Recycling: For years, we have recycled all that we can in order to reduce our corporate waste. This includes all plastic, paper, cardboard, & metals.
Our floating office is a reused / recycled old 1973 Houseboat that we purchased 5 years ago from a couple on the Sacramento River in CA, trucked it up and modified it to suit our needs for today’s family business.
Composting: we now compost the ‘complimentary hot chocolate’ cups we provide our passengers on a cold windy day. Yup, you heard correctly–we compost our cups! They are made from plants and can go right back into the soil! A local company called re-Fuse picks up our compost–Since 2002, they have been leading the way to zero waste by providing the first full-service organics recycling in Victoria.
Eco-cleaners: the Soap Exchange is a local Victoria business that provides a collection of 100% biodegradable products. They supply reusable bulk and commercial packaging thereby reducing waste. Their products are Canadian and have reduced our costs! We purchase :
100% recycled toilet paper
100% recycled paper towel
biodegradable laundry & hand soaps
biodegradable cleaning/degreasers for the boats and office
biodegradable garbage bags,
10% of our purchases @ Soap Exchange are donated to the Sea Change Society which further supports that organizations conservation habitat program.
We are always looking at new options from one year to the next.In 2012, our uniforms (shirts) were Canadian made and were naturally sustainable bamboo.
Bamboo’s inherent characteristics make it naturally hypoallergenic and moisture wicking without any chemical treatments. It requires no fertilizers or pesticides for its cultivation. It grows rapidly and profusely without depleting the soil and its anti-bacterial qualities repel odour and toxins. Jerico offers a 70% rayon from bamboo and 30% organic cotton mix.
To Think Local: supporting local businesses whenever possible. (or Canadian made)
All Print Media: where we can, we print only using the most environmentally sustainable methods available.
Brochures: Topkote Coated product which has the following environmental advantages:
FSC certified 100% post consumer paper
ECF (Elementary Chlorine Free)
The mill is using biomass boiler and RPF boiler which are using recycled waste material to make energy to run the machines.
Eucalyptus chip has been used for making Topkote mixed with the other wood-chips. The percentage is varied in the production. Eucalyptus is mainly from plantations and this is a renewable resource.
Inks are made from vegetables
Varnish has no harmful gases and toxins.
Business cards: printed using 100% post consumer paper products. Post consumer is a waste type produced by the end consumer of a material stream; that is, where the waste-producing use did not involve the production of another product.
Gift certificates: printed on reusable, 100% recycled plastic…so we can reuse them again and again for people who wish to pre-purchase them as gifts for loved ones, or should we choose to donate a few to a good cause (which we do quite often). They are made with an innovative plastic that contains a blend of both pre-consumer and post-consumer recycled materials.
Ok! We cannot help ourselves. We do have to brag a little bit about the boats. They are cool too! We continually are reviewing our vessels and looking at new technology as it becomes available. We have our fingers crossed for super light, super powerful batteries so we can convert over to a diesel hybrid on our larger vessels Goldwing & 4 Ever Wild. But here are some cool facts about the boats you may find interesting. Check it out:
Power Systems: On Goldwing our larger vessel, we modified the electrical charging system so we no longer need to plug into shore power at the dock: this saves about 6,177 Kwh (kilowatt hours) per year.
Engines:we use the best available technology on the boats for motors:
Our gasoline engines are all Suzuki 4 stroke–burn less fuel and no oil.
Our diesel motors are by Volvo. One of its attractive features is low noise and vibrations. Usually, boat engines are too noisy and vibrate, that often leave passengers and drivers uncomfortable. But, Volvo Penta marine diesel engines are designed to make them quiet, as they are sound-emission certified and fully integrated with an above water exhaust system.
Volvo Penta marine diesel engines are eco-friendly being the only ones that meet the EU (European Union) emission standards.
Propulsion System: On Goldwing we reduce the amount of underwater noise with our whisper quiet Arneson Twin Disc surface propulsion technology (rain falling on the water makes more noise!).
The most efficient marine propulsion systems in the world.
Reduces underwater drag by 50% compared to conventional submerged propeller drive systems.
Results in higher overall speed, quicker acceleration, and a better payload to power ratio.
Oils: All of our used oil for the motors gets recycled at an appropriate facility.
We installed a secondary filtration system in Goldwing which allows us to take regular bottled samples and send them away for a spectral-anaylsis. This analysis determines when we should change our oil as opposed to changing the oil every 200 hours…we will go a longer period of time before we need to change the oil.
Sound Dampener: Noxudol is a water based viscous elastic compound manufactured specifically to dampen unwanted noises and vibration. Due to its viscous elastic flexibility it converts sound producing resonance into low-grade heat instead of noise.
This is so we can further reduce the amount of sound being transmitted into the marine habitat.
Cleaning supplies: we have purchased locally produced cleaning supplies that are 100% biodegradable and environmentally friendly.
Our cleaning supplies are delivered to the office by bike (no carbon footprint), and we use refillable containers so we can reduce our plastic waste.
Hull Designs: The long ‘scarab’ and ‘catamaran’ hull designs are some of the most efficient hull designs in the world.
They leave a much smaller wake (boat wave) behind the vessel while at speed and create a smaller sound signature as opposed to large displacement hulls that ‘push’ the water—we ride on the surface.