Saturday, April 22, 2017

Day 68: Earth Day Recycling at The Baldpate Inn

Unless you have been in this situation, it is sort of hard to imagine how much trash, cardboard and leftovers a business can generate.

We have striven to be earth friendly as best we can with the added challenges of being a bit remote in a mountain community.  We’ve tried some novel things, had some successes and some failures.

Even back in the 1990s we earned an EPA award for our efforts in recycling. Still now, even though the staff would say it is not their most favorite task, but we do make at least weekly trips to the Estes Park recycle center to donate our cardboard and tin cans. 

With so much ‘good’ produce scrap, (think lettuce leaves and carrot peelings)  for a couple of years, we worked with a local family contributing to their compost, but eventually it became too much for them to continue.

Our local bear family would of course be delighted to help whenever they can. However, knowing the pitfalls of feeding wildlife, we have diligently taken their best interest to heart and spent lots of time discouraging them from investigating our bins.  At first, just having motion lighting worked. But we have really smart bears, so additional deterrents were needed. Grandpa Sam came up with the electric fence solution around our dumpsters, which is still effectively in place today. 

 This “shocking” system works great if you remember to turn it on and off, a fact that could be confirmed by more than one staff member. (Honestly, we do try to remember to warn new staff members to turn it off before they touch the dumpsters.)

Since we are so insistent about the hot, out-of-the-oven freshness of our baked goods, we needed some solutions here as well. Leftover pies and cinnamon rolls do not seem to be a problem, as the staff would happily concur. But try as we may, baking just the correct amount of muffins can be a daunting challenge. At the end of the day, our local foodbank, Crossroads Ministry, has been our saving grace for this surplus. We are happy to share and pleased to know that our lovingly-made food is going to an excellent cause. 

Written by Lois Smith

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