Rose Tree Inn upgraded their Sustainable Business Certification to Innovator/Silver level through the Sustainability Alliance.
Sedona AZ (October 5, 2020) – In early 2018, Rose Tree Inn in Uptown became only the second lodging establishment to achieve recognition as a Certified Sustainable Business. According to owner Malachy (Mal) Wienges, he heard about the certification at a Lodging Council meeting and wanted to lead the way for others. “Sustainability goes back a long time with my wife and myself,” Wienges explained. “We moved here 25 years ago from the east coast and were used to recycling and composting even before it was common.” From a business perspective, it’s easy to justify saving energy and water or reducing waste because it generally saves money. But when push comes to shove, Wienges describes their priorities this way: “The environment is #1 and cost saving is #2.”
After buying his five-unit building, Wienges made upgrades that turned the units into long- and short-term rentals and earned the Conservationist/Bronze level of certification for Rose Tree Inn. One of his first actions was to remove the plug-in air fresheners installed by previous owner, which used energy and emitted combustible chemical fragrances known to be irritants. He replaced them with houseplants.
He also immediately eliminated toxic pest control products, switching to a weed spray with tea tree oil and using diatomaceous earth for bugs. He replaced the wood roof with a fire-resistant fiberglass product that has a 50-year warranty and better insulation.
Since 2018, Rose Tree Inn has continued to improve the sustainability of their operation. They replaced in-room HVAC units with more efficient models, bought a high efficiency washing machine for linens, and replaced some refrigerators and microwaves. Shower heads and toilets are now low flow, and all the lighting was changed to LED. Tenants are encouraged to use off-peak electricity, and Wienges is planning to install solar panels soon. Not surprisingly, he also encourages tenants to recycle at Sedona Recycles’ drop off site in Uptown. The business recycles printer cartridges at Staples and takes bubble wrap to Sedona Recycles.
Safety matters too. When they bought the property the units didn’t have smoke detectors, so Wienges quickly installed smoke and carbon monoxide detectors and added fire extinguishers. They hired Joshua Tree Service to ensure a FireWise defensible space around the property, removing problem trees and pruning others. All invasive plants were removed and replaced with drought-tolerant species, and they use battery powered landscaping equipment which is quieter than gas-powered devices. One of the tenants maintains the landscaping part-time. They pay him above minimum wage and provide a flexible schedule with opportunities for special projects.
Wienges is active in the community. He’s a lifetime member of The Nature Conservancy and has long served in Sedona 30, a local charitable association that improves the community through financial support for nonprofit organizations. See who else is certified.