A first big step is done – congrats!
- You chose a low-impact type of vacation, small group, self-propelled and the list goes on!
- You chose an environmentally conscious and responsible company – we promise to do our part, with environmental commitment being at the core of everything we do!
- You contributed to the Sustainability Fund ($20/person) which goes directly to local conservation and research organizations that work to protect the areas you will explore and fall in love with.
Why stop there? Want to do more?
Read on for more inspiration and learn how responsible travel from start to finish can be done in a more sustainable manner.
9 Ways to Shrink Your Carbon Footprint While Traveling in BC:
- Use the City Bus – While public transit in BC is not great, within Vancouver the bus and SkyTrain are fast, efficient, economical, and a low carbon mode of transport. Check out Translink.ca to plan your route or download their app.
- Take the Scenic Route – The bus is a more sustainable option than car travel and most flights. Buses on Vancouver Island follow the ‘Old Island Highway / The Ocean Route’ (HWY 19A) that hugs the coastline and stops in small communities. It’s a great way to let someone else worry about where you are going while you enjoy the view.
- Carpooling – Ridesharing is a great option to travel with a lower environmental impact. If you have additional space in your vehicle, consider signing up for your tour’s Group Carpool site. Upon registering for your tour you will gain access to your Group Carpool link and more information about this option.
- Pedal Power – There are a variety of bicycle-sharing programs in Vancouver and Victoria where you can borrow a bike for a nominal fee for several hours and return to one of the various depots around the city. On Quadra Island, consider renting an electric bike from Island Cycle (non-electric bikes are available as well, but be forewarned Quadra Island is hilly!)
Here are some small steps you can take to reduce the emissions of your air travel:
- Book Direct & Daytime Flights – Did you know planes pollute the most during takeoff and landing? Planes also emit more during high altitude night flights.
- Pack Lightly – Less weight equals less fuel. It may seem like a small step, but reducing what we bring aboard adds up. Go the extra mile and keep your luggage to a carry-on item only. If you’re short on space, you can rent rain gear and sleeping bags from us.
- Fly Economy – More passengers can be seated in economy which makes for more efficient air travel.
- Choose a Responsible Airline – Do some research and choose an airline with clear goals for sustainability and minimizing their impacts. For travel within BC, check out Harbour Air Seaplanes. Not only are they North America’s first carbon-neutral airline, but they are also making great technological strides in the world of aviation by developing the first-ever electric commercial seaplanes.
- Offset Emissions from Your Flight – We recommend using a Canadian company called Offsetters. When you purchase carbon offsets through them you can support conservation projects that protect some of the places you will enjoy and visit on your tour: the Great Bear Forest Carbon Project and Quadra Island Forestland Conservation Project.
Responsible travel From YOUR Home to YOUR Tent
Inspiration, tips, and tricks to help you make sustainable choices when on the road.
Before you leave home:
- Take the Pledge – Created by the Wilderness Tourism Association of BC, to help set your intention for responsible travel every step of your journey. Download the PDF here!
- Eat It Up – Try to empty your fridge the week prior to your departure to reduce food waste. Freeze and compost what you can and or share with friends/neighbours what you can’t.
- Turn It Down – Turn off/down your heat or air conditioning systems.
- Unplug It – Disconnect all unnecessary electronics. These often continue to draw power while on standby mode.
- Offset – Consider offsetting the emissions produced by all of your transportation.
- Get Curious – Learn about the coast and where you are traveling. Make the most of your trip by checking out some of our favourite books about the environment, wildlife, and history of coastal British Columbia.
- Size Matters – Skip “travel-sized” items and instead, reuse existing containers for eco-friendly, biodegradable soaps and shampoos, or, even better, opt for plastic-free shampoo and soap bars.
- Game Changer – Try out a liquid menstrual cup. They are environmentally awesome, money-saving, and life-changing for both daily life and adventuring. No more running out of supplies or having to pack out used products!
- Pack Your Own Zero Waste Kit – Bring your own reusable and mesh bags, utensils, containers, water bottle, and coffee mug from home (pssst if you don’t have a reusable coffee mug, we will be sending you home with one). Flying? Pack your own headphones, travel pillow, and blanket/ versatile scarf to avoid the airline’s plastic packaging. On the plane is also another great place to pull out that reusable mug and avoid all the little plastic cups or alternatively ask for the can and no cup.
- Get Tuned Up and Ready to Roll – Make sure your car is tuned up and your tires are inflated to save on fuel and lower your emissions. Keep to the posted speed limit to help your fuel economy and keep the roads safe.
En route in British columbia
- Turn It Off – It is illegal to idle more than 3 minutes in many cities in BC. Turn off your car when it is safe to do so. This includes ferry lineups. With modern engines, it is also more fuel-efficient to turn engines off if idling for more than 30 seconds.
- Fishy Business – Look for Ocean Wise symbols on menus, which indicate it is a sustainable seafood option. If you do order salmon, ask if it is WILD Pacific salmon as this is a better option environmentally than farmed salmon.
- Don’t Get Too Excited – Don’t start your engine on the ferry or in line ups until the car in front of you turns on their engine and starts to move. Trust us you have time!
- Download It – Save paper and preload audiobooks or podcasts for your in-transit entertainment.
During your Stay in our local communities
Quadra Island’s Marina
Clean water all around
Lush rainforests & trails
Discovery Islands’ shorelines
- Save Water – Water is a precious resource on Vancouver Island and the Discovery Islands and shortages are common. Please take short showers and use water responsibly to help us keep our water table in good shape.
- Pack It Out – Minimize your waste generation and ensure what you do create is disposed of properly. Follow the signs at the Recycling Depots, use trash receptacles in parks, and take any excess garbage with you off-island.
- Show your Community Spirit – The local grocery stores on Quadra Island donate 1% of their sales to community organizations. Take a look at the Spirit Board when you pay and let them know where you’d like to direct your points. Some of our favourites are the Food Bank and Community Centre.
- Share a Ride – Carpool or share a taxi from the ferry.
- Slow Down – Please help keep our island(s) safe by driving the speed limit and giving walkers and bikers a wide berth.
- Switch It Off – If your accommodation has air conditioning, remember to turn it as well as lights, etc off when you leave.
- Cash (or Debit) is King – Paying with cash or by debit helps small businesses reduce fees associated with credit card transactions.
Responsible travel While on Tour WITH US
Leave no trace
Clean beaches for all
Biodegradable for the sea
- Respect All Wildlife – Responsible travel means we do our best to ensure our sightings don’t interrupt the natural behaviour and rhythms of wildlife. We follow the whale-watching regulations which help to keep the whales healthy and leaves a safe distance between us and cetaceans (200m for orcas, 100m for all other cetaceans). To learn more about responsible wildlife viewing, check out the Be Whale Wise Guidelines.
- Leave No Trace – Practice minimum impact camping. Your experienced guides will offer helpful tips and tricks that are best suited to follow responsible travel guidelines in the areas where we camp.
- Pick It Up – If you see garbage or plastic on your journey – pick it up! Plastic is one of the most difficult forms of litter to eradicate from beaches around the world. Even the most pristine areas on Earth are not untouched by plastic and every little effort helps.
- Break Down – Use biodegradable shampoos and soaps. (We supply these on our Johnstone Strait Ultimate and Whales and Wilderness Glamping tours where we provide shower facilities).
- Need to Light Up? – If you smoke, ask your guides about where and when it is appropriate and safe to do so. Ensure your cigarette is completely out and please collect your butts in our designated receptacle so we can send them to be recycled. To learn more about how you can do this at home too, check out Terracycle.