1st Columbia River Gorge whitewater operator to earn the Eco-Certification through Sustainable Travel International.
At Wet Planet, it is central to our ethic that we operate in an environmentally, socially and economically responsible way. We work hard to conduct our business in a sustainable manner that will allow future generations to enjoy the river canyons we love and the town where we live. Our commitment to the environment is evident whether we’re on the river or making a latte at our espresso bar, and we are proud to be an industry leader for environmentally responsible business practices.
The Sustainable Travel Eco-Certification sets the bar for high standards:
- An Eco-Certification helps our guests identify with our business ethics.
- An Eco-Certification holds us accountable, requiring specific proof to re-certify us each year.
- An Eco-Certification helps us improve our sustainable practices so that we might lead and assist other Columbia River Gorge tour operators in their sustainable business endeavors.
STI holds their Certified businesses accountable. After all, it always comes back to ACTION.
In 2012 we received our STEP 2nd Party Certification. The experts at Sustainable Travel International, a global leader in sustainable tourism development, require us to annually submit a report from the previous years’ efforts to help protect the environmental, socio-cultural and economic value of our home and the planet at large.
In 2011 our new business practices and procedures helped us: STEP 2nd Party Eco-Certification
- Divert 58% of our total garbage from going to the landfill (22% increase from last year)
- Decrease our energy usage by 12%
- Save enough money from energy bills to pay for our investment in energy reduction
- Increase our use of biodegradable products
- Develop a composting system with Dirt Hugger, a local business
- Offer the Paddle Green Program to our guests
- Serve organically grown coffee in recycled cups in our café
- Partner with Leave No Trace, Inc. to help educate other outdoor recreators in the principles of minimal impact wilderness travel
- Host the annual White Salmon Riverfest and Symposium
At Wet Planet, you may see an employee roll into work on a bicycle, or paddle up in a kayak. You might catch one of us weighing a bag of recycling out back or carrying a box of local produce into our kitchen. These practices are just the beginning. Take a look at our Sustainability Manual in the lobby next time you’re here or ask us about it on your next river trip!
The Paddle Green Program
Wet Planet is the first outfitter in the area to offer the Paddle Green program to our guests. The Paddle Green program is a partnership between leaders in the paddle sports industry (such as Wet Planet) and the non-profit Bonneville Environmental Foundation (BEF). The program offers paddlers and guide operators a carbon offset product from wind and solar power that supports non-polluting renewable energy and watershed restoration.
To put it in simple terms, Wet Planet has created a way for our guests to help support the production of clean, renewable energy (wind energy in this case) through the purchase of “Paddle Green Tags”.
What is a Paddle Green tag?
A Paddle Green Tag, also called a renewable energy certificate, represents the funding of renewable energy, such as wind and solar power. Every time a Paddle Green Tag is purchased, the money from the purchase is used to support and help fund the production of clean, renewable energy in the form of wind and solar power. The renewable energy is then placed back into the power grid. The Paddle Green Tag, an actual sticker you receive, is the certificate demonstrating your funding of that amount of renewable energy.
The purchase of Paddle Green Tags help to mitigate the negative effects of climate change brought about by the production of greenhouse gasses. For every 1,000 kilowatt-hours (kWh) of electricity entering the grid from renewable sources, 1,000 kWh of electricity that would have been generated by polluting sources (such as coal or natural gas) is displaced. That’s where the greenhouse gas reduction comes from. One $2 Paddle Green Tag is equivalent to 100 kWh of wind energy and prevents 140 pounds of greenhouse gases from being released. This is the same amount of carbon pollution generated with a round trip drive from Portland to Wet Planet.
Purchasing a Paddle Green tag from Wet Planet for only $2 generates enough renewable energy to offset the carbon emissions from a round-trip drive from Portland to Wet Planet’s headquarters!
For more information about Green Tags or BEF, please visit paddlegreen.org. Wet Planet has also gone 100% carbon neutral in all of our operations through the purchase of BEF wind power carbon offsets!
Wet Planet is a Partner of Leave No Trace, Inc. (LNT)
Leave No Trace is a non-profit organization committed to promoting and inspiring responsible outdoor recreation through education, research, and partnerships. The seven LNT principles for wild land ethics have become the standard for human powered recreation through the support and commitment of public land management agencies such as the US Forest Service, National Park Service, Bureau of Land Management, and the US Fish and Wildlife Service. Through our partnership with LNT, Inc., Wet Planet helps supports LNT in their mission to spread important backcountry travel skills and ethics.
Wet Planet Rafting and Kayaking shares in, supports, and practices the LNT skills and ethics. Many of our staff are certified LNT educators. Join us in our effort to Leave No Trace by following these seven, simple principles:
1. Plan ahead and prepare
2. Travel and camp on durable surfaces
3. Dispose of waste properly
4. Leave what you find
5. Minimize campfire impacts
6. Respect wildlife
7. Be considerate of other visitors
Friends of the White Salmon River
The Friends of the White Salmon River is a local non-profit organization that strives to restore and protect the natural, cultural, scenic, and recreational qualities of the river we all love so much. Helping the river and the surrounding communities to have a stronger voice, FOWS seeks to educate the public and support responsible river practices.
Please consider joining Friends of the White Salmon River for only $15 a year. Your support helps with fundraising and river advocacy initiatives that directly benefit the river and surrounding communities.
White Salmon Riverfest and Symposium
We understand that sustainability means more than just environmental awareness-it’s also about being active in the community. Wet Planet strives to build a strong, mutually beneficial relationship with our local community by sponsoring and organizing the yearly White Salmon RiverFest and Symposium.
Wet Planet, in conjunction with the Headwaters Institute, has been organizing the White Salmon RiverFest and Symposium since 2006. Wet Planet’s own Jaco Klinkenberg has been the founder and organizer of the White Salmon RiverFest from day one, each year supported and assisted by many folks from the community. The mission and goal of the organizers of the White Salmon RiverFest & Symposium is to provide education during a fun and informal event that brings together and inspires individuals within the community to care for and connect with their watershed.
The 2014 White Salmon RiverFest & Symposium will be held on Wednesday July 9th.
As always, the event will include a Rafting Trip especially designed to bring the local community together, and express our gratitude for allowing us all to live, play, and work around this beautiful watershed. To sign up for the float, please reserve online.
Outline of events:
- Community Rafting trip
- Outfitter Community BBQ Event
- Showing of Damnation Movie, followed by panel discussion
- Boater Party
More details to follow soon.