Top Pacific Northwest Sustainable Tour Providers

You’ve got the travel bug. Maybe you’ve just caught this disease: the one that makes your feet itch and mind wander to the far corners of the earth. Maybe you’ve been exploring Southeast Asia, gallivanting the European countryside, or dancing your way through South America. Now you’re back in the Pacific Northwest, dreaming of your next journey. If this is the case, your kind of adventure could be closer than you think. Fuel your travel fire, with Top Ecotourism Providers in the Pacific Northwest, so that you might just find your dream vacation or a potential career.

1. Un-cruise adventures (Seattle)

With Un-Cruise Adventures, choose to experience the great Pacific Northwest (PNW) in ways uncommon to the traditional traveler. Through working and or cruising with Un-Cruise Adventures you could mitigate the impacts of cruise tourism by becoming a part of the Sustainable Tourism Movement.

 

Become a Sustainable Tourist, a new form of traveler who works toward minimizing their impacts on the natural world, while also paying attention to the communities and cities they travel too. This means that these travelers watch where they spend their money; straying away from large corporations for their purchases, instead making sure their money is going to the local people. Un-Cruise is realizing this trend, and made it their mission to empower it:

 

"Our Mission is to provide our guests an enriching adventure travel experience and inspire an appreciation of local cultures and the natural world."'

 

Un-Cruise provides a cruising experience unlike its enormous corporate contenders in that it is very localized, authentic, environmentally conscious, and small group based. The company realizes how much the cruise industry impacts the environment and the communities that they operate in. This is why Un-Cruise has partnered with hundreds of local community members from across the PNW in places like the Columbia & Snake Rivers, British Columbia, & the San Juan Islands.

There are key parts of the business plan enacted by Un-Cruise Adventures that show its commitment to the Sustainable Tourism Movement. These actions include:

-       Purchases local food and supplies

-       Serves only sustainable seafood and partners with Monterey Bay Aquarium’s Seafood Watch program

-       Partners with local people for cultural tours/presentations

-       Follows “Leave No Trace” practices

-       Purchases supplies with less packaging to reduce waste

-       Recycles whenever facilities exist

-       Provides Eco-friendly bath amenities on board in refillable containers

-       Provides reusable water bottles in each cabin for guest use; no bottled water on board

-       Donates to local organizations in areas where they operate

When it comes to environmental protection, Un-Cruise continues to raise the bar. The company operates small-refurbished yachts, outfitted with more fuel-efficient engines for sea travel. Arrangements with locals at their port locations have made to insure that they can operate recycling and proper waste disposal facilities. Through these seemingly simple practices, Un-Cruise operates in accordance with many environmental protection agencies such as:

-       Sustainable Travel International

-       Tourism Cares

-       The Passenger Vessel Association Green WATERS Program

-        The Chefs Collaborative The Monterey Bay Aquarium Seafood Watch Program

Vacation of a lifetime, or gateway into a career, Un-Cruise Adventures looks to offer ways to start to looking at the tourism industry in a sustainable way, while still receiving a world class experience. For more about other tours and for company information, clink the button below.

 

2. Evergreen escapes (Seattle, Portland Oregon & Vancouver British Columbia)

A company dedicated to providing Sustainable Tourism experiences in the greater Seattle area, in and around Portland Oregon, and to the northern end of the Salish Sea toward Vancouver BC; Evergreen Escapes offers comprehensive tour packages that allow you to see and experience the raw beauty of the PNW in ways that are sustainable for the environment and for the people.

Traveling with Evergreen Escapes gives you the chance to pay a competitive price for an unmatched service. They are a company committed to "leaving the world better than we found it," and understand the impacts that tourism has on communities and on the environment. The company knows that the tourism industry is one of the largest employers on the planet, and that commitment to sustainability means a better and brighter future for tourists and tourism professionals. This is why the company likes to communicate the ways in which they make a difference both socioeconomically and environmentally. Evergreen Escapes reduces their impact on our planet by:

  • Striving for zero waste on tours by using reusable water bottles, plates and cutlery
  • Recycling and composting their waste and buying recycled products
  • Carefully screening their partners to make sure they are aware and care about the impacts of their tourism operations
  • Sustainable food is sourced locally when possible
  • Self-Powering adventures are promoted such as hiking, cycling, kayaking and many more
  • Transportation is provided by vehicles that run on Bio-Diesel
  • The founding of the PURE Travel Collaborative -  a non profit profit focusing on raising the bar for sustainable tourism in the greater PNW area

Evergreen Escapes has a number of resources to be utilized on their website such as packing lists, a tool that lets you custom design a tour in one if their locations, free monthly travel talks, and more!

What's even cooler? They are always looking for new Eco-Tourism enthusiasts to come and join their team! If you're passionate about travel, and even more passionate about change in the world's largest industry for the future, this could be a career path to investigate.

 

Tours provided through Evergreen Escapes could take you on the following adventures in Washington:

- Mount Rainer National Park (Winter & Summer Packages)

- Olympic National Park (Operates Year Round)

- Kayaking the San Juan Islands (Summer Packages)

- Woodinville Wine Tasting Tours (Operates Year Round)

- Mt. St. Helens (Summer Packages)

- Snoqualmie Falls (Operates Year Round)

3. Salt Spring adventure company (Vancouver island, BC)

Just across the Salish Sea, is the enormous Vancouver Island of British Columbia. Only a ferry ride away from the Washington coastline, the Salt Spring Adventure Company offers Sustainable Tourism opportunities to those interested in seeing the vast and vibrant coastlines of British Columbia from kayak, paddle-board, or bike. A 3 hour scenic drive from Bellingham WA, it would be the perfect weekend getaway complete with views of the Salish Sea, the Straight of Juan de Fuca, and the beautiful British Colombian countryside. Salt Spring Adventure Company was started by two Certified Marine Naturalists who just wanted to provide sustainable tourism options to the visitors of Salt Springs Island the best way they know how: by watercraft.

In all the marine programs run at Salt Spring Adventures, a few things are always kept in mind: SAFETY (it's mentioned twice in their mission statement alone!), and sustainable tourism. On each program they run, the Salt Spring Adventure Company:

  • Provides participants the ability to learn the paths of self discovery
  • Educates participants about the emotional, psychological, and physical benefits of outdoor recreation
  • Promotes environmental awareness through education about our environmental impacts as tourists
  • Helps participants to discover new skills, empower themselves and the communities they recreate in
  • Helps participants gain confidence in leadership

Salt Spring Adventure Company could provide you with a guiding experience, or an office assistant or managing experience if you're involved in the field of recreation or Sustainable Tourism. They are constantly accepting resumes and applications for the summer season, so get out there, get involved, and start making a difference!

4. Businesses partnered with the Oregon travel philanthropy fund (Oregon)

The state of Oregon has always been a pioneer for Green Innovation. Especially on the west side of the state, everywhere you look, people are finding ways to create products that service a diverse population of community members, visitors, and businesses with help and funding from state and local governments. This is how the Oregon Travel Philanthropy Fund began and it's journey toward sustainability in many facets of life including travel & tourism were born. By becoming certified with the Travel Oregon Forever Fund, these sustainable businesses have declared that their environmental and community effect standards are higher than any of those out there by:

  • Working toward environmental protection by reducing toxic pollution and waste, conserving resources and habitats, and minimizing global warming and ozone depletion
  • Increase the health and well-being of customers, particularly those most affected by product choice, such as schoolchildren, service staff, and the elderly.
  • Demonstrate the effectiveness of environmentally safe and conscious products
  • Improving community relations

These funds are for tourists and locals alike, with interest in investing into new innovative technologies and techniques that help to make tourism opportunities in Oregon more sustainable. These service providers can be found on their website, or by searching the Travel Oregon Sustainable Business Challenge Participants. A few of their partners are:

 

So now you're prepared to take an in depth Pacific Northwest Journey to... well just about anywhere! Whether you live up in Bellingham, Seattle, Portland Oregon or Vancouver BC, these Sustainable Tourism providers are in business to serve you and your travel needs. Now pack up, head out the door, and micro adventure!