Tanque Verde Ranch is Going Green

March 27, 2012

Tanque Verde Ranch (TVR) employees are rooting themselves deep into the Green Movement.  A TVR task force, entitled the Green Team, has recently been developed in order to achieve more sustainable working practices at the ranch. The Green Team is made of volunteer ranch employees that want to provide leadership in the green initiative. TVR’s Director of Operations, Geoff Campbell, has said that the ranch is “making an effort to change our culture and to be one that embraces sustainable responsible business practices.” Changes in multiple departments have begun to develop, adhering to this new ideology. Operations, programs, dining, and housekeeping have jumped on board and are moving forward, embracing this new eco-friendly direction.

One of the ranch’s green initiatives is in the development of their own compost. Compost is organic matter that has been decomposed and recycled as a fertilizer and soil amendment. The process for creating this at the ranch involves combining manure, woodchips, grass trimmings, and other organic biodegradable material. Compost improves soil structure, texture, and aeration and increases the soil’s water-holding capacity. Creating compost at TVR will allow this soil amendment to be used in maintaining healthy nurseries, plants, gardens, and even produce. Collecting products that were once considered a waste will now be used to sustain life.

Compostable cups, one of many new sustainable practices at TVR.

Another green initiative can be found in the millions of Fly Eliminators, which have been recently purchased and are currently being put to use here at the ranch. These fly eliminators are gnat- sized parasitic wasps that feed upon and breed within developing stages of manure breeding flies. The fly eliminators are incapable of flying and are only active at night so guests will never encounter them. Flies are a nuisance to horses and humans and are known to spread germs and cause infection. Using fly eliminators will offer a natural form of pest control and will allow for a better quality of life for both horses and TVR’s guests.

Green initiative changes in the kitchen and dining room are underway as well! Kitchen and dining room staffs are setting their own green goals and agendas. For example, the dining room has switched from paper to cloth napkins, in which can be washed and reused. The kitchen is purchasing only fully compostable plastic cups and plans are in place to replace all lighting with more energy efficient CFL bulbs.  In addition, the kitchen staff is planning to donate all excess food to the community food bank and is looking to order as much food as they can from local Tucson markets.

More efficient equipment and cleaning products are being put into place at TVR. The ranch has made a commitment to using the best clean practices in house and is now purchasing only Green Seal Certified chemicals and cleaners. Green Seal is a non-profit 3rd party that was established in 1989 to keep companies that are producing green products accountable. These chemicals and cleaners are organic and biodegradable which will reduce harm when entering the water systems. These chemicals are also shipped to the ranch concentrated and are mixed with water on property, which will lower fuel consumption due to the fact that it is lighter and easier to transport.

Get creative and think of your own ways of being more green!

The ranches’ commitment to the Green Movement is root deep, as the Green Team is continuing to seek out and develop new sustainable working practices. The ranch hopes to be a role model for other large companies, encouraging and inspiring others to join the Green Movement.

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