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Green Building Tools for Tribes

Greening Tribal Casinos

Tribally owned or operated gaming facilities have many opportunities to implement green building and operations. Environmental improvements can save money and have lasting environmental and social impacts for the tribe and for facility visitors.

Environmental improvements at casinos and resorts often result in larger community improvements as programs that started in casinos are implemented in the larger tribal community. Recycling, composting and green purchasing programs are great examples.

Green Building and Renewable Energy

  • Design, build and operate buildings to meet tribal, government, and/or third party green building standards, codes, or labeling programs. Learn more with EPA's Tribal Green Building Toolkit.
  • EPA green building and labeling programs include:
  • The Chumash Casino Resort has installed solar panels and reduced water use by more than 50% since 2012 through the use of reclaimed water in its drought-tolerant landscaping, cooling systems, and water-conserving toilets.

Green Cleaning

  • Choose less hazardous Safer Choice cleaning products and laundry products that perform well and are safer for human health and the environment.
  • Under an EPA Pollution Prevention cooperative agreement, San Francisco's Department of the Environment developed multi-lingual green cleaning training videos and fact sheets.Exit
  • Taking steps to reduce exposure can minimize harmful impacts to custodial workers, employees, and visitors; improve indoor air quality; and reduce pollution while ensuring effective of cleaning.

Golf Courses

  • Golf courses offer a number of greening opportunities, particularly in the areas of water reduction, waste reduction, and chemical use.
  • Smart landscaping practices can lead to significant savings by embracing the principles of "reduce, reuse, recycle, and rebuy." Applying these principals can improve the health and appearance of your large-scale landscape while protecting and preserving natural resources.
  • Integrated Pest Management (IPM) is an effective and environmentally sensitive approach to pest management that relies on a combination of common-sense practices. The University of California has developed information on IPM for turf grass managers.Exit

Kitchen/Restaurants and Food

Parking Lots and Garages

  • Adding designated areas new the facility for bike parking, electric vehicle charging, and alternative fuel vehicle parking supports greener transportation choices.
  • Lighting retrofits and energy efficient lighting can save significant amounts of money and reduce pollution and greenhouse gas emissions. EPA’s ENERGY STAR partnership programs offer a proven energy management strategy that helps measure current energy performance, setting goals, tracking savings, and rewarding improvements.
  • Remember most fluorescent lamps are considered universal waste under federal regulations and must be recycled or disposed of properly. Rules have been developed to streamline the environmental regulations for these wastes and reduce the regulatory burden for businesses that generate these wastes.

Waste Reduction and Recycling


  • Provide visitors with online information and maps on public transportation and shuttle services.
  • For facilities with shuttle services or vehicle fleets, use EPA Safer Choice labeled vehicle maintenance and cleaning products.
  • Biodiesel is an alternative fuel produced from domestic, renewable resources. Fats, oils, and greases from restaurant activities can be recycled into biodiesel. The "fat to fuel" process recovers energy and recycles waste oils that are either dumped in landfills or flushed down drains, clogging pipes and causing costly sewer spills.
  • The Chumash Resort Casino developed a program to recycle oil from the casino restaurants into fuel for their fleet vehicles.

Swimming Pools

  • Swimming pools offer opportunities to reduce energy and chemical use.
  • Information on solar and high efficiency pool heaters and management techniques is available from the Department of Energy.
  • The Konocti Vista Casino and Resort in Lakeport, California, changed operation of the hotel pool to better match the seasonal nature of their visitors and saved almost $17,000 per year.