This KOA is Full of Hot Air

December 18, 2010
The turbine at the Carlsbad, New Mexico KOA may be small in size, but it makes a big difference in energy use.

There are just some things you’ve gotta love about kamping in Carlsbad, New Mexico. Like laying by the pool after taking a dip in sun-warmed water, your eyes closed, the summer breezes blowing across your face. And then, looking up, you notice three blades high overhead, turning almost silently and casting a dancing shadow across the ground.

But that’s not all they’re doing. In fact, since 2008 this turbine has been helping to power the kampground’s offices, restaurants and bathrooms.

“It has been a positive no matter how you look at it,” said Susan Bacher, who owns the campground with her husband Scott. “We save money, but it’s also good to know that we are using a source that’s constantly renewable.”

And it’s a perfect solution in Carlsbad, where you can usually count on a breeze.

Like many KOAs across the nation, the Carlsbad KOA has gone beyond recycling to conserve energy in ways that have a lot of impact, but may not be noticeable at first glance. For instance, LED exit lights and electronic ballasts use a third less electricity, but are just as bright to keep campers just as safe. And in the Kamp Store, you can get your own reusable aluminum water bottle and your little campers can grab toy animals that are stuffed with recycled plastics.

Outside, you can get wet and stay green every time you hit the pool, thanks to a passive solar heater. Dark coils, filled with water, set on the roof of the pool house. The water in the coils heats up from the sun and then is funneled back down into the pool. That means a perfect temp every time you want to go for a swim…all without using more energy. And who can say no to that?

Have some great conservation ideas for KOA or your fellow KOA campers? Send us your suggestions on how to Kamp Green!

KOA is going green

7 Responses

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  1. Jan Higgins

    Kampong Green

    Why do so few kampgrounds recycle anything. This trip so far we have stayed in 14 different KOA ‘s and hardly anyone recycles. A couple have recycled cans only and the Santa Fe north recycled all kinds of things but that is one thing we really find disappointing.

    May 19, 20105:20 pm
    • KOA

      Thanks for your feedback, Jan. Greener practices have been a big topic among KOA franchisees–and we’ll make sure that your comments are shared with them. If you have any other ideas for us, we’d love to hear them!

      May 20, 20107:03 am
      • Jan Higgins

        Further to my comment about recycling. If at least, bottles and cans were recycled, the money could be put towards the kids camp fund or find a local group such as scouts or sports teams to pick them up.

        May 20, 20108:12 am
  2. John C Waller

    We have stayed at several KOA’s and find that the lack of shade trees and vegitation between spaces is lacking and a much desired thing for us. Nature is why we go RVing. Just a suggestion. Otherwise we love KOA.

    May 20, 20107:42 am
  3. John C Waller

    As an extention of the above statement, Disney World Fort Wilderness is are favorite camp ground due to the nature that is previlent there. It does not feel like a camp ground due to the nature which is abountant there. Check it out.

    May 20, 20108:01 am
  4. Beachline

    I spent almost nine years on the road in a motor home and stayed in as many KOA’s as possible. Each KOA had unique features depending upon location and topography. Sometimes the area does not lend itself to support shade trees, but, most KOA’s provide as much privacy as possible for campers.

    With the influx of mega motor homes and the demand for larger spaces some vegetation has to be sacrificed. I started out camping in a tent with my children, and graduated to van camper and tent to accommodate my growing family, then to a motor home after I retired. Now I am back to van and tent, and it is really enjoyable to be able to fit into a tree shaded spot or a site near a lake or a view of the ocean.

    May 26, 20109:06 am
  5. Beachline

    P.S. Bring plastic bags or color coded milk crates for your recycle items. If every camper did this the parks would get the message and establish recycling bins. Now, having said that, some counties and towns still do not recycle so disposing of these items would present a problem for the KOA managers. If anyone has a solution for this problem please share with us. I bought my color coded bins at a Target store. in the home decor area.

    May 26, 20109:12 am