Black Feather is proud to have been awarded GREEN TOURISM CANADA's "Silver Level of Environmental Stewardship". We are the first organization in Ontario to be part of Green Tourism Canada, and are excited to be associated with this independent, environmental initiative. Over the next few years, we will be striving to improve our environmental practices and to reduce our carbon footprint.
Black Feather works hard to reduce the environmental impact of our wilderness trips and operations. From a strict "minimal impact" code of ethics on our canoeing, sea kayaking, hiking, skiing, and floe edge trips, to an active recycling system for our cans, packaging, and paper materials. to supporting environmental groups such as CPAWS (Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society), we make every attempt to protect our natural environment.
The following is a summary of some of the practices that Black Feather uses, in order to reduce our environmental footprint and protect our wilderness areas:
Minimal Impact Code on Trips
On all of our trips, we try to have the least impact possible on the area we are exploring. We have a policy with respect to a range of activities, and have detailed procedures on the following topics:
- fires and stoves
- backcountry travel
- campsite selection
- wildlife viewing
Office / Logistics Procedures
The Black Feather office is located in the lower level of my home, in Parry Sound, Ontario. It uses recycled paper, brochures are on recycled stock with vegetable inks, lightbulbs are compact flourescent, and the building is heated (in addition to "green" electricity) with wood harvested off our 90-acre property. The office building (and my home) are located on this acreage of forest, surrounded by an additional 1,000 acres of undeveloped forest, marshland, and creeks, which act as carbon sinks.
Our water comes from a drilled well on site. Customer service and marketing is largely done over the Internet and phone. This reduces travel and energy use. We have an additional packing centre nearby, which also uses "green" energy, obtains water from a drilled well, has an active recycling program, and utilizes re-usable containers.
Food / Menus
Black Feather has developed delicious, nutritious menus for canoeing, sea kayaking, and hiking, and which rely on as many "whole", "fair trade", and "organic" products as possible (sourced from local suppliers). Excess packaging is minimized by purchasing many products in bulk. All cardboard, paper, and plastic garbage generated in the packing process is recycled.
At the end of each trip, we recycle the resulting empty cans and plastics.
Energy - Bullfrog Power
Bullfrog Power is a 100% "green" electricity retailer in Ontario that sources electricity exclusively from wind and low-impact water-power producers who meet or exceed the federal government’s EcoLogo standard for renewable energy. Currently, this electricity mix is comprised of 20% wind and 80% low-impact hydro-electric power. Bullfrog Power has also pledged 10% of its company profits to organizations that promote sustainability.
Black Feather is proud to be powered by Bullfrog Power, and to support clean, renewable energy.
Black Feather has a series of practices which minimize our greenhouse gas emissions. For those emissions that we can’t avoid, we attempt to mitigate them by purchasing "carbon offsets". The proceeds from these "carbon offsets" are invested in projects that avoid or reduce the production of, or absorb, a similar amount of greenhouse gases.