E.C.O. at Whitewater Challengers
Environmentally Conscientious Outfitting
Programs, Practices and Partnerships with our Guests, Vendors and Crew
At Whitewater Challengers, we consider it a remarkable privilege to live, work and play in some of nature’s most remarkable and pristine places…on crystal clear mountain streams, surrounded by unspoiled, forested mountains, sparkling waterfalls, crisp clean air, and richly diverse eco-systems. So environmental stewardship and climate-friendly adventure travel go hand-in-hand at Whitewater Challengers. Our mission is to provide great adventure vacation activities in a way that leaves little or no environmental footprint. We’re excited about the prospect of preserving for future generations, not only the special rivers and trails where we work and play, but also the world at large. We hope you’ll bring your insight and enthusiasm to this mission as well.
Today, more than ever, it makes sense to do the things we can, to keep our natural environment healthy and clean. We invite our guests, our vendors and our crew to join us in a working partnership to assure that Whitewater Challengers’ adventure outings reflect the kind of stewardship that will preserve and protect these special resources. This invitation comes with a very special feature…a series of programs for which we’ll commit funds from our own E.C.O. savings account to match your participation in efforts like reforestation and the important pursuit of carbon neutrality.
Here’s a brief overview of…
- Programs and practices in place at Whitewater Challengers
- How you can participate to assure that yours is a carbon-neutral, Eco-friendly adventure outing
- Our matching “Carbon Offsets” program
- Our matching “Pledge to Plant” program
- Some of Whitewater Challengers’ E.C.O. goals for this year
Programs and practices currently in place at Whitewater Challengers:
Over the years, we’ve implemented a number of programs in support of our commitment to environmental stewardship, both locally and globally. Here are a few of them:
- Contributing a portion of every rafting ticket to river conservation and reforestation projects
- Recycling cans, bottles and cardboard at our rafting centers
- Printing flyers and brochures on recycled paper
- Installing energy-efficient fluorescent lighting in our retail shop
- Using biodegradable corn-based plastic ware in our food service
- Using odor-free, waterless/composting BioSun toilets (in addition to our flush facilities)
- Packing out all litter from our (and others’) group trips on our rivers and trails
- Conducting organized river cleanups with BSP and local Scouting organizations
- Purchasing carbon offsets to assure carbon-neutrality for all of our buses, trucks, and vans
- Implementing a matching Carbon Offsets program for our guests and our crew
- Implementing a matching Pledge to Plant program for our guests and our crew
How you can participate to assure that yours is a carbon-neutral, Eco-friendly adventure outing:
- A good starting point is to look for the E.C.O. logo whenever you reserve a whitewater rafting, biking, kayaking or camping adventure. With an E.C.O. (Environmentally Conscientious Outfitter), you are assured the highest level of commitment to the kinds of programs that minimize our environmental footprint, and that maximize specific benefits to the environment. But beyond that, there are real opportunities for you to help too. Here are a few of the ways we invite you to participate:
- Carpooling (you save and the environment saves)
- Using our waterless toilets (No, they’re not stinky. Today’s technology is quite amazing.)
- Using the recycle bins around the Rafting Center for aluminum cans and plastic bottles
- Collecting your own cans and bottles from home, and depositing them here
- Leaving no litter or debris behind, on our rivers and trails
- Picking up after others … if you see it, snag it
- Respecting the flora and fauna you encounter during your adventure trip
- Cutting no trees / using only dead wood for campfires
- Dousing campfires quickly and completely to limit lingering smoke
- Participating in Whitewater Challengers’ matching Carbon Offsets program
- Participating in Whitewater Challengers’ matching Pledge to Plant program
- Visiting www.greenlaces.org to make your personal “promise to the planet”
Whitewater Challengers’ Carbon Offsets program:
What are Carbon Offsets and why are they important? Carbon Offsets are a means to mitigate some of the carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions that are generated by everything we do in the course of our lives. When we drive a vehicle, heat a home or use electrical lighting, CO2 emissions are generated, either directly, or indirectly, during the generation of the electric power we consume. When we purchase food, clothing, appliances, or anything else, there are CO2 emissions associated with their manufacture and transportation.
There’s no disputing that carbon dioxide has reached historic levels in the atmosphere, and this is generally accepted as a factor in the accelerating rate of climate change. So minimizing or eliminating our CO2 emissions is a worthy objective, if we want to be a part of the solution to global warming.
But taking even the most extreme measures would leave us far short of living a “carbon neutral” existence (i.e., removing from the atmosphere as much CO2 as we contribute to it). The alternative? By purchasing Certified Carbon Offsets (also known as Carbon Credits), each of us can mitigate our carbon footprint by reducing the CO2 emissions permitted of others (typically industrial emissions) while at the same time funding projects like renewable energy, energy efficiency and reforestation.
At Whitewater Challengers, we’ve already funded Carbon Credits each year sufficient to offset emissions from our entire fleet of buses, trucks and vans. If you’ll join us in striving for carbon neutrality, we’ll pay 50% of the Carbon Credit cost required to offset the CO2 emissions associated with your visit to Whitewater Challengers, or if you choose, 50% of the CO2 emissions associated with all your recreation/leisure travel for an entire year. (See chart below.)
Whitewater Challengers Matching Contribution
|Carbon Offset cost for typical round-trip drive to Whitewater Challengers||$.50||$.25||$.25|
|Carbon Offset cost for typical recreation/leisure travel for one year||$5.50||$2.75||$2.75|
How does it work? Just include with your rafting payment a separate check payable to CarbonFund.org and we’ll match your contribution up to $2.75. Or, visit www.CarbonFund.org and purchase Carbon Offsets directly, in any amount. Send us your receipt, and we’ll match your contribution (up to $2.75) for the current year. Naturally, you are welcome to contribute more, if you wish.
Whitewater Challengers’ Pledge to Plant program:
At Whitewater Challengers, we’re especially fond of the magnificently wooded forests that are home to the special rivers and trails that are at the core of our adventure programs. We also recognize the critical role that forests play in providing a natural offset against the daily dose of CO2 emissions that enter our atmosphere. Remarkably, a single mature tree can absorb carbon dioxide at a rate of 48 lbs./year and release enough oxygen back into the atmosphere to support 2 human beings.
So planting a tree is much more than just a symbolic act of environmental stewardship. Trees make a difference…a big difference. We invite you to Pledge to Plant one tree this year. Tell us about your new tree, and we’ll triple your effort by planting two additional trees! Together, we can support six of our world’s citizens oxygen needs for an entire year!
Just sign up on our Pledge to Plant form, and we’ll be glad to join you in making our collective contribution to global stewardship.
Pledge to Plant Commitment Form
I, ___________________________ pledge to plant one tree before the end of this calendar year. I understand that Whitewater Challengers will triple my undertaking by planting two additional trees on my behalf.
Some of our ECO goals for this year:
Naturally, we hope that all of our guests and crew participate in our Carbon Offsets and Pledge to Plant programs. Some of our goals for this year include:
- Matching our guests and crew in planting at least 5,000 trees
- Matching our guests and crew in purchasing at least 1,000 Carbon Offsets
- Recycling at least 25,000 aluminum cans
- Recycling at least 25,000 plastic bottles
- Recycling at least 10,000 pounds of cardboard