The blog formerly known as   Fake Plastic Fish

November 6, 2008

Thank you, Santa Sabina!

Back in May, I sent a letter to the Santa Sabina retreat center, where I have spent many beautiful silent weekends resting in stillness. My letter asked them to please find alternatives to the antibacterial soaps and synthetic air fresheners they had recently begun providing for the use of their guests.

A few weeks later, I received a beautiful card and note assuring me that the center had switched to more environmentally-friendly products. This past weekend, during another retreat, I was able to confirm first-hand that not only had they indeed made those specific changes, but were also working on ways to encourage their guests to be more aware of their environmental impact.

Entering the main doors, I encountered this cute little setup next to the water fountain. It’s actually not so hard to fill the bottle right from the fountain, but I guess they felt they’d make it as easy and obvious as possible.

Upstairs in the large linen closet, I found this:

And in the Dining Room was this composting system:

I don’t know why there is a plastic bag in the compost bin. I plan to send a follow-up thank you letter with a few more suggestions, for example that they might use compostable bags in the compost bin rather than plastic.

There were also signs about recycling cans and bottles as well as clearly labeled bins for the purpose. I’m pleased that Santa Sabina is taking its responsibility towards the earth seriously. How rarely do we get such immediate feedback to the letters that we send out?

Here are a few more photos I took this weekend, just because…

The hummingbirds were awesome in the rain. Check out my friend David’s amazing close-up photos. He has a real camera.

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14 years ago

Having just spent a 10 day silent retreat at Santa Sabina (The “Non Dual” Wisdom teachings as presented by Richard Miller) the premises (and bird) shots you took were warm reminders of the value gained in that contemplative setting.

As is true for many things, it is not the basic nature of “plastics” as a category that should be eliminated:
it is the fact that there are too many people on Earth to be supported. Yes, there are wiser usage patterns for our consumption of the plenty that the Earth is providing, but there is no life style that you could project that would sustain for long the 9 billion folks that will be on the planet shortly.

Nevertheless, I applaud your activism and concern on this issue.


Sarah / WaterNotes
15 years ago

Its always heartening to see that our thoughts and comments are being heard by businesses and other groups. :) I think its fantastic that they took so many steps all at once! Its a much slower process to get big corporations to change.. but oh so worth it when change does happen.

Cheap Like Me
15 years ago

I love how clear they made the whole process — both making it a no-brainer and potentially guilting everyone into participating. Right on!

15 years ago

I suspect they put a plastic garbage bag in the compost bin to keep the bin clean. How about No Bag rather than a sompostable paper one- the down side they may have to rinseout the bin!

Green Bean
15 years ago

How wonderful that they listened and responded right away. It looks beautiful and peaceful there.

ruchi aka arduous
15 years ago

Congrats, Beth. That’s awesome! :)