By exceeding federal and state environmental regulations and working to conserve natural resources, prevent pollution, and reduce waste, the Point Reyes Hostel is now certified as a Marin County Green Business through the Bay Area Green Business Program.
Under the stewardship of General Manager Hanna Morris, the Point Reyes Hostel has made many eco-friendly changes, from switching to compact florescent light bulbs to utilizing non-lethal pest control solutions. In addition to maintaining the hostel’s recycling and composting programs, Morris has ensured that paper products used in the hostel--from office paper to toilet paper--are 100% post-consumer-waste recycled and non-chlorine bleached.
Guests are encouraged to pitch in by bringing their own refillable water containers and taking advantage of the hostel's new Multi-Pure water filtration system, rather than relying on bottled water. Guests may also opt to bring their own sleeping bags to save hostel energy on linen washing. Linens and towels that are used by guests are machine washed and hung to dry in the California sunshine, weather permitting, in order to further conserve energy.
"Doing whatever we can to be a greener hostel is good for the environment, and becoming green-certified is good for business," says Morris. "In addition to gaining positive exposure in the community, we hope that other businesses might be inspired to do the same."
Hostelling International USA, Golden Gate Council prides itself on its commitment to eco-friendly, low-impact travel. Through its Green Hostels Project, the Council ensures that all of its hostels practice energy conservation and offer guests information about environmental preservation, in the hopes that travelers will continue these practices when they return home. In addition, the Council's Outdoor Hostel Adventure program provides experiential environmental education for K-12 youth, bringing urban youth into coastal parks and nurturing a new generation of environmental stewards.
The Point Reyes Hostel is the second HI-USA Golden Gate Council hostel to become a Bay Area Green Business; the first was the Marin Headlands Hostel, certified in 2006. The Bay Area Green Business Program is a partnership of environmental public agencies that assists, recognizes, and promotes businesses and government agencies that volunteer to operate in a more environmentally responsible way. The program is currently offered in Alameda, Contra Costa, Marin, San Francisco, Santa Clara, and Sonoma counties.