New lodging owners prioritize sustainability


It’s not uncommon to hear people talk about how beautiful it is in Three Rivers and Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks. Although credit for the natural beauty that surrounds this community goes to a higher authority, we certainly must take responsibility for its care and upkeep. 
And that is another reason why Three Rivers is so special. Many in Three Rivers also see themselves as stewards of the land.
Christian and Shannon Lewis, the owners of Buckeye Tree Lodge and Sequoia Village Inn since February 2018 are taking serious steps to being good neighbors and responsible entrepreneurs. Although like most owners, the number-one goal is to run a successful business, they are focused on operating as eco-friendly as possible. 
The couple has enacted sustainable practices at their properties to minimize the environmental impact. They are making an extra effort to recycle, utilize previously installed solar panels, and avoid harsh chemicals in cleaning products. 
They continue to reduce the use of all non-environmentally friendly cleaning products, opting instead for the naturally derived ingredients in Method cleaning products and the sustainable commitment of this certified B Corp. In addition, all guest rooms are stocked with environmentally friendly shampoos and soaps.
The Lewises also are utilizing solar energy to supply backup power to their critical systems such as the office computers and Internet. 
Most exciting is the recycling protocol they’ve enacted. Recycling containers are located outside every room and around the property. 
The owners have also opted out of the familiar single-stream recycling mode; the practice of throwing all recyclable materials in one bin. 
“For instance, if glass breaks in the bin, it makes everything non-recyclable,” explained Shannon. “And that defeats the purpose.” 
Instead they sort all materials: cardboard, clear glass, dark glass, CRV plastics, and random plastic. Christian then makes a weekly drive to BC Recycling in Visalia, a company that for the last 20 years has been committed to conserving natural resources. 
“Some weeks, it’s tough to make the trip,” Christian admitted. “I get just about enough cash in return to pay for the gas it takes, but it’s worth it in the long run.” 
Buckeye Tree Lodge has committed to donating one percent of their profits to the local national parks and Sequoia Parks Conservancy. The Lewises also have future plans to create a guest volunteer program where interested visitors will be able to sign up for a cleanup days in the neighboring national parks.
Stay in touch and follow the exploits of these eco entrepreneurs on Instagram @buckeyetreelodge and @sequoiavillageinn.  

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