We here at the Bird Rock Hotel get really excited about Earth Day. Every one of us not cleaning your room, checking you in or making sure all the lights work on that day, helps with the Great Island Beach Clean-up to be Litter Free by the Salish Sea. It feels invigorating to know there are billions of people all over the world doing the same. Afterwards the entire island gets together, shows off their garbage, wins prizes and goes to San Juan Brewing’s huge afterparty with live music, dancing, amazing food and free beer for volunteers. Psst, you are invited!
There are so many easy ways to help keep our little island pristine and honor and respect the mighty Salish Sea. We have some tips on how to be a sustainable traveler on San Juan Island. Will you join us?
Choose Green Lodging
Come stay with us. We offer yummy, organic body care products in our guest rooms from the Pelindaba Lavender Farm down the road. We recycle, outfitted our hotel with LED lights, switched to keyless entry and installed energy saving heat pumps with A/C in a majority of our rooms. Our laundry detergent is biodegradable. We use e-cloth for all of our cleaning, no chemicals, just water and the bacteria killing cloths. We serve locally roasted, shade-grown coffee in our lobby and are always looking for more ways to make things greener and nicer and better.
Leave Your Car Behind
Bird Rock Hotel is only steps away from the ferry dock and all the restaurants, shops and museums in cute Friday Harbor. Keep your carbon footprint tiny and walk on the ferry. Check out our free Beach Cruiser Bikes and head to the nearest beach for a picnic. We don’t recommend to take our bikes all over the island. It’s hilly here and our bikes are single speed. Rent an e-bike or an electric FUV (fun utility vehicle) from Susie’s Mopeds to explore all the sights.
Visit the lovely Saturday Farmer’s Market and buy locally made souvenirs, arts and crafts. Bike to San Juan Vineyard or Madrone Cellars for a wine tasting. Drink Yachter’s Daughter’s Helles from San Juan Brewing instead of Heineken from Holland. Pick a whale watching outfitter who gives part of their proceeds to salmon restoration.
Dine at the many, outstanding, family owned Farm-to-Table restaurants on San Juan Island. Indulge in island grown meat and produce. Pick oyster, clam and mussel dishes from the local Westcott Bay Shellfish Farm (or treat yourself to lunch at the farm, so good). And always eat wild fish. Fish farms damage the local ecosystem with their pesticide use. Farmed fish contain petroleum based artificial color, unhealthy fats, and escapees compete with wild fish for habitat.
Leave It Better Than You Found It
Our two stunning National Historical Parks not only tell the history of white settler life, they are also the ancestral land of the Coast Salish Peoples and fragile habitat for endangered species like the Island Marble Butterfly and the reintroduced Western Bluebird. Take lot’s of pictures and leave the seashells, wildflowers and arrow heads in place. Better yet, pick up micro-plastic and Styrofoam from the beaches, which look like food to wildlife and do real harm. Styrofoam has been banned on San Juan Island since 2010, but gets swept onto our beaches from other places.
Keep Wildlife Wild
No matter how adorable, please never feed wildlife. Don’t even throw your egg shells or apple cores into the woods. Wildlife habituated to human food will become problematic. Stay on the trail. Keep your distance. Give them room. Never touch a wild animal. If you come across an injured owl or fox, please contact the Wolf Hollow Wildlife Rehabilitation Center on the isle at 360-378-5000.
Drinking water is precious on an island without rivers. Friday Harbor’s water comes from a tiny lake in the middle of the isle and is about three time more expensive than on the mainland. Please luxuriate on your vacation and if it doesn’t impede your sense of comfort, re-use your towels and take shorter showers.
Thank you so much. See you at the beach!