With sustainability top-of-mind, Highline Adventures has been working hard to bring more energy-saving, waste-reducing, and water restricting measures to all properties. As part of this effort, Highline Adventures added its solar array to the Livingston Travelodge by Wyndham about a year ago, and the changes over the year are impressive. The data is in – here's what the positive impact of a year of solar looks like.
Prior to the solar addition, the Travelodge used an estimated 200,000 kilowatt-hours (kWh) of energy annually across the property. For reference, a typical single-family home uses about 11,000 kWh each year, so it stands to reason that a hotel like the Travelodge, with multiple guest rooms, an indoor pool, business center, and plenty of other amenities, would use a bit more energy.
Highline Adventures contracted with local provider OnSite Energy to complete the solar array, and the system was installed in January of 2020. The whole process took only about a week, and it's been running ever since.
Here at the one-year mark in January 2021, we know what an impact the solar install has made. Remember that 200,000 kWh of estimated annual energy use at the Livingston Travelodge? This year, the solar array offset approximately 40 percent of that, reducing the hotel's energy impact by 80,790 kWh.
But what exactly is a kilowatt-hour, and why does that matter for energy saving? In basic terms, a kilowatt-hour is the amount of energy needed to power a 1,000-watt appliance or device for one hour. If you turn on a 100-watt light bulb, it would take 10 hours to use one kWh of energy. For a typical smartphone user, completely draining and charging your phone every day for a year would use about 2 kWh. But uses like heating water for long post-hike showers, or cranking the A/C on a hot summer day, account for a whole lot more power.
All that energy has to come from somewhere, and solar energy has the capacity to reduce carbon and greenhouse gas emissions that result from traditional power sources significantly.
You can do a lot with 80,790 kWh – the amount of energy saved at the Travelodge this year. That amount of energy could charge 7,284,865 smartphones, powering summit selfies and messages to loved ones. It's enough to cover 9.7 homes for a year, or counteract the greenhouse gas emissions from 141,741 miles driven in a passenger vehicle.
With that math, you can make your road trip to Montana without feeling guilty about emissions. Or better yet, make a donation to the Western Sustainability Exchange and offset the carbon produced by your trip that way. Funds go to WSE's carbon-sequestering project on Montana's grassland ranches, so you can offset your trip while you support Montana's ranch families.
There's a whole lot you can do to reduce your impact as you explore Big Sky Country – traveling sustainably is a great start. Join us at Highline Adventures as we work towards a healthier environment for living and traveling.
To learn more about sustainability efforts at Highline Adventures and get some Montana trip inspiration, visit the rest of the Highline Adventures blog.