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 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. This company has earned the gold level certification from Sustainable Tourism for their efforts and are leaders in their sustainability actions.
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.
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. Sustainable Tourism recommends they use guest feedback to understand how to solve issues like improving commuting, energy efficiency and reducing food miles even further. 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.