Located in the MNIDOO GAAMI Georgian Bay Biosphere, a UNESCO designated site, Oak Bay Luxury getaway offers travellers accommodations where sustainability practices are found and encouraged. Oak Bay Luxury Getaway recently became Sustainable Tourism GOLD Certified – read below to learn more as owner Jennifer Schnier shares some insight about their sustainability journey:
Tell us a bit about your business. What makes you different?
We calculate and weigh waste and recycling, and we work to offset any carbon emissions by planting trees, using sustainable products, considering our supply change and encouraging local purchasing. We offer free EV charging and provide on site many kitchen items that help reduce waste.
Our indoors have (and a guest counted) 75 plus plants that help clean the air inside. We use a heat pump for our climate control and intentionally give full access to the thermostat to our guests.
We water with Rain Barrels, have dimmers, LED lights and upcycled furniture. These decisions are extremely important because it passes over the control to the guest. They collect food waste, conserve energy, enjoy fresh air, eat local, and know that they are contributing to an ecosystem for the greater good.
Why is sustainability important to you/your business?
We are located in a UNESCO biosphere. We have a responsibility to care, to educate and to showcase this area. We encourage thoughtful travel, and by doing so attract visitors who really care about sustainable solutions.
By intentionally offering sustainable solutions to our guests they can make decisions as well that support their sustainable goals. We are creating an intentional ecosystem here with the traveller, the planet as a priority, way over profit.
Why did you join GreenStep Sustainable Tourism?
We have a location that needs to be on the map. We are in Muskoka, on the Great Lakes, surrounded by water rocks and trees. By joining with like minded organizations we can continue to grow, learn, evolve and be better stewards of the Land.
What sustainability related projects, policies or initiatives do you most want travelers to know about?
I think we are most excited about our landscaping. We intentionally used Muskoka organic granite around the entire property, instead of glued and dyed stone. This makes walking on our property for our guests super cool, because they are walking on the Canadian Shield. We also have a huge pollinator garden and adorable upcycled furniture offering varied experiences for our guests.
What are some goals and/or actions you plan to take in the future to further increase the sustainability of your business?
We are working on plans to have a geothermal hot tub outside, that is salt water and solar lighted. We also want to continue to grow our gardens including edible options for our guests. Ethan Schnier, my youngest son just graduated from Environmental Science from the University of Western Ontario. Ethan joined the team a couple years ago and I look to him for the logic and science of decision making, while I maintain procedures and policies and implementation.
To learn more about Oak Bay Luxury Getaway- head over to their website at https://www.oakbayluxurygetaway.com/