To Be an Eco-Lodge: Zero Waste Systems
It seems like the term “eco-lodge” has become used to the point where your average hotel is now using the label, without any sort of effort towards conversation. We here at The Lazy Dog Inn Mountain Lodge don’t take the term “eco-lodge” lightly. Some of the way reflect our conservation principles is the way that we handle our waste. All of the waste systems at The Lazy Dog Inn Mountain Lodge are designed to minimize, reuse or recycle all the wastes we generate. This includes all our solid wastes which come from; the kitchen, garden, human and animal manure. We then reuse all wastewater from the kitchen, bathrooms and laundry areas. The result is a minimal impact on the local environment and less use of precious resources.
Breaking Down Human & Animal Waste
To recycle human waste we use custom made toilets from our own design. Our 2 chamber odorless dry composting toilets are made of cement by our workers here at The Lazy Dog Inn. These toilets allow all human manure to be collected and combined with horse manure to produce a rich, organic compost full of earthworms that’s eventually used to fertilize our horse pastures and vegetable gardens. The whole process of breaking down the manure can take anywhere from 4-6 months depending on the weather and produces a rich and nutritionally dense soil.
All our wastewater and urine is combined and sent to a sub-surface infiltration (leach field) system that irrigates our horse pasture year round. To help minimize our impact on the local watershed we collect rain water from our main lodge roof to help irrigate our vegetable gardens and greenhouses. This also minimizes our intake of precious irrigation water from local water canals that the local indigenous communities use for washing, personal consumption, and watering their fields, gardens and animals. Per the Mountain Institute of Peru, Peru has lost 40% of it’s glacial plates and the result is a water scarcity in areas of the Cordillera Blanca. By reusing our grey water we are reducing and eliminating water waste, keeping the valuable resource available for our less adaptable neighbors.
Kitchen & Garden Wastes
All solid wastes that can be recycled are collected and brought to local recycling centers in Huaraz. All the food products we purchase we purchase in bulk (unpacked) form wherever possible. All organic wastes go into the compost process and eventually are used back into our gardens, fields, and greenhouses. Any waste that cannot be composted, recycled, or re-purposed we burn. This process allows us to feed into our soil’s life cycle, keep the soil in our fields and gardens dark and rich while leaving a minimal impact on the local area.
A True Eco-Lodge
As a result of these systems we have no sewage or waste water discharges from our property and no septic tanks. Over 90% of all the waste we generate at The Lazy Dog Inn are reused, composted or recycled. With our 7 greenhouses and 3 gardens we are able to lower our carbon footprint with our farm-to-table meals, most of the ingredients picked hours before they are served. Our combined efforts of our closed-loop system with our passive solar, adobe structures built using 0 electricity, we offer a true eco-lodge, combining sustainability with comfort.