I recently chatted with Kurt Bjorkman, General Manager at California’s Ranch at Laguna Beach. A good portion of the results of that conversation appear in my article about the property posted this past week. Be sure to check it out. There were several things that really caught my eye as being unique about the resort. First is the use of a GL Sand Machine that turns wine and beer bottles to sand. The resort is the first lodging establishment in the continental United States to use the machine that pulverizes the glass. That sand can then be used to replenish bunkers on the resort’s golf course or the sand at the nearby beach.
Bjorkman learned about the machine a couple of years ago and today employees spend about 20 hours a week pulverizing the bottles into five different grain sizes. “It will take anything about the shape of a wine bottle,” he says. “In our restaurant we serve oysters. Now we can also add oyster shells to the machine. We can use that [material] on our bocce ball courts.”
During an upcoming wedding, Bjorkman says a couple’s champagne bottles will be pulverized into sand. That sand will then be given to them in a locket. Quite the unique keepsake.
One of the primary sustainability initiatives at the resort is an irrigation system utilizing reclaimed water for the resort grounds and the Ben Brown’s golf course. Completed in 2015, the system is saving more than 21.2 million gallons of water annually. The plan was undertaken in tandem with the SCWD, which installed an all-new reverse-osmosis filtration system in the nearby Advanced Wastewater Treatment Facility to ensure the highest-quality recycled water for irrigation.
Golf Course is Green Certified
The nine-hole golf course on property is certified by the GEO Foundation. GEO Certified is a comprehensive modern certification, developed specifically for three key areas of the industry: golf facility operations, golf development and renovation, and golf tournaments.
The Ranch at Laguna Beach was chosen by National Geographic as one of its Unique Lodges of the World. Every lodge in the collection was thoroughly vetted by a National Geographic sustainable tourism expert who spent time at each property, evaluated operations, and met with everyone from the general manager to the kitchen staff to ensure they met their high standards. The review included a thorough vetting based on the pillars of sustainable tourism: protection of natural heritage, protection of cultural heritage, support for local communities, and environmentally friendly practices.
“It was a very involved process and not easy,” Bjorkman says. “The application process took about two years and the sustainable tourism expert spent an entire week on the property.”
The resort, while not LEED certified, employs many LEED-qualifiable technologies and processes. It has its own half-acre garden that provides ingredients for the signature restaurant, Harvest. It partners with Clean the World, which collects and recycles soap and hygiene products, and the culinary team works with Chefs to End Hunger, which redistributes excess prepared food from food-service operations to local food agencies.
These are just some of the sustainability initiatives in place at the Ranch at Laguna Beach.
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Green Lodging News Adds CKI Solutions as Directory Partner
Green Lodging News welcomes Cadence Keen Innovations as a Green Product & Service Directory partner. Cadence Keen Innovations, dba CKI Solutions, was founded in 1996 by Sam Montross. CKI’s mission is to design and deliver innovative solutions that resolve hotel challenges in many areas. For example, CKI’s waterproof, bed bug proof encasements keep mattresses and pillows out of landfills. The unique designs allow for the fastest installation and, with the zip off top, washing only the top creates savings in energy and detergents. All CKI encasements can be washed in high temperatures. CKI has supplied product solutions to some of the largest or most famous hotels and cruise companies around the world from Disney and Carnival Cruise Line, to Rosewood Hotels and Resorts. For more information, visit www.cadencekeen.com, call (888) 222-2217, or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
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