Excursion guides are extremely knowledgeable about the environmental issues that affect this part of the world. Meals and products available for purchase support local economies and recognize local aboriginal right of place. Purchasing remains a very thoughtful process and a large emphasis is put on upstream waste minimization. There’s something to be said about being on a boat with a limited amount of resources. A true test of sustainability.
In addition to giving their guests a delightful experience in BC’s nature and culture, their trips are about giving back to the planet. Maple Leaf Adventures is built on a “triple bottom line” philosophy that shareholders agree to. Social, financial, and environmental are all weighed equally when making decisions.
Maple Leaf Adventures is active on different boards to develop a framework for ecotourism on the coast. Kevin Smith, president of Maple Leaf Adventures, is a board member of the Commercial Bear Viewing Association and is part of the executive committee of the Wilderness Tourism Association. Maureen Gordon, partner and marketing director of Maple Leaf Adventures, is on the board of directors for Raincoast Conservation.
There are many green aspects affiliated with their boats. On Swell, a converted tug, they reuse heat from the engine to heat the water and the boat, therefore, not requiring extra power.
Staff and guests are educated about conservation and social sustainability as part of the education plan for each trip. Some of the important information includes: the value of bear viewing over trophy hunting, the needs for protected areas, the needs of wildlife, the need for conservation, and the understanding of economic realities for remote communities.
Staff at Maple Leaf love finding out that they have had a long lasting effect on their guests. They enjoy hearing about how guests have changed the way they live once they return home. Typical changes include donating to conservation efforts, riding their bike more or even changing the type of car that they drive. All of this is what Maple Leaf hopes their trips bring to guests; a life changing experience.
And on top of all of that, 1% of all revenue is donated to conservation on the coast, audited by 1% For the Planet.
This Gold Green Tourism member is leading the way in sustainable tourism, and taking a trip with Maple Leaf Adventures will definitely be an experience you never forget.