For the Environment…
At Paca de Paja we are attempting to reduce our impact and live in an environmentally sustainable way. We:
- harvest rainwater & washer grey water
- compost and have a small garden
- use solar collector to heat our hot water
- generate 95% of our electricity by solar panels
- use motion-detector outdoor lighting
- use clotheslines for 90% of all laundry
- bake all breads & beans in outdoor solar oven
- focus on native and arid-adapted plants for landscaping
- heat with radiant floor heating & solar-heated hot water
- during multiple-day B&B stay, wash linens only if requested
- don’t use fabric softeners or dryer papers
- recycle glass, tin, paper, cardboard, aluminum, & plastic
- dry bed linens on the clothesline (aka solar dryer)
- minimize use of plastic, styrafoam, or paper disposables
Recognitions for good “green” practices and sustainable design:
- Paca de Paja was highlighted in the 2009 Arizona Highways magazine “Best of Arizona… ” feature article as the “Best Eco-Friendly Accommodation in the State.”
- Green Living magazine included a feature article on Paca de Paja as an example of a successful green business in their May 2016 issue.
- Paca de Paja is a member of the non-profit Green America and was the first Arizona B&B to be included in the National Green Pages, meeting their stringent inclusion criteria.
- Paca de Paja was featured in a 2010 Arizona Republic newspaper article on five eco-friendly and sustainable B&Bs in Arizona.
- Paca de Paja has been invited to be part of the annual Tucson Innovative Home tour twice – as one of 20 homes in Tucson showcasing innovative energy-efficient design.
- Paca de Paja was included in Catherine Wanek’s 2003 book The New Strawbale Home.
The Paca de Paja house itself is a model of low-impact design. The two-foot thick strawbale walls are not only handsome, but also save energy. Strawbale is one of the most sustainable, energy-efficient forms of construction in existence, utilizing a renewable resource (straw), minimizing the amount of lumber needed, and creating walls with an R-value of 50. We used local resources for the bales, thus reducing transportation costs for our primary building materials. We ensured minimum disturbance of the native vegetation that was here when the house was built so the overall footprint is small.