Crystal Lodge and the Green Revolution

19th February, 2014

RecycleThe Town of Whistler is passionate about the environment and it shows.  Over the years there have been a number of programs put into effect that has grown our small community into one of the benchmark towns for sustainability.  Whistler Blackcomb has a goal of a “zero operation footprint” which means zero waste, zero carbon and zero net emissions.  Since 2000, they have reduced their waste by more than 60% and energy consumption by 15%.  The survival of our ecosystem and addressing climate change is first and foremost on the agenda and Whistler has spent a lot of time and resources in order to make our community a better place for tomorrow.  In 2005, Whistler was declared one of the most livable communities in the world and the best in the world in planning for the future. 

Fitzsimmons Hydro ProjectAn award like that doesn’t come over night; it is due to a number of extremely successful projects such as the Fitzsimmons Creek Hydro Project and the Whistler Composing Facility.  The hydro project has established Whistler Blackcomb as industry leaders in environmental sustainability.  The Fitzsimmons Creek Hydro Project, which is located right below the Peak2Peak, produces enough renewable energy to power the entire resort year round which includes 38 lifts, 17 restaurants, 269 snowguns and countless other buildings and services.  Whistler is also home to the largest fleet of hydrogen fuel cell buses, they are emission free as they leave behind only water, no smog and the neighbourhood that was created for the Olympic athletes in 2010 is heated from the wasted energy of the wastewater treatment plant.  The heat that is captured can supply the hot water needs for the Lower Cheakamus neighbourhood.

Another gem is the Whistler Composting Facility which is located just south of Whistler.  The Crystal Lodge Green Team took a tour there just last week and got to experience the magic first hand.  This state of the art composting facility takes the town’s biosolid waste from the Whistler Treatment Plant, organic material for the businesses and residents and wood waste from the Whistler solid waste stream and composts it into Class A compost that can be resold for commercial use.  The matter is mixed together and put into two different 70 meter long stainless steel climate control tunnels.  The mixture heats up to between 60 to 70 degrees and spends a total of two weeks before it comes out the other end as premium compost.  It is amazing to think that our human and organic waste can be reused to better the community as a whole. 

Whistler Composting Facility  Whistler Composting Facility

Everyone has to do their part in order to make this world a better place and we at the Crystal Lodge are also doing our part.  Read next weeks blog that will talk about our field trip to Carneys and how we are doing our part in trying to eliminate plastic bags from our landfills.