Spirit of the West Adventures is one for the bucket list. Not only do they kayak to some of the world’s most beautiful waters off the coast of Vancouver Island, but the company is doing their upmost reduce their carbon footprint and protect the places they visit. The website is very thorough with lots of information on all aspects of their trips. Guests acknowledge and are held accountable to their company philosophies and environmental actions. These philosophies are part of the reason guests choose to kayak with ecotourism business Spirit of the West Adventures.
Their list of green tourism business ideas is impressive; from the wood-fired hot tub at basecamp to wild salmon dinners, solar charging on route to campaigning against deforestation and nurturing relationships with First Nations groups.
What’s Green About Spirit of the West Adventures
There are many ways that Spirit of the West Adventures tries to minimize their environmental impact on trips as well as in their operations. Some of their major initiatives include reducing their fuel consumption and contributing to non-profit organizations like One Percent for the Planet.
While kayaking, they practice minimum impact camping in order to preserve the nature of the coast and they abide by all whale watching guidelines and do their best to avoid disturbing wildlife from their normal behaviour.
Here are a few other ways Spirit of the West Adventures is reducing their impact on the earth
- Hot tub is heated by heated with scavenged waste wood from local beaches rather than electricity
- Use only 100% recycled, unbleached paper and print double sided
- Use CFLs and LEDs, as well as natural lighting as much as possible
- Purchase clothing and products from ethical sources (Me to We t-shirts)
- Use as much local and organic food products as possible (from local farms, fishermen and bakeries), and serve locally roasted, fair-trade organic, shade grown coffee from Aroma Specialty Coffee Roasters on Quadra Island
- Compost all organic waste and recycle everything they possibly can
- Use eco-friendly yard maintenance practices (native species, electric mower, rainwater collection and pesticide free gardening practices)
- Energy efficient washer/dryer, plus hang drying clothes
- Low flow shower head and taps and low flush toilets
- Use only biodegradable and phosphate free dish soaps
- Offer free use of rechargeable batteries on trips and solar charging
- Give every guest a Spirit of the West re-usable mug to use while on trip, which encourages continued use of a travel mug once back home
- Plan trips to maximize commuting and carpooling so fuel consumption is most efficient
- Strong connection with the community – fundraising, loaning transport vans, giving back and staff volunteering
With so much achieved so far and a strong personal environmental philosophy, it is now a matter of continuing to lead to maintain their gold award. Having some longer term goals such as solar PV and hot water will be a focus.
Connecting with guests on this level also becomes an additional mechanism for communicating all the other excellent initiatives the company has already implemented. All in all, Spirit of the West has done a great job in creating a truly sustainable business.
Learn more about how your tour company can be environmentally friendly.