Greening an unsustainable business through recycling, smart shopping and carbon credits
Trevor Chelswick is realistic in that he knows that the changes he is making at AllSeason Vacation Rentals and its nine properties are not going to make Whistler a sustainable place to live, work or vacation.
He also knows that you have to start somewhere.
"About six months ago I realized I was in a position to implement programs, to see how much time and money it does take to recycle, to become more environmentally sustainable," said Chelswick.
"The way it stands is that I dont have a bureaucracy. When I decide I want to do something, I get it done. I have the knowledge and Im in the right position to do these things. There are really no excuses not to do them."
Chelswick has a degree in environmental science and biology from the University of Western Ontario. One of his first projects in coming to Whistler was working with the municipality and Carneys Waste Disposal to implement a blue box system for strata properties.
From there he started a cleaning service which he operated for several years, until June of 2001 when his company acquired AllSeason Vacation Rentals and the responsibility of maintaining five properties in the Glaciers Reach. He now manages nine properties in the complex.
Once he found himself in a position to make environmentally-friendly choices and changes in the way the properties are operated and maintained, he started looking for ways to make the business more sustainable.
"One of the first things I did was to go after the low-hanging fruit, the things that are easiest to change," said Chelswick.
In the recycling department, he noticed that while large blue boxes were available in the building complex, there was no way for guests to separate garbage in their rooms, and no room to put smaller blue boxes.
To remedy the situation, Chelswick obtained reusable blue bags that attach to the cupboard door under the sink beside the garbage. A note explains the use of the blue bag to the customer and directs them to the waste management room for the strata.
Chelswick is currently working with Carneys once again to purchase these blue bags and make them available to the public and other property management companies.
"Ive had them for several months and I can tell you that the costs are minimal and most guests are using the bags. A lot of this stuff was on its way to the landfill, where its not going to do anybody any good," said Chelswick.