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WOW another day on the water with 20+ Biggs Killer Whales. The Orca sighting have been unbelievable this year. Best sighting record for Orcas in

Updated 2:08pm Tuesday, June 25

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Responsible Travel

We are happy to be teaming up with Responsible Travel in 2019! Responsible Travel was the “first online guide to responsible international travel”. Responsible travel and tourism is about making better places for people to live in and to visit. One of the founding principles of Responsible Travel was to help create this new sector of the travel and tourism industry and to firmly root it in ethical values.

Here are some of the question that Ocean Ecoventures had to answer to work with Responsible Travel. At Ocean Ecoventures, we are constantly looking to improve and make our business as green as possible. We have always consider ourselves stewards on the water and we want our business methods to reflect that. That’s why we went have gone through the process with the Vancouver Island Green Business Certification, which entailed a third party assessment by a verifier contracted and trained by the Synergy Sustainability Institute to assess how our business operates and how to improve and make everything we do more environmentally friendly. We are happy to say, we received a green certification!

Environment

Do you have any office based initiatives eg paper reusing and recycling, energy efficiency measures, reducing the use of printed brochures etc?

Yes. We are always continuing to improve on green practices in our office. For years, we have recycled all that we can to reduce our waste. This includes soft and hard plastics, paper, cardboard and metals. We are continuing to work towards a paperless office by providing digital receipts for customers rather than paper. Furthermore, all our new office equipment is to be Energy Star certified and our printers to print double sided on wheat paper that will be provided by a local office supply company called Monk Office Supplies. We are always looking at ways to cut back on plastics and one thing we don’t offer people is disposable water bottles. We have different option for them to bring on the boat including stainless steel reusable water bottles, which they can fill here  or we sell a product called Flow water. Flow is packaged with 70% renewable materials, a plant-based cap and 100% recyclable.

We switched all of our office lighting to LED and use very little energy. Our office operates throughout the spring, summer and fall so the heat is on very rarely. All the bins are lined with bio-degradable bags and we are using paper bags when guests purchase anything from our gift shop. We already use 100% recycled toilet paper and paper towel but, furthermore, we are switching to a local Vancouver Island company for our cleaning products called The Soap Exchange Nanaimo. This company uses products made in Canada, contain no animal by-products, no petro-chemical by-products and are not tested on animals. Furthermore, they only sell bio-degradable products and also take back buckets and bottles that the product is sold in to be recycled and reused. We may also use a local Duncan company called Planet Clean and are just following up to find out more information on their product line. Brochure printing is something that has always been important for the business but something we are looking at becoming greener with this. I have been researching different printing companies and next time we print brochures, it will be with either Fotoprint or Greenprinter who are both local Vancouver Island printing companies that have an emphasis on using recycled paper, vegetable based inks and other green practices.

Are travellers provided with suggestions for how to reduce water use in their destination?

Yes. The aim of every trip is to help people understand their effect of their actions on the world around them and all the little things they can change to help.

Are travellers provided with relevant suggestions to minimize damage to the environment and wildlife ecosystems? It seems that you have this point covered but if you could elaborate with more details and examples of ways in which you educate clients and any guidelines which you provide that would be great.

Yes our guests are provided with suggestions and, starting this season, will be provided a card (printed on recycled paper with a vegetable based ink) outlining ways to protect the habitat and wildlife they have enjoyed on our trip. This includes having a greater understanding of where their food comes from with a focus on seafood. We outline the tremendous problem of global over-fishing and stress the importance of either not eating seafood or supporting sustainable fisheries by using programs like OceanWise or Seafood Watch, which have user friendly apps to help people in this mission. Furthermore, plastics will be a huge talking point. We stress that by the year 2050, the weight of plastic in the ocean could outweigh the weight of fish! We want them to understand the severity of the problem and help them understand that little daily actions like bringing reusable bags to the grocery store, using reusable water bottles and saying “no” to plastic straw in a restaurant, are the things that are so important to help put us on a different path. A lot of the wildlife we encounter are big predators so we also stress the importance of using environmentally friendly products. We aim to teach our guests about bio-accumulation in these animals and how it effects them. The obvious goal is that people make the connection between what they are putting down their drain and how it effects the incredible wildlife they get to see with us.

As a company do you provide suggestions for destination visits to appropriate local projects with direct or indirect environmental benefits?

I’m not sure how relevant this question is to what we do but I’ll give it a go. We are currently working on a “Go Green Pledge” that will eventually be up on our website. It’s not a destination but it is something people can turn to for environmental benefits. Furthermore, we encourage people to look for volunteer opportunities with local projects that focus on habitat and wildlife restoration.

Economic

Do you employ local people eg local guides, drivers etc?

Yes. All our staff are locals.

Do you encourage local suppliers to employ local people eg contributing to training or exercising a preference for local agents and accommodation which does employ local people?

Yes. The suppliers we work with, which is not many, are local companies.

 

Social

Are travellers provided with accurate pre-trip information on the social and political situation in each destination?

Yes. Again, not sure this is completely relevant as we are going out to fairly uninhabited environment with a focus on wildlife.

Are travellers provided with suggestions of ways to minimise negative impacts on local cultures?

I feel like this question ties in with minimizing impact on the environment and wildlife as that is what we are focusing on. Obviously having a thriving ecosystem is important to local culture so I will refer to my previous environmental response.

Do you ensure that a local guide accompanies all group visits to local communities?

When visiting a cultural center, local first nations guides will give interpretation.

Our mantra is “People protect what they love and love what they understand” so we are here to help make that happen. As a proud member of 1% for the Planet Ocean EcoVentures donates annually to local not for profits supporting whale and wildlife conservation efforts. We also support local researchers to help their conservation and research efforts. The vessels we operate have the quietest sound footprint in the industry for the whales and marine mammals we view.

 

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