“Here at Mountain Whitewater Descents, we believe that environmental sustainability must be at the core of our business,”
– Brad Modesitt, Chief Entertainment Officer
Down Town Cache la Poudre River Cleanup
Mountain Whitewater Descents’ Guest Carbon Offset Program
Did you realize that the average American citizen produces around 20 tons of CO2 per year, while the international average is around 4 tons per year. This Carbon dioxide pollution comes from our electricity use, driving, flying and our consumption including the energy needed to produce our food, clothing, computers, etc.
It is important to remember that the best way to reduce your carbon footprint is to reduce your daily carbon emissions. We realize that it is impossible to eliminate all of your emissions if you want to travel. To encourage our guests to travel sustainably, Mountain Whitewater Descents has partnered with a local Non-profit group, Trees, Water & People, to create a very simple and easy way to offset your CO2 output from your trip. In fact, MWD believes in sustainable travel so much, that we will match all of our guest offset contributions up to $1000 each season.
Trees, Water & People (TWP) is a local Fort Collins nonprofit with an international presence. It offers carbon offsets through its tree-planting program in Central America and Haiti as well as by distributing fuel-efficient cookstoves to families in these countries. The improved stoves decrease fuel use by 50-70% and are a key to forest conservation in the developing world where 80% of people still cook with biomass.
The program is very simple. Find where you live (or where your traveled from) on our Carbon Offset Travel Map. The map will show you the cost to offset the full Carbon impact of your travel with Trees, Water & People (The map prices are based off of national averages for vehicle mileage). Mountain Whitewater Descents can simply add this price of your CO2 offset to the price of your trip or feel free to just leave a donation with our office staff when you check-in. If you do not wish to offset all of your Carbon Footprint from your travels, no problem, any offset donations will be accepted.
Why is Sustainable Travel Important?
Sustainable Tourism (also known as sustainable travel, geo tourism, responsible travel or even green travel) can be defined as:
“Sustainable tourism is a level of tourism activity that can be maintained over the long term because it results in a net benefit for the socio-cultural, economic, and natural environments of the area in which it takes place.”
– Sustainable Travel International
The function of our business depends upon one our most precious local resources, the Cache la Poudre River, which in turn depends on the variable snow pack in our region. Snow pack in Colorado is a resource that is greatly impacted by carbon outputs and global warming. Therefore, we must strive to utilize these natural resources without causing a negative impact and try to influence others to do the same.
Along with sustainability, raising appreciation for our environment is also vital to our success as a rafting company. In fact, appreciation of resources and the importance of leaving a minimal impact are so important to us that we discuss it in every paddle talk to all of our guests. Taking our guests rafting on a “Wild and Scenic” river coupled with Mountain Whitewater Descents’ philosophies makes for a perfect opportunity to educate guests to make good environmental choices themselves. We can be optimistic that after spending the day in a pristine canyon like ours, anyone can find a good reason why we all need to reduce, reuse, and recycle. Maybe our guests will be excited to improve their stewardship practices when they get home and certainly when they return to any wilderness.
For more information on sustainable travel go to: www.sustainabletravelinternational.org
What are some other sustainability practices at MWD?
It is our goal at Mountain Whitewater Descents to practice and promote responsible travel that is beneficial to the environmental, economic and social viability of our area, the State of Colorado and our world as a whole. MWD seeks to create both memorable and inspirational experiences for all of our guests that work to foster their own sense of responsible and/or sustainable travel. Here are a few examples of what we do to promote sustainable travel:
- MWD hires employees who are passionate about their social and ecological environments and are truly motivated to positively impact our guests and community as a whole while promoting sustainable ideas.
- MWD has implemented a recycling program for all of our guests as well as uses recycled materials to build and maintain our facilities. We recycle all standard items (glass, paper, Aluminum, cardboard, plastic) while exhibiting exemplary use of non-standard recycling. One way or another, our whole company has been recycled. The River is recycled snow, school buses are re-used, and the land we own was an old dairy farm. Using salvaged lumber and materials we have converted it into our office and recreation areas. The milking shed is now the boat barn; the pasture is now a volleyball court, disc golf course and one cool bar-be-que. A water holding pond was revitalized into a fish pond with wetlands that houses a mating pair of Mallard Ducks each year.
- MWD organizes a Cache la Poudre River Cleanup once a year. Last year we organized over 100 volunteers to clean up the banks of the Poudre where it flows through Fort Collins. We will hold “Clean the Poudre 2016” on Saturday, May 28, 2016. Please call our office for more details or to sign-up as a volunteer.
- Every year, MWD donates rafting trips to non-profit organizations, schools and clubs in our area who are committed to positive social development programs for youth and others in need.
- MWD is now winterizing our office during the off-season to reduce the amount of energy consumption over the 8 months of the year we are not running trips.
- MWD participates annually in the City of Fort Collins Bike to Work Day to promote alternate forms of transportation and holds challenges to encourages employees to ride bikes to work as often as possible. In fact, Mountain Whitewater Descents took first place in their business group during Bike to Work Day in 2010.
- MWD purchases renewable energy credits to offset 100% of our electricity usage.
- MWD has been participating in the City of Fort Collins’ Climate Wise program since 2009 and has been a Gold Level business from 2010 to 2015. Mountain Whitewater earned Platinum status, the highest level of the program, in 2016.
- MWD is a member of or supports the following groups: Leave No Trace Center for Outdoor Ethics, American Whitewater, America Outdoors, The Paddle Sports Industry Association, American Rivers, Save the Poudre and Friends of the Poudre. All of these organizations are committed to sustainable practices. Below are links to all of these organizations for anyone who would like to participate by donating time or money to the cause.
- To celebrate earth day in 2011, Mountain Whitewater Descents is participating in the Colorado Carbon Funds’ Earth Week Offsets: Invest in Colorado’s Clean Energy Future program by offsetting 5 metric tons of CO2 output. Enough to cover the emissions from our buses for the 2011 rafting season!
Please contact MWD by email to email@example.com if you would like more information on these organizations or would like to know how you can donate your time and money to help these organizations.
Mountain Whitewater Descents believes that a healthy community is fostered through community involvement and the general philanthropy of every individual within that community. Every year, MWD makes charitable donations of whitewater rafting trips to many organizations and individuals locally, nationally and internationally.