The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency spotlighted Vermont's Killington Resort for its efforts to reduce its environmental impacts. EPA officials and representatives of Vermont's Congressional delegation toured the resort Friday.
Some of the attraction's efforts include a gondola that runs on electricity made by harnessing bio-gas from cows, which cuts greenhouse gases, a refrigerator in the Peak Lodge that takes free cold air from the outdoors to chill food, and a system that recycles toilet water onsite to boost water efficiency.
"We have to learn how to live lighter," said Curt Spalding, the EPA's New England regional administrator, noting that Killington's steps could serve as a lesson to other businesses that reducing environmental footprints is possible.
Killington recently invested more than $2-million in about 400 high efficiency snow guns. The new snowmaking technology uses less diesel fuel, burns the fuel more cleanly, and produces more air for the guns, reducing the use of compressors.
"You can be sustainable and make money," Spalding said. "Whether it's the National Hockey League or NASCAR or the NFL, we all know they're making money. But they're also advancing their environmental goals too."
Jeff Temple, the head of mountain operations at Killington, told New England Cable News that power consumption is one of the biggest bills the resort has. He said the new steps have slashed diesel consumption and electricity use by more than 40 percent.
"When you're spending $4-5 million a year in energy--with electrical--and a million or two in diesel, you can imagine it does have an impact on those numbers," Temple said.
Temple added that continually greening up Killington's operations is part of the culture at the resort. He said among several projects in mind is an investigation into whether spent heat from industrial dishwashers can be reclaimed and used to warm the entrance and water at the Peak Lodge.