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