Natural materials—stone, wood, clay—are used extensively. Our interior finishes are plant-based (non-petroleum), non-toxic, no-VOC. The soaps we provide are made of simple biodegradable ingredients. And of course, we never use any toxic substances for cleaning.
Suitable Digs has 100% of its electrical usage powered by the sun, in the form of a 16-panel solar tracking system. Our excess electricity is sold back to the power company. A geodesic dome greenhouse supports the growing of wonderful figs in the summertime, and a variety of greens during winter. All interior lighting and exterior building lights are compact fluorescent or LED. Our exterior landscape lighting is solar-powered. When weather permits, we line-dry our sheets and towels.
Two greywater systems channel water from some of the sinks and showers to irrigate certain areas of the landscape. We also collect rainwater from the roofs into three 3,000-gallon tanks, then use it to water the gardens. In addition to roof-water collection, various measures are employed on the land to capture and hold the 12” of rainfall received annually in Santa Fe: terracing, extensive mulching, native grass restoration and swales. Hot water systems are primarily “on-demand” water heaters, eliminating the need for continuously heated hot-water tanks.
We love to grow fruit, vegetables, herbs, nuts and flowers on the premises, which we fertilize only with compost and minerals from earth-based materials. No toxic substances of any sort, for any purpose, have ever been used on the land. All recyclable materials are, indeed, recycled. Our kitchen and garden wastes are composted in bins for the fertilization of the gardens. Three state-of-the-art composting toilets turn waste into rich compost.
Pellet stoves are the primary source of heat in the wintertime. Instead of burning trees, these wood-burning stoves burn small pellets made of compressed sawdust, thus creating energy from what would normally be a waste product.