Recycling: For years, we have recycled all that we can in order to reduce our corporate waste. This includes soft and hard plastics, paper, cardboard, & metals.
Our floating office is a reclaimed 1973 houseboat that we purchased 15 years ago from a couple on the Sacramento River in California. We trucked it up and modified it to suit our needs for today’s family business.
Composting: we now compost the complimentary hot chocolate cups and lids that we provide our passengers on cold, windy days! They’re made from plants and can go right back into the soil. As part of our daily operations, our keen office staff have implemented composting as their main method of disposal and are always searching for new and exciting ways to create a more eco-friendly, biodegradable workplace environment.
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.
To Think Local: supporting Canadian-made products and local businesses whenever possible
Water Bottles: We have supplied all of our staff (over 40) with reusable stainless steel water bottles and we have removed all plastic water bottles from our operation and sell boxed water to our customers as an option; we have also installed a water bottle refill station at our office to encourage the use of refillable items.
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 uses a 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 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 are continually 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:
Engines:we use the best available technology on the boats for motors: – Our gasoline engines are all Suzuki 4 stroke – they burn less fuel and no oil. – Our diesel motors are by Volvo. One of the attractive features is low noise and vibrations. Usually, boat engines are too noisy and vibrate, which often leave passengers and drivers uncomfortable. 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-analysis. 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 viscoelastic 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.
Sound Footprints: InSeptember 2017, Eagle Wing Tours became the first Whale Watching Tour operator in the world to have a professional independent acoustical sound footprint analysis done of all their vessels. (Jasco Applied Sciences & the ECHO program)