Tango Diva : Travel Stories for Women, by Women

March 25th, 2008
One million plastic travel bottles eliminated!

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In a move that will significantly reduce its impact on the environment, concessioner Xanterra Parks & Resorts will provide shampoos, lotions and other amenities in biodegradable containers as well as bars of sustainable soaps in rooms in the national and state park lodges the company operates. More than 1 million bottles will be kept out of the waste stream each year as a result of the new program.

Xanterra will be the first national park concessioner to offer sustainable amenities. The sustainable amenity program will be implemented in June in the company’s operations in Grand Canyon, Bryce Canyon, Crater Lake, Yellowstone, Zion and Death Valley National Parks as well as seven Ohio State Park Resorts. In Yellowstone National Park alone, where Xanterra operates nine lodges with more than 2,000 rooms, the program will eliminate more than 280,000 bottles from waste stream.

Xanterra will purchase the “Green from NATÃœRA” line from RoomService Amenities. The collection features 100 percent biodegradable plastic-free bottles made from a corn starch derivative. The eco-friendly soap wrappers and accessory cartons are made from natural recycled paper and printed with soy-based inks. The shower cap is made from Plastarch Material (PSM), a biodegradable resin made from corn starch, which is also the basis for the bottles. The vegetable-based, all-natural soaps contain no animal fat or byproducts using a process that is cruelty-free to animals. Soaps are shaped in a ring instead of a traditional bar shape to eliminate soap waste.

“As an operator of lodges in some of the most beautiful places on earth, we feel it is imperative that we provide our guests with memorable experiences while minimizing the environmental impact of tourism operations,” said Andy Todd, president and CEO of Xanterra Parks & Resorts. “Hotel room amenities like shampoo and soap have become an expected part of the guest experience, but those little bottles and packages can wreak havoc on nature. We are delighted that we can offer this solution to our guests.”

Xanterra has long been recognized as an environmental leader in the hospitality industry. For example, the company received the “Sustainable Hotel of the Year” award at the HotelWorld Global Hospitality and Design Award Ceremony and Expo last month for its environmental achievements at Zion Lodge in Zion National Park. Additionally, Xanterra will soon complete construction on one of largest renewable energy systems in the U.S. – a one-megawatt solar photovoltaic system in Death Valley National Park. Other initiatives in the last few years include committing to — and achieving the goal of — an absolute reduction target in greenhouse gas emissions, developing U.S. Green Building Council LEED-certified sustainable buildings in two national parks, banning the sales of fish species that are harvested in environmentally harmful ways, certifying environmental management systems to the ISO 14001 international standard, recycling grease onsite into biodiesel for use in fleet vehicles and helping to pioneer the development of a mobile propane bottle recycling unit.

For a complete list of Xanterra accomplishments and certifications, go here

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