Environmental Stewardship

It is hard not to be aware of the environment at Post Ranch Inn. The architects’ environmental designs were intended for people to feel a part of nature, not just observers of it. A long-time leader in responsible tourism, Post Ranch’s goal is to create a distinctive, luxurious guest experience that melds seamlessly with environmental and social stewardship. We invite you to read on to learn more about the eco-efforts we’ve proudly put into practice at Post Ranch Inn.


  • Post Ranch’s innovative organic environmental design was intended for people to feel a part of nature rather than observers. Designers used bio-structure architecture, utilizing the natural materials of glass, wood, stone, and passive solar heat. Efforts were made to avoid cutting trees when the property was developed.

  • The earth-sheltered Ocean Houses were constructed with living, sod roofs that blend into the landscape and reduce heat loss.

  • The stilted 9-foot Tree Houses were designed to protect the fragile root balls of nearby redwood and oak trees.

  • Reclaimed wood, including old-growth redwood from old wine casks, adds a rich, deep red color to many guestroom walls.

  • Trees that fall on the property are retrieved and made into benches along the pathways.

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Natural Resources

  • All water used at Post Ranch Inn is sourced and treated via the seven wells located on property. That includes drinking water, water used in guestrooms, Sierra Mar, maintenance, laundry, etc.

  • Post Ranch Inn created the first commercial gray water system approved in Monterey County.

  • Water-efficient landscaping is used, focusing on native and drought-tolerant plants that are tended with organic fertilizer.

  • Single-use plastic bottles and Styrofoam are not used anywhere on the property.

  • An extensive, property-wide recycling program is in effect that includes paper, cardboard, cans, glass, aluminum, and compost from the restaurant. To minimize waste and packaging, recyclable materials are used whenever possible.

  • Plant waste is chipped, mulched, and returned to the earth.

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  • In 2009, Post Ranch installed a 990-panel solar array that produces almost 350,000 kWh of pollution-free electricity per year. According to the EPA, the system is estimated to reduce carbon emissions by approximately 600,000 pounds annually.

  • Guests are transported in fuel-efficient Lexus hybrid vehicles. Guests’ vehicles are parked away from the hotel rooms, avoiding traffic and emissions, and ensuring a serene environment.

  • A protective film has been placed on all south-facing windows to lower energy use.

  • LED and low-voltage lighting are used throughout the property.

  • Lighting and heat are designed to maximize guests’ comfort, including radiant heat on most guestrooms or bathroom floors.

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Land and Wildlife

  • Post Ranch maintains a 100-acre site that includes 90 protected acres of open space.

  • The land is home to a number of indigenous species, including several that are rare, endangered, or threatened such as the Smith’s blue butterfly (SBB), California red-legged frog (CRLF) and the California condor. To ensure these species continue to flourish, an extensive program is in effect that includes conservation, site management, habitat protection and enhancement and guest education.

  • Forest management is an ongoing project designed to maintain healthy woodlands and protect flora and fauna.

  • A habitat conservation plan discourages invasive non-native flora and fauna.

  • Post Ranch is active in the identification of Sudden Oak Death and removes diseased trees, while planting a new oak tree for each that succumbs.

  • Over 150 redwood and oak trees and other landscaping have been added, providing privacy, wind protection, shade, and beauty.

  • No chemical pesticides or herbicides are used on the property.

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Indoor Environment

  • Post Ranch Inn is designated as a non-smoking facility.

  • The property implements an indoor air quality management plan to ensure guests’ well-being, including maintenance and monitoring. In addition, Post Ranch has retained two indoor air quality experts, who advise Post Ranch on the many ways to maximize fresh air in the rooms and throughout all indoor public spaces.

  • HEPA air filters are used in public spaces.

  • Unprecedented steps have been taken to ensure that Sierra Mar has been set up as safely as possible. View the Food and Beverage section below for more details.

  • To view the current air quality in Sierra Mar, please click here.

  • A protective film has been placed on ocean-facing windows to reduce the sun’s harmful effects, maintain room comfort, and save energy.

  • The inn uses low-emitting materials to reduce indoor air contaminants’ amount, including adhesives, paints, coatings, and carpeting.

  • Low and zero-VOC paints are used.

  • The public property restrooms provide cotton hand towels.

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  • Sheets and towels are made from 100% certified organic cotton, using no harmful chemicals or dyes. In addition, the sheets are custom-made locally in Los Angeles.

  • Organic, biodegradable bath amenities are provided in larger refillable containers.

  • Water, which is sourced and treated via the seven on-property wells, is conserved with low-flow showerheads, water faucets, and toilets.

  • Refillable glass water bottles are used in lieu of plastic.

  • Reusable stainless steel water bottles are provided for use while visiting and to take home.

  • Laundry detergent is biodegradable and hypoallergenic, with botanicals and active herbal ingredients.

  • Each guestroom features a recycling bin.

  • Guests can assist in conservation efforts by opting out of a daily change of linens.

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Food and Beverage

  • Unprecedented steps have been taken to ensure that Sierra Mar has been set up as safely as possible. Some of these steps include installing a state-of-the-art ventilation system, placing ultra-efficient air purifiers throughout the dining room, tabletop air purifiers sit on each table, real-time air quality monitors allow us to adjust and optimize air quality as needed, plexiglass partitions have been placed between each table and more. To view the current air quality in Sierra Mar, please click here.

  • Sierra Mar supports small producers and the regional economy by serving all-natural free-range beef and poultry and fresh, onsite, or locally-grown seasonal organic vegetables and fruit.

  • The restaurant supports sustainable fishing practices and does not serve endangered or threatened fish. If possible, seafood purchased from local fishermen and other foods from local producers or farmers’ markets.

  • The onsite Chef’s Garden provides fresh produce, vegetables, and herbs for our guests to enjoy.

  • Fair-trade organic coffees and teas are used. Fresh organic fruits are juiced at the inn daily.

  • A robust recycling and composting program is carried out daily.

  • Sierra Mar uses biodegradable containers made of corn starch.

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  • Treatments units guests with nature elements, utilizing organic products, supporting local businesses, and recycling renewable energy. Certified organic linens and skincare products, eco-friendly detergent, and filtered laundry water for irrigation are examples of green standards.

  • Medicinal plants and flowers from the Chef’s Garden are used in signature spa products.

  • Healing Big Sur Jade, collected locally, is used in the Hot Stone Therapy treatment.

  • The honey used in facials is collected locally and is pollinated from Post Ranch flowers.

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  • Post Ranch and caring guests generously contribute to The Big Sur Community Fund, which was established to support local charitable organizations. 100% of the funds are used for charitable purposes and beneficiaries include the Big Sur Health Center, the Captain Cooper School, the Ventana Wildlife Society, and the Big Sur Fire Brigade.

  • Post Ranch Inn has selected one critical issue, affordable health care in Big Sur, to create positive change for the local community. Beginning in 1997, Post Ranch recruited all local businesses to donate $2 per employee, per month for the creation, management, and maintenance of a non-profit health center. This commitment to the community has increased the success of being awarded grants from foundations to further the local health care cause.

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  • Guests

    • In-room compendium includes information on Post Ranch’s endangered species and what is being done to protect them.

    • Guests are encouraged to enjoy various complimentary activities, highlighting the ecological, community, and individual resources at Post Ranch or in Big Sur.

  • Family of Employees

    • The staff follows the Post Ranch Inn Environmental Principles in all aspects of business.

    • Post Ranch Inn encourages employee education programs, especially in the area of environmental protection.

    • Training programs and demonstrations share important knowledge and the inn’s commitment to the environment and community with staff and others. These include the Benefits of Recycling, Fire Protection, CPR and AED and more.

    • Subsidized housing is provided for 60 employees.

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