How can I make my small vacation cabin in the mountains better for the environment?



  1. 0 Votes

    There are a number of things you can do. First, I am assuming that the cabin is already built, so we can skip discussion of the construction issues (if it is not built, let me know, and I can add a comment for those issues as well).

    The two main issues are going to be energy and plumbing. Does the cabin have electricity? If not, do you want it to have electricity? If so, you may consider getting the electricity from solar panels instead of grid-power. Solar is easy to implement, especially in a small-demand situation like a cabin. The panels can be attached to the roof, where their appearance will alter the overall view minimally, if at all.

    Second, does the cabin have plumbing? If it has restroom facilities, you may want to consider some of the more eco-friendly septic systems, such as peat-based systems. This eliminates the use of chemicals that may be seeping into the groundwater, but at the same time properly treats the waste.

    Finally, I’m attaching two links to articles on eco-friendly cabins that may provide some additional information.


  2. 0 Votes

    I live in the Sierra Mountains, and one of the most significantly damaging things that folks do with their property out in these Mountains is landscape.  Often times, high altitude environments/habitats contain specific plants and animals.  The soil is usually not very robust, and lawns are not natural.  Though it is appealing to have a sweeping lawn (particularly if you have plenty of open space on your mountain-side property), landscaping around your mountain cabin can be damaging to native plants and animals.  Planting grass and subsequently fertilizing it will ultimately cause other non-native pants to move in and feed off the fertilizer, natural or otherwise.  Water usage is also something to consider when landscaping; will the plants you plant require more water than is naturally forthcoming in the mountains where you live?  Also, non-native animals that feed on or take shelter in your non-native plants can out-compete native animals, even in just a small space.  So, while you consider your plumbing and electric options, please also consider the plants and animals with whom you share your mountain-side space.  Please see chapter 5 at the link below.

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