An Environmentally friendly motel.

Sunday 31 January 2010

Please find below our "Responsible Tourism Statement"

We believe we are an extremely good example of an environmentally friendly motel, please take the time to read our story....

We have been moteling here in Queenstown for thirty years and bought this property in 1993. There has been travellers accommodation on this site for over 100 years and it was our goal to build a new and environmentally friendly complex that was also sympathetic to our history and our surroundings.

We thought long and hard about what we wanted and needed to do, borrowed lots of money, found an excellent architect, employed great tradesmen (as many of them local as possible) and spent a year building what you are now enjoying!

We recycled the 5 old units that were here, they were bought and trucked off to their new homes. We cleaned and reused all the concrete blocks that remained from the fire walls. We had very little rubbish go in to the land fill.

Concrete tilt slab was our choice of building material. we wanted something that was strong and long lasting, with little maintenance, safe, provided great insulation of heat and noise and is readily available.

To get maximum utilization of the site and to optimise the efficiency to operate our complex, we designed and built in blocks of six. We can close off a block for energy conservation if need be.

Our roof line has been designed to provide maximum use of solar energy in the future if it becomes viable.

We used recycled hardwood power poles in our construction which were supplied by our friend, a local saw miller.

Our room heating and hot water is provided by a state of the art diesel burner.We already had an underground fuel tank and had used it successfully for many years. The burner is capable of using alternative fuels if and when they become available.

Double glazed hush glass and heavy blackout curtains stop noise and light pollution as well as keeping the room temperature at a comfortable level.

We have used lots of insulation between rooms to keep heat in and to stop the transfer of noise between rooms.

We use passive heating from the sun where ever we can, use outside line drying and encourage our guests to use the outside clothes line too.

To reduce our use of water we have installed dual flush toilets and one spout taps. We have insulated around the baths to sound proof as well as to keep the water hotter for longer. Our guests love soaking in our baths because of this.

By only using refillable liquid pump packs of soap in the bathrooms we have cut down on wastage and the need of harsh cleaning products.

We are cautious in our use of cleaning products and use 'green' products whenever we can. We use special cloths for windows etc requiring water only.

We chose shower curtains rather than the more fashionable glass to make for easy cleaning and to provide privacy to our guests.

The linen is hired from a local company. We asked all the different firms for a sample of their bedding and towelling and used them ourselves before we decided on which supplier to use. This company won our business because their quality and presentation was the best, they have the most modern and energy efficient equipment, they are locally owned and operated by people we know and respect and they take pride in their work and service.

We encourage our guests to reuse towels by providing heated towel rails which not only dry the towels but provide enough warmth to keep the bathroom a comfortable temperature. It is a wonderful example of why it is worth putting the extra insulation in place during construction.

We have energy efficient light bulbs through out our complex and the outside lights are all either on daylight switches or movement sensors.

The recycling bins in the kitchen joinery were our idea, it was the first time the joiner had been instructed to build recycling bins. They work well and make it easier for us to recycle efficiently.

We now buy milk in 2 litre containers and offer our guests a complimentary jug on arrival. We have noticed a big cut back in both rubbish and costs and we no longer have outdated milk being wasted either.

We have changed our policy on newspapers. We used to deliver them to all guests and noticed few were opened and read. We found our guests were getting their news from Sky or reading it on line. We now have a daily paper available at reception and have saved lots of unnecessary waste.

To save ink and paper we don't automatically print off invoices for our guests. Most of our visitors are happy with the credit card or cash register receipt. When we set up our computerised reservation system, I was surprised that we were the first to request a 'print only when required.'

We have all our faxes go directly into our computer. This allows us to delete the spam and print only what we need. I have encouraged other moteliers to do this and they love it too.

To cut down on paperwork, now when we book sightseeing trips on behalf of our guests I give the credit card details to the operator when I make the reservation. This saves a lot of time and money processing accounts. I encourage other moteliers to do this and they think it's great.

We have used a lot of native plants in our gardens, we did this because we wanted our gardens to have strong, healthy plants that are happy with the local conditions so able to sustain our hard winters and not requiring a lot of water or special treatment in the summer. We also love our native birds so we planted trees for them too.

We use mulch and pea straw to retain moisture and to discourage weeds. We try not to use nasty poisons and sprays, preferring to companion plant to keep bugs at bay.

We are lucky to have some very old fruit trees. We have never used sprays on them and don't mind sharing them with the birds. We enjoy cherries, plums, peaches greengages and gooseberries.

Our Community Contribution (this is part of the requirements for assessment too)

We have a great passion for our environment and have spent many years speaking out on its behalf. We have argued to protect our parks and reserves for future generations by opposing commercial development, petitioned Government regarding the foreshore and the Queens Chain, attended many council meetings and stopped the dumping of septic tanks into the Shotover River and we have encouraged others to make submissions on environmental matters too. We lobbied our local council to get them into recycling... We feel it is our responsibility to be vigilant and outspoken if need be.

We like to support charities, we have a BNZ "Save the Kiwi" donation box in our office. We give our time to help collect money, in the past we have sold "red noses" for the Cot Death Society, "gold hearts" for the Variety Club and Ronald McDonald House. We are now members of the local RSA and help with selling poppies or anything else we are asked to do. We like to give our donations to organisations that don't have huge expenses so that more of the money goes to the charity. We offer free accommodation to raffle as fundraisers to schools, to volunteer fire brigades and community events. We are available to Victim Support in the form of free accommodation if ever needed and take our recyclables to either the Salvation Army or Happiness House.

Pete is a supporter of the Lakes District Museum and volunteers to help with different sporting events through out the years. He has been involved with the promotion of Queenstown from the beginning of what is now called Destination Queenstown and was on the Board for many years. We have been active members of the Motel Association of New Zealand for thirty years both on a local and national level.
Pete was on the board of the Motel Association of New Zealand for six years and was President of the Association for 2 years. We are always available as mentors for others in our industry.

I could go on, but I have filled three pages already... I have probably bored you to sleep and to be honest, singing our own praises feels weird! I was asked by another environmentally aware motelier how long I have been "green." I had to think for a moment and then answered, "All my life. I have been brought up that way by my parents and my grandparents, it's in the blood, cut me and I bleed green." Our children are greenies too so I am proud to say, the tradition will continue...

Thanks for taking the time to read this.
Best wishes,
Dianne Smith.


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