CATC Goes GreenTourism operations find ways to save money and help environment
Jul. 17, 2008
CIRI Alaska Tourism (CATC) continues its quest to be environmentally friendly. More and more businesses and industries are recognizing that improving energy efficiency, waste reduction and other eco-friendly measures are good for business as well as the planet.
"Green" measures implemented by Kenai Fjords Tours (KFT), a CATC subsidiary that offers wildlife and glacier sightseeing cruises out of Seward, Alaska, include a used oil recycling program, in which the used motor oil from KFT's fleet of cruise boats is used to heat the company's warehouse. This program saves KFT approximately $9,000 in heating costs each year.
KFT also recycles oil containers. KFT buys oil in bulk 55-gallon drums and distributes it in reusable 1- and 5-gallon containers to decrease plastic use and waste. Approximately 1,700 gallons worth of individual containers are conserved each year.
KFT uses timers on lighting and shuts off lights automatically every night to decrease electricity usage. The company also uses compact and standard fluorescent light bulbs and recycles paper, glass, cardboard and batteries at all its locations.
KFT initiated a fleet modernization program. Its new catamaran Aialik Voyager uses 43 percent less fuel than the older boats in its fleet, saving up to 55,000 gallons of fuel in the last year. KFT has ordered a second catamaran with Environmental Protection Agency Tier 2-compliant engines for its fleet. KFT uses a "Smart Ash" burner to properly dispose of all their used oil filters.
KFT and sister cruise company Prince William Sound Glacier Cruises also participate in a carbon offset program called Denali Green Tags' Tour Green. Tour passengers can purchase a Tour Green Tag, which represent 100 kilowatt-hours of wind power entering Alaska's energy grid and create a savings of 150 pounds of polluting emissions. The Denali Green Tags program also promotes the further development of new Alaska renewable energy resources.
Dee Buchanon, Director of Marketing