Big Sky Resort and The Environment
Big Sky Resort is dedicated to providing outstanding outdoor recreation to our guests while taking steps to protect our environment in the spectacular Yellowstone eco-system. Since 2005, Big Sky Resort's Green Committee has been dedicated to bringing together representatives from all Big Sky Resort departments to identify, adapt, and help implement best practices for Big Sky Resort sustainability.
Through the efforts of the Green Committee, Big Sky Resort has put many environmental practices in place and continues to find new ways to operate and develop a sustainable and environmentally friendly mountain resort. Below is an overview of Big Sky's current sustainable initiatives; it's an ever growing list so check back often.
The Big Sky Resort Green Committee
Reduce, Reuse, Recycle
- Big Sky Resort has added Tesla Charging Stations in the Summit Condominium Hotel for eco-friendly vehicles.
- Recycling receptacles are available in public areas in throughout Big Sky Resort property including the Mountain Mall, the Plaza area, the Cafeteria, the top and bottom of lifts, and all hotel lobbies
- Big Sky has contracted recycling pick-up in all administration areas for office and consumer waste including aluminum, paper, cardboard and toner cartridges.
- All restaurants and bars that are managed by Big Sky Resort recycle aluminum and cardboard products
- In-room recycling receptacles are available in The Shoshone Condominiums
- Big Sky is committed to researching and using the most environmentally friendly printing methods for marketing materials. Several recent orders included printing with a specialized UV ink that decomposes faster than traditional inks on paper that is chlorine free reducing dioxins and other toxins and pollutants. The paper used has been 100% recycled and 50% post-consumer recycled.
- Big Sky resort recycles old batteries from all departments including hotel TV remote control batteries and Ski Patrol transceiver batteries.
- The Big Sky Resort Retail Department manages a program to provide used cold-weather uniforms to staff members
- Big Sky Resort Human Resources offers a drop-off for gently worn jackets and other warm weather gear that is then available for international staff members.
- Big Sky uses a key-card system system in the Summit and Shoshone hotels called Entergize, an energy savings technique that turns down the thermostat in guest rooms when the guest leaves
- Big Sky Resort encourages all employees to turn their computers off at the end of the day/shift and turn the lights out when they leave a room/office.
- Big Sky Resort has retro-fitted guest rooms in the Summit, Shoshone and Huntley Lodge (over 600 units).
- Big Sky Resort uses energy efficient lighting in retail shops and hotel rooms.
- Big Sky Resort has adopted a towel re-use program in all of its hotel rooms minimizing the amount of laundry necessary that saves electricity, along with the use of water, discharge and cleaning products.
- All employees are directed to turn down the thermostat in their office space at the end of the day when their work area is not in use.
- Big Sky has discontinued the practice of heating the entire plaza to remove snow from the base area. Not only are there energy savings, but it creates a snowy white atmosphere for our guests to enjoy.
- The Tridiumsystem in the Village Center remotely controls public area thermometers
- Big Sky Resort has installed vestibule entries on all major entrance/exit points in the Mountain Mall and Summit Hotel
- Big Sky Resort replaced all old Shoshone Hotel deck windows with new, energy-efficient models
- Big Sky Resort has installed motion detectors for lighting throughout the Resort where appropriate
- Big Sky has implemented off-season procedures designed to limit electricity use from unplugging unused appliances to disabling lights in hotel hallways
- Big Sky makes necessary adjustments to boilers in order to most efficiently heat pools and store hot water
- Big Sky recently audited and adjusted the snowmaking system in order to make it run at optimal efficiency
- Big Sky resort uses all waterless urinals
- Big Sky Resort bulk purchases cleaning products
- Big Sky Resort uses a local linen company, reducing trucking time by 6 hours per day
- Big Sky Resort implemented a "no smoking" policy at all lift loading areas and within 100 feet of all building entrances.
- Big Sky Resort financially supports the community bus system that promotes fewer vehicles in the Mountain Village and less vehicles on the road between Bozeman and Big Sky. Not only are there less polluting vehicles being used, but the highways are safer.
- There is a no-idle policy for vehicles at both Front Desk check-in locations and skier drop-off/pick-up locations in the Big Sky Mountain Village.
- Employees are encouraged to car-pool and employees in staff housing locations in the Mountain Village are encouraged to walk to work.
- All in-door public areas and guest rooms of Big Sky Resort are designated "no-smoking" areas for the benefit of all our guests and families.
- Big Sky Resort was the first major resort to purchase cleaner and quieter 4-stroke snowmobiles for mountain operations.
- Blue Water Taskforce: Big Sky Resort has partnered with the Blue Water Task Force that helps measure the health of the Gallatin River which flows near the resort.
- Gallatin County Water Sewer District: Big Sky Resort worked with the Gallatin County Water Sewer District providing easements across public lands for water and sewer lines to be positioned that allowed for increased demand to divert any potential discharge into the Gallatin River. At this point, no treated/used water has ever been discharged into the Gallatin River, an issue very important to Big Sky Resort.
- Skyline Bus: Big Sky financially supports the Skyline and Skylink mass transportation programs that provide free bus service between Mountain Village and Meadow Village businesses as well as between the Bozeman and Big Sky communities.
- Montana DEQ: Big Sky is partnering with the state Department of Environmental Quality on measuring and monitoring water in the Mountain Village of the West Fork of the Gallatin River.
- Travelers for Open Land: An organization linking the traveling public with the Montana hospitality industry.
Development: Big Sky has retained a consultant who is a wildlife biologist who specializes in Wetlands to advise for any future developments in the Mountain Village area.
What can I do to help?
Please follow the Leave No Trace TM Principles when visiting Big Sky and other mountain resorts. Here is a list that combines these, Keep Winter Cool, and other ideas that can help you help our environment and our climate. If we each do our part, together, we will make a difference!
- Dispose of waste properly and never throw trash from a lift. Reduce, reuse and recycle when possible.
- If you are dropping off or waiting for passengers, turn off your vehicle's engine. On cold mornings, limit the amount of warm up time for your vehicle. If your engine is idling for more than 10 seconds, you should turn it off to conserve fuel and limit global warming pollution.
- Turn off the lights when you leave a room. Whenever you turn a switch on, think about whether there is anything you can turn off.
- Use compact fluorescent light bulbs. Which use up to 75% less electricity than incandescent light bulbs and will save you money on your home's electric bill.
- Carpool with family and friends whenever possible.
- When selecting your next vehicle, choose the most-efficient, least-polluting one that meets your needs.
- After the ski season remove roof racks and snow tires to improve your vehicle's gas mileage and efficiency. It can save you 6% at the gas pump. Regular tune ups and replacement of air filters will help, too.
- Be an efficient consumer and choose the most energy efficient appliances and electronics that meet your needs. Unplug appliances and electronics when not in use.