Our Environment

We’re doing our best for the Environment
You can help too

 If you don’t need to plug in your car, block-heater only, please don’t
If you don’t need to blow-dry your hair, please don’t
If you don’t need to use the electric heater in your room, please don’t. If you do, turn it up only as far as you need to–not all the way. It will kick in and out as needed.

We do not inherit the earth from our ancestors;
we borrow it from our children.”

Wendell E. Berry

Our geothermal unit connected to six wells
This is our geothermal unit from ClimateMaster and Next Energy.

The BraeBurn Inn uses Geothermal energy as its heating/cooling source to help the environment. It was a major undertaking that required some major adjustments to our electrical supply.

To take that a step further, we ask your help to keep power use down to a minimum as well. This will also help the environment.

We care very much about the environment.

A crushed gravel parking lot, entry and turnaround allow rainwater through into the ground

Since we took over the BraeBurn Inn in 1999, we have done the following, specifically to that end:

  • We switched to town water and sewer. When we took over in 1999, we discovered that the sewage grey water was being jetted straight into the dry creek bed behind us.
  • We took out 10-feet of asphalt in front of the rooms, because gravel “breaths” better. Yes, we know, your rolling suitcases don’t roll as well. Sigh. But we haven’t given up on a solution to that problem.
  • We have planted well over 200 trees and bushes on the property since we took over and continue to plant more as time and money allow.
  • We added a multi-room Purple Martin bird-apartment in 2018 to try to attract more birds to help combat mosquitoes.
  • Between 2018-19 we have added a butterfly/bee garden as well as a wild-bee house with an eye to encouraging more of them in our area and, hopefully, helping them survive.
  • We added a bat house in 2022 also to help combat insects and mosquitoes naturally.
  • We do not rake up the leaves or cut the grass in a 150-foot by about 10-foot wide stretch behind the motel to allow bugs to finish developing in the spring as well as allowing butterflies and bees to make use of the plentiful dandelions and other weeds and wild-flowers which are able to bloom as  a result. Then we try to bring it back under control before the majority of dandelions go to seed.
  • We switched from plastic and foam cups to reusable glass tumblers and mugs immediately after we took over.
  • We have implemented policies of reuse for linens and towels at customers’ discretion; and introduced hand-soap, body wash and shampoo dispensers to reduce the use of individual servings of soaps and shampoo and prevent them ending up in our landfills (although we still supply them for your convenience).
  • We recycle plastic and glass bottles, cans, and any plastic bags, cardboard and paper generated in our rooms.
  • We buy used vehicles because of the carbon and water cost of creating new vehicles–no matter the type.
  • We have installed 4/3-litre dual-flush toilets to replace our 6-litre low-flow toilets throughout the motel which, in turn, had already replaced our older several-gallon variety. Most of the 6-litre toilets were donated to a community organization, the rest went to Re-Store in Regina to be reused where possible.
  • We have installed low-wattage fluorescent light bulbs throughout the motel which we ensure are recycled properly as they wear out and we replace them with LED bulbs. In the winter of 2022-23 we replaced all our long-flourescent bulbs with LEDs and gave away or recycled the bulbs that were still useful. Our yard lights now are also low wattage.
  • We try to use recycled facial and toilet paper throughout the motel, and recycled paper towels for cleaning purposes. It ihas finally (since about 2020) becoming easier to source these in bulk (we use Staples on-line).  Pieter’s grandmother, by the way, was using 3rd recycle, unbleached toilet paper in the Netherlands in 1972–no that’s not a typo. But it is an indication of how far behind we are here in Canada.
  • We have installed water filters on a separate drinking water system to the cold side of all the sinks in our rooms to replace bottled water. All our water is already town water. We also make RO (reverse-osmosis) water available for free to our clients from a small, under-the-sink RO system. The RO system does make better ice (in our fridge-based ice-maker) and is not as hard on our coffee-makers.
  • We have re-insulated all of our rooms, basement and apartment and continue to add more as time, money and projects allow.
  • We continue to replace windows to upgrade them; again as time, money and projects allow.
  • We installed a six-tonne Geothermal Heating and Cooling system in 2008 which involved drilling six wells 225 feet deep into the earth where heat-exchange fluids are heated or cooled in a ground-loop.
  • We had also been using a solar system to preheat the water that goes to our water heaters, but bypassed that system in late 2021.  There are simply too many moving parts and Fort Qu’Appelle water is too hard for that system. We had replaced the whole system from water tanks to pumps to computer guts by the end of eight or nine years. Not worth the money in our opinion (about $16,000 in 2008 plus thousands in replacement costs and repairs).

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