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Help bring solar power to HI Beauty Creek Wilderness Hostel in the Rockies

March 10, 2020

HI Beauty Creek Wilderness Hostel sits along the Sunwapta River between Lake Louise and Jasper, not far from the Icefields Parkway. It doesn’t have any electricity, and lights and cooking appliances are powered by propane, but as part of HI Canada’s commitment to the planet, we’re always looking for ways to bring renewable energy sources to these off-the-grid properties. And now HI Beauty Creek is in the running for a grant that would allow us to do that—but we need your help and your votes!

The HI Sustainability Fund is powered by HI’s global head office in England. Each year, a select number of sustainability projects from hostels around the globe go before the public for their votes. A combination of those votes, internal voting and an international jury decides the three winners who will share £12,760 (about $22,600) of funding. This year, the project proposed for HI Beauty Creek Wilderness Hostel is one of six finalists, and voting is open now!

About the project

HI Beauty Creek is one of the four remaining wilderness hostels that doesn’t yet have a renewable energy source. Solar power has already been installed at HI Athabasca Falls, HI Rampart Creek, HI Mount Edith Cavell and HI Mosquito Creek, so we’d use the same kind of technology here as well. 

Solar power would allow the hostel to transition completely away from the existing propane lights and towards solar-powered LED lighting, which not only drops the hostel’s propane use by about 240 litres a year, it’ll reduce its CO2e emissions and it’s also safer for guests. Not to mention, the project will be a great educational opportunity for visitors when they see the creative and sustainable ways you can keep a property like this running so far from typical urban amenities.

Want to help make this project a reality? We need your votes!

                                                           Vote Now

Other sustainability projects

This isn’t the first time HI Canada has been up for a HI Sustainability Fund grant. In 2016, HI Rampart Creek Wilderness Hostel, just south of HI Beauty Creek along the Icefields Parkway, received funds to implement an innovative “hybrid refrigerator” project. Developed by HI staff and volunteers, this system equips existing refrigerators with a device that harnesses the outside winter air when the temperature drops below -4 and uses it to cool the fridge. In summer, the fridges are powered by solar power. This project lowered the hostel’s propane consumption by 1,400 litres per year.

In 2015, HI Canada used HI Sustainability Fund funds to install solar power at HI Athabasca Falls Wilderness Hostel. As a result, the hostel bid a cheerful "smell ya later" to their old diesel generator. The solar panels provide 100% of the hostel's electricity in the summer months and reduce the hostel's greenhouse gas emissions by a whopping 88%.

And in 2014, funds were awarded to install a micro-hydro system at HI Yoho National Park, Whiskey Jack Wilderness Hostel. This brought electricity to this remote summer-only hostel for the first time ever. The generator uses flowing water from a nearby stream to power the hostel's lights, fridge and communications, while also giving guests a glimpse of renewable energy in action.

Learn more about HI Canada’s wilderness hostels and our commitment to sustainability.

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