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Waste Reduction in Action – Rosewood Miramar

By Oct 31, 2023

Santa Barbara County is home to the Rosewood Miramar Beach resort (Miramar), a beautiful destination of the Caruso report collection. The Miramar is located just south of the Santa Barbara city limits on the coast of Montecito. When you enter the property, you can see beautiful cottages and inviting landscape. Miramar offers luxurious lounging areas on the coast and impressive scenic views of the Santa Ynez mountains. However, on the inside you’ll find a bustling staff working hard to support not only resort operations, but inspiring sustainability initiatives.The Miramar’s sustainability efforts are vast and have been ongoing since they opened in 2019. Most impressively, the resort was one of the very first locations to be awarded a Michelin Green Star. Miramar employee Hannah Rock explained that the Miramar earned a Michelin Green Star in 2021 and 2022, which was a brand-new initiative created by the Michelin Board in 2021. They were awarded this star because their responsible handling of waste as well as their focus on procuring sustainable ingredients by working with local farmers. Working with local farmers not only reduces food miles, but also helps food have the longest shelf life possible. A longer shelf life lessens the risk of the food going bad before it was planned to be used. This is an awesome tip for other businesses looking to reduce food waste.

The Miramar also takes proactive steps to best manage and reduce their waste. This includes subscribing to waste services above their required levels, weighing all of the waste they produce to track metrics, and donating excess edible food instead of throwing it away.

The Miramar is serviced by the ReSource Center, which is a state-of-the-art facility that has the ability to sort through the community’s trash and can separate organic waste to be composted instead of landfilled. Because of this, they are not required to be on the source separated organic waste program signified by yellow carts, since the ReSource Center is able to sort their organic waste out for them. However, they have opted for separate organics service anyway. This is beneficial because source separated organic waste loads go straight to be composted. This ultimately uses less energy because the waste doesn’t need to be sorted out of the trash. Additionally, the “cleaner” food scraps help create better quality compost to be used locally throughout the region. As an added bonus, and because of these benefits, source separated organics services are pound-for-pound cheaper than trash service. The more organic waste the Miramar successfully diverts to this program, the less trash service they need and the larger savings they’ll see on their waste bill. This is a great win-win for local businesses and the environment.

By weighing their waste, the resort is able to track how much waste they generate and record their own metrics. This is actually a practice across all Caruso resorts. This helps the group pinpoint areas to improve and celebrate their diversion efforts. Policies like this help make sustainability a part of company culture and keeps sustainability goals on track. Resource Recovery and Waste Management Division staff always recommend doing an individual audit to help businesses see where they are producing the most waste to create an effective waste reduction plan.Lastly and most recently, the Miramar used County tools to develop a relationship with the Friendship Center of Santa Barbara to donate their edible food instead of throwing it away. This helps reduce the amount of edible food going to waste, and benefits a local non-profit. This proves once again that the Miramar is a community-oriented sustainability leader.

All of these efforts really add up. Hannah stated that these efforts not only benefit the company and attract consumers, but also meaningfully connect the resort to the local community by giving back. They know that they are taking care of their local landscapes and ocean environment, and putting their best eco-conscious foot forward.The Miramar also partners with other organizations including, Surfrider and FishChoice. They initial work with these smaller local groups are what lead to larger initiatives like pursuing the Michelin Green Star. These steps have also been good for business. The Miramar is able to attract clients who have the same values. Some clients specifically choose the Miramar for their events because of their efforts.

The Miramar Resort has taken advantage of County programs to support their sustainability goals. We are very excited to showcase their work and have them as a local waste reduction leader. For more information on their efforts please contact Hannah Rock at (650) 399-6387.