AdventureTravelNews

O.A.R.S. Announces Carbon-Neutral Travel in Collaboration with NativeEnergy Travel Offsets

Following a year in which O.A.R.S. voluntarily offset all of the energy used at its main office in California and its Grand Canyon operation in Arizona, O.A.R.S. announces that, starting in 2007, all energy used for its domestic adventures will be 100% carbon-neutral.

Travel activities account for approximately 1/3 of annual greenhouse gas emissions worldwide, but O.A.R.S. travelers now have another reason to feel good about how they choose to travel. Rafting and sea kayaking trips are inherently low carbon-emitting, but through an innovative new partnership with NativeEnergy Travel Offsets, O.A.R.S. travelers will reduce their environmental impact even more. O.A.R.S. will offset all estimated carbon emissions from vehicles used to transport guides and gear, any internal trip flights or transfers, propane gas used on trips, and all electricity used by its office and operations facilities.

NativeEnergy Travel Offsets is dedicated to fighting global warming by helping truly new renewable energy projects get built. The company helps build Native American, Native Alaskan, farmer-owned, and charitable-purpose renewable energy projects that create social, economic, and environmental benefits here in the U.S. In 2007, O.A.R.S. will purchase a share of the estimated renewable energy credits (RECs) to be generated by the Owl Feather War Bonnet Wind Farm over its operating life, helping bring critical up-front funding to the project and helping it proceed with construction. The wind farm, being built on the Rosebud Sioux Reservation in South Dakota, will reduce CO2 emissions when its clean, renewable energy displaces energy that otherwise would have to be generated by burning fossil fuels. As this project is dependent on incremental revenues for its RECs, the RECs qualify as carbon offsets. NativeEnergy’s emphasis on high-value, high-quality carbon offsets means O.A.R.S. travelers will effectively offset the global warming impact of their energy use.

O.A.R.S. is motivated, in part, by its mission to help protect fascinating and beautiful places, which are threatened by the effects of global warming. To mitigate the impact of traveling in 2007, O.A.R.S. expects to purchase over 1900 tons of carbon offsets from NativeEnergy Travel Offsets. O.A.R.S.’ support of NativeEnergy’s projects will have the same global warming offset impact as keeping 330 average cars off the road for an entire year.

Now in its 38th year of business, the O.A.R.S. mission statement reflects the organization’s long-term commitment to taking care of the places they visit:

We strive to enrich people’s lives by providing outstanding adventure experiences. Our goal, since 1969, has been to help people of all ages enjoy “the best outdoor experience of their lives.” We personally encourage and actively support awareness, deeper appreciation, and preservation of our rivers and natural ecosystems. Our trips are great adventures that emphasize heightened attentiveness to human impact on the environment.

Additionally, company founder and President, George Wendt states, “O.A.R.S. is committed to being a leader in sustainable travel and to continually raising the bar and challenging other businesses and individuals to be more responsible in their travels.” Joining the ranks of fellow carbon-neutral outfitters, Natural Habitat Adventures, the National Outdoor Leadership School and REI Adventures, O.A.R.S. remains a leader in the industry as the first 100% carbon neutral rafting company in North America. Beyond its commitment to carbon neutrality, O.A.R.S. also hopes to actively engage travelers in the process by asking its guests to consider offsetting the air and/or land transportation emissions to and from their trip (from their home city to the starting point of the trip, and back). To encourage broad participation, O.A.R.S. has committed to pay 50% of the cost of its travelers’ offset purchases, up to 100% of their trip emissions.

For additional information about the O.A.R.S. carbon-neutral travel program, visit http://www.oars.com/partnerships/Native_Energy.html. Detailed information about their responsible travel efforts is available in the “About Us” section of the site.

Since 1969 O.A.R.S. has been setting the standard in first-class rafting, sea kayaking and multi-sport vacations, with destinations and unparalleled experiences on over 35 rivers and coastlines of the world. O.A.R.S. caters to active travelers of all ages and abilities with more than 75 unique itineraries worldwide, including one-day and weekend escapes. For more information on O.A.R.S. eco-friendly adventures, including a free 80-page color catalog, call O.A.R.S. at 1-800-346-6277, e-mail the company at ,or visit www.oars.com.

About NativeEnergy Travel Offsets
NativeEnergy Travel Offsets is a leading national marketer of renewable energy credits (RECs) and carbon offsets, offering individuals and organizations a means to compensate for their global warming pollution from travel. NativeEnergy Travel Offsets is a company formed to partner NativeEnergy with Megan Epler Wood, the founder of The International Ecotourism Society and Richard Edwards, a Conde Nast award winning ecotourism specialist. With all RECs and offsets sourced from NativeEnergy’s high-quality portfolio of projects, NativeEnergy Travel Offsets brings upfront payment to renewable projects for their estimated future REC and offset output, enabling its customers to help directly finance the construction of specific new wind farms and other renewable energy projects, such as tribal wind projects and methane digesters and wind turbines on America’s family dairy farms. These projects reduce our reliance on fossil fuels to meet the nation’s electricity needs. NativeEnergy is the choice of leading environmentally and socially responsible organizations, including the film AN INCONVENIENT TRUTH (www.ClimateCrisis.net), Ben & Jerry’s, Clif Bar, Stonyfield Farm, Interface, Aveda, Green Mountain Coffee Roasters, Dave Matthews Band, Jack Johnson, Co-op America, NRDC, the Clinton Global Initiative, Bonnaroo Festival, and thousands of individuals. NativeEnergy also offers Green-e certified RECs from operating wind farms and Climate Neutral Network certified offsets from operating CO2 mitigation projects. Online at: www.nativeenergy.com/traveloffsets.

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