Here at Evergreen Escapes, we care deeply about the natural wonders of our world and love sharing them with others. However, as made famous by Marvel’s Spiderman, “with great power, comes great responsibility.” Our responsibility comes in the form of responsible tourism—in other words, making sure future generations will also have the ability to gaze upon the same natural wonders that we can. There is a lot that goes into maintaining our natural spaces, and each of us plays a role in keeping the natural world, well, natural.
While tourism is a remarkable thing that offers many benefits to not only tourists, but also the places being visited, it can have many negative effects as well. In the film, The Last Tourist, Jane Goodall asserts, “Tourism can lead to the destruction of the very things they’ve [tourists] come to see,” meaning over-tourism can (and does) negatively impact those special places that humans want to visit. This is why both tourists and tour operators need to engage in sustainable practices when visiting fragile ecosystems such as National Parks.
In order to responsibly share these beautiful areas with our guests, we take a few different steps to ensure sustainability. Some of these approaches are abiding by the 7 Leave No Trace Principles, limiting the number of guests we bring to each location, utilizing reusable dinnerware for each of our tours, and giving back as a business member of 1% for the Planet.
To help minimize our impact on the areas we visit, we make sure all of our guides are trained on the 7 Leave No Trace Principles. Those principles are:
- Plan ahead and prepare
- Travel and camp on durable surfaces
- Dispose of waste properly
- Leave what you find
- Minimize campfire impacts
- Respect Wildlife
- Be considerate of others
© Leave No Trace: www.LNT.org
Each principle speaks toward different topics on how to best minimize impact with knowledge and observations from biologists, land managers, and other outdoor education leaders. All of our guides are trained on these principles so that not only will our tours be more respectful of the environments we visit, but also so we can help educate our guests for their own travels in the future.
Another way we try to minimize our impact on our outdoor spaces is by limiting the number of guests we bring on each tour to 10 or fewer. Not only does this help provide a more intimate and immersive tour experience for our travelers, but it also helps reduce our footprint in each area we visit. By bringing a smaller number of guests, we are also able to practice good trail etiquette by limiting the number of people on the trails we explore, which relates to the 7th Leave No Trace principle – be considerate of others. We also remind our guests to always travel on designated trails, as stepping off the trail could damage the ecosystem. At Mt. Rainier National Park, wildflowers bloom in the most incredible colors all around. However, if travelers did not stay on marked trails and travel on durable surfaces, a good population of those wildflowers would be destroyed. As you can tell, each of the 7 Leave No Trace principles are implemented for a reason.
We hope you come join us for a tour of some of the most amazing natural places Washington has to offer, and practice sustainable tourism in your own life as well!
See you out there, and happy trails.
DJ | Evergreen Escapes