We are proud to offer and implement numerous environmentally sound practices here at The Irwin Inn. We believe that the natural environment here at the lake has been one of our keys to success, and will be even more important in the future!
Here are some of our sustainable practices and offerings:
- Geothermal heating/cooling
- Solar Thermal hot water heating
- High Efficiency wood boiler
- Radiant in-floor heating
- Kitchen/in-accommodation composting
- CFL lightbulbs
- Low-flow/flush faucets & toilets
- Environmentally friendly cleaning products & soaps
- Fuel efficient 4-stroke marine engines
- Locally sourced and self-milled lumber for our buildings
- Commitment to continually increase our local, and organic food/beverage supply
Our Commitment to Our Environment
"The Irwin family realizes that one of the most important reasons that we have been in business for over 60 years is the beauty of our natural environment here on Stoney Lake. We have seen many changes on our lake over the years and realize now more than ever, that we must protect and preserve this beauty for the generations to come.
We have been conscious of our environmental footprint for many years implementing both Solar Thermal and Geothermal systems to supply hot water, air conditioning, and space heating for our lakeside suites/cottages, main Inn and laundry facilities. As you can imagine, producing food and beverage and laundering for up to 100+ people in the summer months create a huge demand for energy which creates both financial and environmental costs considering how electricity is generated here in Ontario and throughout North America in general. We decided that Solar Thermal/Geothermal heating and cooling are the biggest and best ways to reduce our energy demand, and after 20 years of using the systems we are convinced now more than ever!
As our resort has grown since installing these systems we are now making updates and taking efficiency measures to ensure effectiveness.
Another area that we feel is important to focus on in the hospitality trade is waste reduction. Last summer we began composting all vegetable based food waste in our kitchen, and are amazed at the reduction in waste. This also creates a valuable nutrient source for our gardens and lessens the impact on the landfill. This year we have extended our composting system by adding collection bins in our accommodations for non-meat food products and coffee/tea grounds.
Food purchasing is one area we area we are eager to change by creating relationships with local farmers and suppliers to help localize our supply chain and stabilize and prosper local economy. For instance, we are proud to offer Free Trade Organic coffee from a local supplier that roasts the beans right in Peterborough! Other items like “eggs & produce” will be sourced as locally and organically as supply will allow and by focusing on what “in-season” locally will ensure quality and freshness.
Focusing on what goes down the drain and then eliminating any harmful contaminants such as phosphates in soaps and detergents is an easy way to make a big reduction in your environmental footprint. We have replaced cleaning products in our kitchen and Laundry facilities environmentally friendly products many years ago and continue to look for new ways to improve in this area. We believe for many situations the old “vinegar and water” solution is still the best!
As scientific data and monitoring/education systems have greatly improved, we are learning more and more that our lake ecosystems are much more fragile than we previously thought. Therefore, ensuring that our motorboats do as little damage as possible to the environment is crucial. We have moved our filling tanks as far away from the waters edge as possible and use only fuel-efficient 4-stroke engines that use straight gas without adding oil. We also offer canoes, kayaks and peddle boats free of charge to offer alternatives to motorboats. Sea Kayak rentals and guided interpretive tours are also offered.
Here at the Inn we enjoy planning, designing and building our own buildings. We believe in using locally sourced building materials, and harvest much of our lumber off our property and mill it on site. The building industry is one of the most wasteful of all and is a huge contributor to deforestation, ecological devastation, and climate change. We look forward to building more sustainable buildings, accommodations for you to enjoy your stay in a healthy indoor & outdoor environment.
We have many exciting ideas for how we would like to grow greener in the future. One of these ideas that we have started already started is converting a number of our trucks, cars, and farm equipment to run on vegetable based biofuels. Another easy technology we hope to expand on is air drying our laundry items, and adding solar air heaters to our existing mechanical dryers….. and …. And….and!
We hope that you appreciate these steps that we have taken since many of them are costly, but very important none-the-less. We will be creating and displaying simple in-room ways that you can help reduce waste and energy consumption. At the same time, we know that many guests prefer not to think about much while away, however, we hope you rest a little easier knowing that we are doing the green thinking for you!