The Green Scene: What You Can Learn from Ski Butlers
Ski Butlers Utah Regional Manager, Shawna McGowan, oversees three shops in the Park City, Utah, area. Like so many Ski Butlers employees, McGowan has a vested interest in living—and working—in a sustainable way. “Originally I studied the environment because I wanted to save the world, and now I want to make sure we have a planet to give our grandkids,” says McGowan, who received a BA in Environmental Studies from St. Michael’s College in VT. “I joined Ski Butlers because it’s a company that I enjoy working for and it has a huge environmental side to it.”
Aside from committing to implement renewable clean energy plans for the ski communities that Ski Butlers services, they are strong supporters of climate organizations such as Protect Our Winters (POW), Climate Reality’s I AM PRO SNOW and the Solutions Project. Ski Butlers is currently working towards going 100 percent renewable energy by 2020, and the company has already reached that goal in their home office and Park City location. Here, McGowan shares top ten tips that you can learn from Ski Butlers to make your home and workplace more sustainable.
Top Ten Ways You Can Match Ski Butlers in How to Be Green
Get Smart: We installed Nest Learning Thermostats, essentially a smart thermostat that heats our office or shop when we’re there and turns off when we’re gone. The system adapts to our schedule and even adjusts for the change of seasons.
It’s Electric: We just purchased our first electric vehicle (a van) from Europe. This joins our company’s Tesla, driven by our founder. We hope that all new vehicle purchases will be electric in the future.
Move to Paperless: All of our reservations are made online, and therefore paperless, except the waiver process. Over the next two years, Ski Butlers is working to revamp their software so that all waivers will be paperless and collected via tablet.
Get Educated: We’re part of Park City’s Green Businesses, a group run through Recycle Utah. During Team Member Orientation at the beginning of the season, we have one of their reps come in and talk about the program as well as best practices for recycling.
Lighten Up: We use LED lighting, which is more energy efficient and uses a fraction of the energy of an incandescent bulb. In our main office, we have solar panels on the roof and are completely sustainable there from an electricity standpoint.
Go With the Flow: The Ski Butlers bathrooms are eco-efficient with low-flow toilets, designed to waste less water, and now electric hand dryers to reduce paper use.
Take a Bike: At Ski Butlers, we encourage staff to bike, take public transportation or carpool to cut down on emissions.
Assemble a Green Team: At Ski Butlers, we have many company-wide goals. We’ve created a “Green Team”. They’ve put together a handbook that works as a document we can all turn to about our sustainability standard and goals. It’s a work in progress.
Fundraise for a Climate Cause: Every time we take a reservation at Ski Butlers, we ask people if they want to donate $10 to POW. At the end of the season, we match what we raise so that we can double our donation to this great cause.
Green Apparel: The jackets and button-down shirts that we supply for our Ski Butlers employees as a part of their uniform are from Patagonia, a company we love to support because of their green action plan.