  (150 words max).
Volcano, Hawaii, just outside Hawaii Volcanoes National Park. About three miles from the current eruption vent, uphill, at 3,500 feet elevation. About 1/2 hour from Hilo.

Describe WHY you made the decision to develop an eco resort (100 word max)
We did not “make the decision” as you mean it.   We were already living that way.  When we decided to start renting our extra cottage short term, we just ran it the way we were living – that was about 5 years before the term ecotourism was coined in 1990 or thereabouts.   We continue to just do what we do, and run our B&B in the same style, now with units and community dining room.

Introduction to the Butterfly Club’s Eco Rating

The Butterfly Club Eco Rating has five equally-weighted categories:

(1)  Energy;
(2)  Water;
(3)  Recycling and waste;
(4)  Land and nature conservation; and
(5)  Community.
Each category has five levels, designated by one to five butterflies.  Through self assessment, resort operators completing this rating will determine their own levels within each category based on their responses to items listed below.

Two categories – energy and water – have similar rating systems with Levels 1 and 2 addressing conservation of existing resources, and Levels 3, 4 and 5 addressing creation of renewable energy or capturing water.

Level five in every category also requires written sustainability policies or environmental management systems to: (1) monitor and record consumption; (2) test and apply additional conservation methods; and (3) work towards specific targets.   We require a copy of your policies if you achieve level 5 in any category.

Eco Rating Volcano GuestHouse Energy

Levels 1 and 2 – conservation: Check all that apply:  
_x  use natural air circulation and fans, not air conditioners
__x   use natural light during the day
_x_  minimize use of fossil-fuel powered vehicles, machines and equipment
_x_  use “on demand” AND solar heating for hot water
_x  air dry clothes/linens
_x_  wash dishes by hand  – except Bosch very low energy use dishwasher in community kitchen.
_x  use energy efficient appliances and electronics
_x_  use low wattage fluorescent light bulbs
_x_  change linens, tablecloths, napkins upon request
_x_  switch off lights when not used
Other energy conservation activities? Please list:
Level 1 = four or fewer energy conservation activities
Level 2 = five or more energy conservation activities
Levels 3, 4 and 5 – renewable energy: Indicate proportion (%) of energy from each source:  
_50%_  solar
_15%_  wind
___  hydro
___  generator
_35%  public utility
Other energy sources? Please list:
100% TOTAL
How were these proportions developed?
Level 3 = renewable energy is employed and is less than 1/3 of all energy
Level 4 = renewable energy constitutes 1/3 – 2/3 of all energy
Level 5 = renewable energy constitutes 2/3 or more of all energy.  In addition, there are written sustainability policies or environmental management systems to: (1) monitor and record energy consumption; (2) test and apply additional energy conservation methods; and (3) work towards specific energy targets.
Attach a copy of your policies if you achieve Energy Level 5 (required).
All of our water heating, except on-demand backup, is solar.  All of our laundry drying is solar/wind.  We provide electric mattress pads and blankets and request that our guests employ no other heating units, unless they are resident and not sleeping.
We know that our electric bill is less than 1/3 of other B&Bs that don’t’ do these things.  We monitor by comparing bills.
Your Energy Level (select 1 – 5) =  4

Eco Rating Volcano GuestHouse Water

Levels 1 and 2 – conservation: Check all that apply:
_x low flow faucets and showerheads
_x  low water use toilets
_x  change linens, towels, tablecloths, and napkins upon request
_x_use table mats that can be wiped and not laundered
_x  use biodegradable laundry detergent, dish soap and hand soap
x  treat hot tub  with chlorine-free processes
Other water conservation activities?  Please list.
Level 1 = three or fewer water conservation activities
Level 2 = four or more water conservation activities
Levels 3, 4 and 5 – capture and treat fresh water and manage waste water. Capture water: Indicate proportion (%) of water from each source:  
___  spring
___  river
_100  rain
___  reuse gray
___  public utility
Other water sources? Please list.
100% TOTAL
Fresh water treatment: how is captured fresh water treated?
x_  naturally.  Indicate method: charcoal, ultraviolet light, other? List:
filter and UV
___  chemically.  List chemicals used:
Waste water management:
___  septic tanks
_x  cesspools   We are about 2000’ above the water table, separated by layers of cracked basalt and charcoal, which is how sewage treatment plants work.
_x_  other? List methods: Direct leach of greywater.  Capture of urine and use for fertilizer by on-site owner in waterless system, so mined phosphate does not need to be bought.
Level 3: Water is captured (from springs, rivers, rain or prior use) and constitutes less than 1/3 of water from all sources.  Water is treated chemically.  Water disposal does not minimize damage to coral reefs and rain forests
Level 4:  Captured water constitutes 1/3 to 2/3 of all water.  Water is treated naturally. Water disposal minimizes damage to coral reefs and rain forests
Level 5:  Captured water constitutes more than 2/3 of all water.  Water is treated naturally. Water disposal minimizes damage to coral reefs and rain forests.   In addition, there are written sustainability policies or environmental management systems to: (1) monitor and record water consumption; (2) test and apply additional water conservation methods; and (3) work towards specific water targets.
Attach a copy of your policies if you achieve Water Level 5 (required).
Our policies include monitoring of water tank water levels and conservation notices when we are in drought.  Only running community Bosch ultra-efficient dishwasher when full, low water-use front-loading washer only run when full.   We are gradually working toward re-use of gutter overflow water to grow watercress, in an expanding system.
Your Water Level (select 1 – 5): 4

Eco Rating Volcano GuestHouse Recycling and waste

Check all that apply:
_x   use durable service items, e.g. cups, glasses, dishes, tableware, storage items
_x_   buy fresh and local to reduce packaging and emissions from transportation
_x_   purchase in bulk to reduce packaging
x_   recycle paper, glass, plastic, aluminum
x_   minimize emissions from fossil-fuel powered vehicles, machines & equipment
x_   zero waste in the kitchen
x_   serve local water, not bottled water
_x   cleaning products are biodegradable
_x   compost organic matter
Other methods to recycle waste? Please list.
We give all food and garden waste to our ducks and fish, which produce eggs and meat that we eat.
Level 1 = four or fewer recycling activities
Level 2 = five recycling activities
Level 3 = six recycling activities
Level 4 = seven recycling activities
Level 5 = eight or more recycling activities.  In addition, there are written sustainability policies or environmental management systems to: (1) monitor and record recycling and waste; (2) test and apply additional recycling and waste conservation methods; and (3) work towards specific recycling and waste targets.
Attach a copy of your policies if you achieve Recycling and Waste Level 5 (required).
See attached notices on recycling.
Your Recycling and Waste Level (select 1 – 5): 4

Land and nature conservation

Check all that apply:
_x   minimize tree removal when building
x*_   use only botanical (plant-based) herbicides & pesticides in garden & grounds
_x_   maintain organic gardens as food source for resort
_x_   use biodegradable cleaning products
x_   minimize external illumination
_x_   take additional specific actions to preserve the local habitat.  Please list actions and projects:
·      Noxious weed removal to maintain native forest on our property and in adjacent forest.   * This is where we use Round Up, our only non-“botanical”.
·      We are just starting to harvest and process our own coffee.  We are expanding banana, potato, and taro growing with manure from our two cows, so that we can provide more of the breakfast stuff from our place.
·      We are putting in biodigestor this year to process our cow manure, capture methane, and produce cooking gas.
Level 1: one or two land and nature conservation activities
Level 2: three land and nature conservation activities
Level 3: four land and nature conservation activities
Level 4: five land and nature conservation activities
Level 5: six or more land and nature conservation activities.  In addition, there are written sustainability policies or environmental management systems to: (1) monitor and record land and nature conservation activities; (2) test and apply additional land and nature conservation methods; and (3) work towards specific land and nature conservation targets.
Attach a copy of your policies if you achieve Land and Nature Conservation Level 5 (required).
Our policies are to minimize our footprint and work toward almost complete self-sufficiency in food and energy, and minimize methane production from our cows by using super-efficient Dexter cows for milking, and processing their manure in a biodigestor.

Your Land and Nature Conservation Level (select 1 – 5): 4

Eco Rating Volcano GuestHouse Community

This category addresses policies and activities regarding staff, guests, suppliers and other members of the community.
Check all activities that apply:
_x  hire staff residing near the resort          100% local nationals
_x  use local suppliers                                35% purchased goods produced locally
_x  re-invest resort income locally            _75% income re-invested locally
_x_  pay above local prevailing wage
_x  pay into local social security
_NA  provide health insurance or coverage – we are self-employed and have no regular employees, only short termers for special projects, like construction.
NA  use regular staff meetings to educate staff about sustainable processes throughout the resort, in the garden, with waste disposal, etc
X, as applicable,  provide educational awareness programs for staff, guests, suppliers and other members of the local community
NA  provide sustainable transport to work for staff
x  take additional specific actions to support the local community. Please list actions and projects.
• Participate in neighborhood farmers market, supporting and helping vendors.
•  Sharing information with other small growers via farmers’ market.
•  Professional design of ultra-low impact homesteads for others in the community.
•  Development of elderly mutual care/ resident family care cohousing on adjacent property.
Level 1: one or two community activities
Level 2: three to five community activities
Level 3: six to seven community activities
Level 4: eight to nine community activities
Level 5: ten or more community activities.  In addition, there are written sustainability policies or environmental management systems to: (1) monitor and record community activities; (2) test and apply additional methods to support the community; and (3) work towards specific community targets.
Attach a copy of your policies if you achieve Community Level 5 (required).
Operate in such a way that we model community-oriented self-sufficiency, including eldercare and community-based affordable healthcare.
Your Community Level (select 1 – 5): 4

YOUR OVERALL ECO SCORE (add your level for each category and divide by 5and enter the result with the decimal point, e.g. 3.6): 4

We have three final questions which are not part of the eco rating: 
1.     Please describe your single most important eco achievement: Continuing low-impact operation for twenty years with very little intentional eco-tourist market.  The vast majority of the local travelers were for upscale, trendy “new age” McLuxury.  Our market was mainly families with kids,who didn’t care about the eco features, and academics who did.  The market for low-impact travel to our destination has just started to expand because of the new political and economic awareness of the last year.
2.     Indicate additional sustainable practices that you plan to institute within the next 6 months.  Start to develop a model Ultra-Low impact mini-cottages, with absolutely minimum electrical and fossil fuel needs.
3.     Is there anything else you would like to add to this eco rating?   This is great, Lise!  Sorry I didn’t have time to do it before.  It has really made me think about it.

Facebooktwitter
Facebooktwitterrss