Started in 2015, our "Green Program" is all about bettering ourselves and our community, with a focus on respect for the environment, the local community and cultures, the wildlife, and each other.
We operate in an extremely remote part of our country. It can be quite complicated to get in and out of Skagway. You most likely will arrive by cruise ship, three or four days from your port! We are surrounded by a vast wilderness. We are bordered by the largest National Forest in the country, one of the last territories in Canada, one seriously impressive coastal mountain range, and the second longest fjord in the world. Needless to say, we adore every aspect of our environment, and feel an obligation to protect it for the future.
This program is all about turning our business operations in Skagway into a chance to do good for the land and people who live here. We know that we are doing our part to sustain tourism in Alaska, which is dependent on its pristine and remote nature. We want to act as guardians of this beautiful part of the world.
Our goal is to offer quality tours that are educational in nature and compassionate in substance. We want to showcase our passion for this great land we live in. We want to stand head and shoulders above the ordinary. We want to leave a zero carbon footprint, leave the land better than we found it, and leave a lasting impression in our guests' hearts for this land.
We are supporting several non-profit groups, mostly based in Alaska, who have just as strong a passion for protecting “The Great Land” as we do. We have sought out groups who are fiercely dedicated to conserving Alaska for future generations, as well as groups involved in new technologies and innovative alternatives to fossil fuels.
Each summer Beyond Skagway Tours offers one 8 hour paid volunteer day to each of our guides. In the past two years we have volunteered here with the goal of enriching our community:
Skagway's bi-annual "Clean Sweep" - picking up trash blown about by the wind in town, in spring and in fall
Fran De'Lisle Cancer Walk - in 2015 we hosted a water booth with snacks for the walkers
Skagway's annual Summer Solstice festival, hosted by the Elks club in town - In 2015 guide Brittney was largely involved in the planning process of this huge local event.
Finding HUP 5K - Abby, our summertime reservationist, single-handedly planned this event, a fun race around town supporting Finding HUP, a non-profit dear to our hearts. In 2016 the race earned $2100 for outdoor equipment for those with paralysis.
In 2016 we launched our reusable water bottle program, where guests could purchase a reusable bottle to cut down on plastic waste. We highly encourage guests to bring their own water bottles, and have some available for purchase as well. In 2016 we sold hard plastic logo water bottles and donated $1 from the sale of each bottle to the Taiya Inlet Watershed Council here in Skagway. In total, we sold 88 water bottles for $3 a piece and donated $88 to TIWC. In 2017 we are offering a stainless steel water bottle logo version ($12 each), and are pledging $1 from the sale of each bottle to TIWC.
In 2017 we launch our partnership with REAP ( Renewable Energy Alaska Project ) through the "Tour Green" program. There are no legal standards when it comes to off setting your carbon footprint. We cut down where we can and partnering with REAP we believe will bring us closer to our goal or being a carbon neutral company.
Each of our vehicles is loaded with trash bags and gloves and our guides are encouraged to clean up trash every day that they see on tour. The Yukon and Alaskan roadsides are very clean already, and we like to keep it that way!
We Reduce. As often as we can avoid throwaway products and aim towards reusable, long lasting products. For example, our picnic napkins are cloth and reusable. We use double sided printing whenever we can too!
We Reuse. In the office we use second-hand envelopes we buy recycled office paper. Our guides use washable cloths in place of paper towels for cleaning vehicles. ( We also use bio-degradable soap for washing vans! )
We Recycle. If you have ever visited our office, you know there is a massive pile of recycling by the front door. The Skagway recycling program is very small and a work in progress, so we currently take all of our recycling to Whitehorse, Yukon. We commit to buying recycled goods whenever possible as well.
We Educate. Every other Monday in the Beyond Skagway tours HQ, we have a paid company meeting, where guides take turns educating us on something that interests them. These topics are heavy on historical and cultural emphasis.
What You Can Do.
Bring your own water bottle on tour! Let's not contribute to the plastic throw away water bottle problem.
Buy a water bottle with our Beyond Skagway logo. Take it home and use it again and again!
Ask us about REAP, and the Tour Green program! Match our donation or show us up and donate more!
Non-Profit Organizations we support :
Southeast Alaska Conservation Council (SEACC)
Their Mission: “The Southeast Alaska Conservation Council’s mission is to protect the special places of the world’s largest temperate rainforest, promote conservation, and advocate for sustainability in human use of natural resources. Inspired by the land, wildlife, cultures, and communities of Southeast Alaska, SEACC strives to ensure this interconnected whole exists for future generations.” (www.seacc.org)
Why We Like Them: They are very active in South East Alaska, fighting for a greener future, and bringing together many different people (“local communities, commercial and sport fishermen, Alaska Natives, tourism and recreation business owners, small-scale value-added wood product manufacturers, hunters and guides, and Americans from all walks of life” –www.seacc.org) to fight for a greater purpose.
Yukon Conservation Society (YCS)
Their Mission: “To pursue ecosystem well-being throughout the Yukon and beyond, recognizing that human well-being is ultimately dependent upon fully functioning healthy ecosystems.” (www.yukonconservation.org)
Why We Like Them: They are a very active organization based out of Whitehorse, who strives to protect the pristine nature of the Yukon. They fight dangerous development in fragile ecosystems, such as their latest win, keeping mass mine development away from the Pelly River.
Renewable Energy Alaska Project (REAP)
Their Mission: “REAP’s mission is to facilitate the increased development of renewable energy in Alaska through collaboration, education, training, and advocacy.” (www.alaskarenewableenergy.org)
Why We Like Them: REAP believes, and we agree, that conservation is not enough. We are a part of a global problem, a need for more energy. Alaska, while supplying the world with a bounty of fossil fuels, is in danger of giving too much, and we seek to cut down on our dependence on those same fuels. Protecting this land, today, is not enough. We need to come up with sustainable alternatives that will guarantee the protection of our land, forever.
Taiya Inlet Watershed Council (TIWC)
Their Mission: “The Taiya Inlet Watershed Council is a community partnership working to protect and improve the health of the watershed through education, communication, research and restoration.” (www.taiya.org)
Why We Like Them: Well, they are literally right in our backyard. It doesn’t hit much closer to home than that does it?