BIG BEAR IS DOING IT'S PART FOR A GREENER ENVIRONMENT
The community of Big Bear knows the importance of sustainable tourism, and has taken necessary steps to help promote ways to ensure there is as low of an impact on the environment as possible. Big Bear is aware of eco-friendly tourism, and continues to make improvements that aim to ensure that continual development brings a positive experience for its guests.
The City of Big Bear Lake and the U.S. Forest Service have both implemented green sustainable practices to improve quality of life and promote sustainable tourism in Big Bear Lake. Local Artist Tim Wolcott has also stepped up to the plate to give Big Bear Lake a truly green vision with his eco-friendly Gallery of the American Landscape.
GALLERY OF THE AMERICAN LANDSCAPE
Sustainable tourism goes beyond the responsibility of the public sector to define and implement. In 1996 Tim Wolcott envisioned and built the first and only green gallery. The Gallery of the American Landscape in Big Bear Lake was born from Wolcott's desire to have the first continuously exhibiting green photography gallery in the world.
The Gallery of the American Landscape invented the first archival printing process that does not use chemicals or heavy metals to print photographs. This green process uses only pure pigments directly from the earth, which are very similar to pigments American Natives used to paint petroglyphs on walls more than 12,000-20,000 years ago. All of the frames at the gallery use only managed forest woods, and all mounting materials are made of acid free adhesives that are inert and green. Timothy Wolcott co-invented the process, which was a process that Ansel Adams was working on before his death. Wolcott designed the process in 1991 and since then has been instrumental in making the process even better.
Wolcott's work has been described by many photographic critics to be of the finest work in the world. Some have called him the new "Ansel Adams of Photography", others the "Leonardo De Vinci of Photography" and the "Godfather of the Photographic Landscape." His work has graced the halls and exhibit walls of the finest photography galleries in the world and even the Smithsonian. Wolcott to date has won nearly every major award in photography and plans to build the very first chain of green photography galleries in the world.
GREEN IN THE CITY OF BIG BEAR LAKE
The City of Big Bear Lake is undertaking many green initiatives to reduce their carbon footprint on our beautiful Valley, while still promoting responsible, sustainable tourism. Their plans are broad in scope; from establishing green building codes, to installing energy efficient lighting, implementing alternative energy options, and establishing a non-motorized master plan that addresses the recreational needs of the Valley's citizens and tourists, while ultimately tackling the issue of climate change caused by CO2 emissions. See more details of what the City of Big Bear Lake is doing to keep the community green.
THE U.S. FOREST SERVICE KEEPS THE FOREST GREEN
The U.S. Forest Service is taking measures to respond to climate change. One segment of these efforts includes making operations greener. The San Bernardino National Forest (SBNF) has taken many steps over the last few years to increase the sustainability of operations. These measures include:
- The number of hybrid, electric and alternative fuel fleet vehicles has been increased.
- GPS onboard tracking computers have been installed on several vehicles to measure idle time, fuel consumption rates, and emissions in order to use that information to adjust the staff's driving habits.
- CFLs or low wattage fluorescent lights and energy star appliances have been installed at all facilities to conserve electricity.
- Over $1 million has been invested to address aging water systems, fixing leaks and improving efficiency.
- The use of video teleconferencing has been increased to reduce miles spent on the road in vehicles.
- The SBNF follows green purchasing guidelines for all office supplies.
- Most facilities recycle.
These measures represent a small portion of the efforts underway by SBNF and all National Forests across the country to address and respond to the effects of climate change.
WHEN ON A TRIP: REDUCING ENERGY WILL REDUCE CARBON
- Turn off your lights when you leave your hotel room.
- Try using a blanket or wearing more clothes instead of adjusting the thermostat.
- Whenever you are not using your computer simply shut it down or put in "sleep mode" instead of a screensaver.
- Unplug unused electronics (even your mobile phone).
- Take shorter showers, using less hot water. The average hotel guest uses over 300 liters of water per night. In a luxury hotel it is approx. 1800 liters.
- Air-dry your clothes instead of using a dryer.
- Recycle paper, plastic and glass.
- Buy organic food. Chemicals used in modern agriculture pollute the water supply, and require energy to produce.
- Shop with cloth bags instead of plastic or paper.
- Buy local products, reducing the energy required to get products to your store.
- Buy minimally packaged or bulk goods.
- Buy produce in season. Less energy is spent for its production.
BE A RESPONSIBLE TRAVELLER
- Use public transportation wherever possible, or just walk.
- Plan ahead. Do several errands in one trip, carpool, and use uncongested routes.
- Changing your car's air filter regularly improves fuel economy. Check it monthly.
- Check tires monthly and inflate to the maximum recommended pressure to increase fuel economy.
- Buy or rent a hybrid car: This will save considerable CO2 and money. Plug‐in hybrids save even more. Buy a fuel efficient car which will use less fuel per mile.
- Don't idle your car. Other than when in traffic, turn your engine off if you must wait for more than 30 seconds. Drive as soon as you start the car.
- Excess weight in vehicles reduces fuel efficiency. Remove excess weight like car racks and unnecessary objects stored in the trunk.
- Reduce air conditioning use. Don't keep the windows open when it is on. Try to use air vents instead of air conditioning.
- Use the cruise control when possible. Sharp breaking and accelerating are fuel wasting habits.
- Be considerate of the environment in the communities you visit.
- Don't litter. Carry a trash bag in your car for times when a trash receptacle isn’t available.
- Avoid contributing to the plastic problem. Use reusable shopping bags whenever possible.
- Avoid the excessive waste of using of plastic bottles.
- Support the local economy and buy locally. Eat at local restaurants and enjoy local culture!
- Support local organizations dedicated to helping the environment, both locally where you reside and the places you visit.