Being More Eco-Friendly: AZA’s Personal Commitment to Sustainability & the Eco-Traveler
Many people are making greater efforts to be more “green” each year and finding ways to be more environmentally conscious. There are so many creative and simple ways to be more Earth-friendly such as recycling magazines by donating them to your gym, unplugging appliances after use, biking to work, growing a garden, taking a travel mug with you to the coffee shop, or turning the heat down a few degrees and throwing on a sweater. Or perhaps being a more eco-friendly traveler and visiting destinations that are restored or certified. Having an active role toward sustainability at home, work, in the community or your personal life is a goal everyone should take to heart throughout the year.
At Alaska Zipline Adventures being an Eco-Tour means more to our company than just picking up garbage on our grounds or having recycle containers available, which is why we go through the effort each season to track and analyze our goals to evaluate and further our sustainability policy. We sincerely want Sustainable Travel International’s stamp of approval to signify our continued commitment to the environment rather than a nice badge for our website! Here some of our guidelines we follow to determine our goals each year:
- AZA, as a small tour business, is committed to operating in an environmentally responsible and sustainable manner.
- AZA will develop sustainable habits by setting goals, creating a plan, following through and taking responsibility for any and all actions.
- Annual monitoring and analysis will be established to ensure continual improvements through corrective and preventive measures.
- AZA will encourage eco-conscious practices and education with all partners, employees and guests.
- AZA will adhere to any legal requirements to which the company subscribes, related to it’s environmental, economic and socio-cultural aspects.
- In addition to sustaining a successful business, AZA is committed to being good stewards of the community and environment through service projects and philanthropy efforts.
For 2013 our primary goal was to reduce our paper consumption by using digital waivers. Through a great electronic waiver company called WaiverApps we were able to decrease our paper waste by 5,000 sheets of paper! We were so thrilled with the simplicity and convenience of having our participants sign their waivers online though a computer or tablet. If any tour business or guiding service are in need of a digital waiver check out WaiverApps.
Looking ahead to our upcoming season, we would like to set out to prepare to complete an on-site inspection through Sustainable Travel International and achieve Silver Level of certification, find a solution to accurately track water usage throughout the months of operation and attend any sustainable educational and training events for principal “Green Team” members.
What are your “green” goals for the year? How about to be an Eco-tourist!! Here are a few simple ideas to be more green when packing for a trip or exploring a new place:
- Choose a destination that is dedicated to environmental protection and limiting their footprint on the land.
- Book a hotel or B&B that has incorporated eco-friendly practices and is eco-certified.
- Use mineral based sunscreen to protect the ocean from harmful chemicals.
- Bring reusable water bottles for drinking, bags for shopping and utensils for cooking.
- Maintain “Leave No Trace Behind” ethics when hiking or camping.
- Charge your phones and electronic devices with a solar charger.
- And support local vendors and businesses when you are traveling!
Let’s pledge to help make our world a little bit better everyday. Thank you for taking the time to read our blog and I enjoyed writing this 3-part series.
- Gin Anderson