(Last Updated On: October 7, 2014)

If you want to support Breckenridge lodging businesses that focus on sustainable “green” environmental measures, check out these places to stay:

Ski Village Resorts

Ski Village Chateaux

Ski Village Chateaux

Ski Village Resorts is the first lodging company to receive the certified SustainableBreck Business Program, after going through a four-month review by High Country Conservation Center. The process included recycling, cleaning products, waste managements, lighting and 20 other items.

They’ve switched to energy-efficient lighting and are committed to using environmentally friendly cleaning lines, rather than traditional cleaners. Plus, they’ve added recycling bins for their 130 lodging units.

Paragon Lodging

Paragon Lodging

Paragon Lodging

At Paragon, you pitch in to make a greener Breckenridge; every rental home includes four recycling bins for paper, glass and cans. And, in case you’ve accidentally mixed your recyclables with true trash, a staff member diligently goes through the garbage to pull out recyclables. Even pets have a chance to get in on the deal; the Paragon Pampered Pets program includes compostable pooper waste bags.

The staff has recycled all paper, cardboard, plastic, glass, cans, batteries, computers and electronics since the office has opened in 2000.

Paragon uses CFL bulbs in rental homes, as well as provides Aveda personal care items. Plus, guests enjoy Clif’s chocolate bark (called Backpacker’s Gourmet Chocolate), made in Breckenridge, which means there’s less transportation pollution. Breckenridge Soap Company also makes special soaps for Paragon.

Breckenridge Grand Vacations

Breckenridge Grand Vacations

Breckenridge Grand Vacations

First of all, Breckenridge Grand Vacations, which manages several properties, has a companywide Green Team to ensure green measures. As a result, Grand Lodge on Peak 7 recycled 2,213 cubic yards of common recyclables, plus 5.2 tons of electronics, like computers and appliances, in one year. They also recycled more than 800 pounds of soap and amenities by melting, blending and reconstituting them for children in third-world countries.

They’ve stood by a companywide employee-composting program. That means every department has a compost collection bin, which is collected weekly and ends up at the Summit County landfill.

Employees strive to properly dispose electronic wastes, from old televisions and computers to refrigerators and other appliances.

Every year, each department must “green train” their staff.

The Colorado Department of Energy selected Grand Timber Lodge for a comprehensive energy audit, which reevaluates the building’s mechanical and electrical systems to ensure that everything is working completely efficiently. This audit is even more complex than the High Country Conservation Center’s.

At Grand Lodge on Peak 7 developers have gone so far as to install a comprehensive energy management system known as Incom. The program adjusts vacant room temperatures.

Grand Lodge on Peak 7 started by a proponent of waste recycling and energy conservation and has followed that tradition ever since. From design conception and materials management to the implementation of technology innovations, Grand Lodge has been a leader in the green movement.

Since it started hosting guests, housekeeping, maintenance and front desk services strive to have a minimal impact on the environment. Staff uses a Smart Car for local deliveries and only uses electronic communication, rather than paper, for interoffice communication. They even provide reusable shopping bags (and recycle bins) for guests. Plus, they spent over half a million dollars to install an automated energy management system, which turns off lights and televisions and lowers heat when guests aren’t using them; this has reduced energy bills by 30 percent.

In addition, the closely located wetlands have been preserved. Units have Energy Star appliances, high-value insulation, energy efficient windows and lighting, environmentally friendly cleaning products, paper products that contain at least 30 percent recycled material, and low-flow water fixtures.

The swimming pool and hot tubs feature non-caustic salt water based cleaning systems that are easy on both the environment and guests’ skin.

Season’s Dreams Vacation Homes

At Four Peaks, they added energy efficient curtains in all the bedrooms to help hold in the heat.

At Four Peaks, they added energy efficient curtains in all the bedrooms to help hold in the heat.

This company manages about 30 homes, which means approximately 300-400 guests using green amenities, including toiletries with minimum preservatives, post-consumer, nonbleached board, soy-based ink and crafted vegetable-based soaps.

“We use one of the first hotel toiletry programs that has been designed and manufactured using the latest in environmentally friendly packaging,” said Shannon Bosgraaf of Season’s Dreams Vacation Homes.

Book Breck

Book Breck

Book Breck

This smaller company manages 20 vacation homes, so they already had outstanding purchasing policies but applied for certification because they wanted to do more. So now, they purchase only larger bottles of shampoo and soap, which allows them to reduce plastic waste with mini-bottles; the brands they chose for guest soap as well as industrial cleaners are all third-party environmentally friendly certified.

The paper products, including office paper, toilet paper and paper towels, contain high post-consumer recycled content, but that doesn’t mean they’re flimsy.

Paper products have post-consumer recycled content while remaining high quality, including office paper, toilet paper and paper towels. Even the trash bags they supply have high post-consumer recycled plastic content. And, like most of the lodging companies mentioned, they’re improving recycling services for every unit, in order to make recycling simple.

Abbett Placer

Abbett Placer

This bed-and-breakfast lodge has an environmentally minded leadership. It takes a holistic approach to its purchasing practices and operations. In addition to energy saving features like occupancy sensors and energy efficient lights, they offer a luxury line of bulk soap dispensers, in order to eliminate mini plastic bottles. Owners Niels and Emma look closely at their ecological footprint, from the reusable bags they take to the grocery store to the 2.4 kW solar array they have installed on their roof.

Lodge and Spa at Breckenridge

Lodge & Spa At Breckenridge

This is a small company with limited amenities, so the Lodge and Spa is simply recycling their cardboard.

Breckenridge gives you so many options for recycling, reusing and saving energy in your lodging choices. Use the companies in this post to be sure you’re taking advantage of every opportunity to save the planet while enjoying your stay!

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About The Author

Kimberly Nicoletti always knew she was meant to escape gray Chicago winters and spend her days skiing the Colorado Rockies. So, two months after she turned 18, she moved to Breckenridge to be a ski bum "for a season," assuring her parent's she'd return to Illinois to finish college. But, the ski bum life stuck. After three years of full-time skiing in Summit County, she decided to finish her degree at CU-Boulder in Creative Writing (granted, she took a semester off to ski). Once free of classes, she took yet another year off to ski in Summit (do you see a pattern here?). Then, she moved back to Boulder to earn her master's degree in Somatic Psychology/Dance Therapy. Upon graduation, she spent a winter teaching skiing at Mammoth Mountain. (Surely you see the pattern now.) In 2002, she moved back to Summit full time, to work at the Summit Daily as the arts and entertainment editor. She stayed with the company for 10 years, enjoying Summit's great events and later working as the managing editor of magazines covering the High Country. She still revolves her life around adventure and creativity, taking time to travel, ski, paddleboard, dance, ice skate, play with her dogs, learn new things and generally enjoy life. She's highly addicted to powder skiing and keeps her winter mornings commitment-free so she can indulge in "deep play" when Mother Nature cooperates. Off the mountain, she's a freelance writer and editor and teaches fitness and mind/body classes throughout Summit County.

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