Saturday, October 14, 2006
Outdoor retailer (REI) and its adventure travel company, REI Adventures, are partnering with the Bonneville Environmental Foundation (BEF) to make the company's trips completely "carbon neutral."
Travelers visiting far-flung and exotic locations with REI Adventures will have the climate-altering impacts of their trips offset at no added cost.
Seattle, Wash. and Portland, Ore. (October 4, 2006) - Travelers to some of the world's most remarkable destinations for once-in-a-lifetime vacations with REI Adventures will be guaranteed to have a "green" experience – whether traveling to the Alps or Antarctica, and all points in between. Through the company's new 100 percent carbon-neutral (also known as "climate-neutral") offering announced today, outdoor enthusiasts will now be able to "green" their travel – including the air travel to and from their destinations – at no added cost to the just-announced 2007 REI Adventures trips.
"Carbon dioxide emissions are the leading cause of global warming. REI Adventures has recognized that its customers want to balance their passion for traveling to exciting, exotic locations with their desire to reduce their contribution to global warming pollution. With its new carbon-neutral travel program, REI Adventures is making it easy to travel without worrying about the climate-related impacts," said Dan Lieberman, the Green-e program manager for the Center for Resource Solutions. "This is a significant step for any company, even one with REI's tradition of environmental stewardship. REI has found a new way to give back to its customers and the global community, one that will provide ongoing benefits for the environment."
Starting in 2007, REI Adventures will purchase BEF Green Tags, or renewable energy credits, to offset the greenhouse gas impacts of air, water and ground travel associated with all excursions. BEF Green Tags are created when renewable energy such as solar and wind power are substituted to local utilities for energy generated by burning fossil fuels which are linked to global warming. Each BEF Green Tag offsets the carbon produced by 1,030 miles of air travel, and is equivalent to 1,000 kilowatt-hours of renewable energy.REI Adventures expects to purchase more than 52,000 BEF Green Tags in the coming year, offsetting more than 36,000 tons of carbon dioxide.
Carbon dioxide emissions from burning fossil fuels are the largest source of climate-altering greenhouse gas emissions. This amount equates to the annual CO2 emissions of approximately 6,200 average gas-powered cars, or powering nearly 5,000 typical U.S. homes for a year with 100 percent renewable energy. According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's list of top renewable energy purchasers, today's announcement would place REI among the 20 largest purchasers nationally.
Beyond travel, BEF is offering REI customers the opportunity to purchase BEF Green Tags to offset the environmental impacts of the energy they use in their homes and for commuting. In return, customers will receive a $20 REI Gift Card from BEF for a Green Tag purchase of $120 or more, and a $40 REI Gift Card for a purchase of $200 or more. To buy Green Tags through the REI Adventures/BEF offering, visit http://www.icebase.com/go.shtml?20061003173012901907&m6492&http://www.greenadventures.org or link from http://www.icebase.com/go.shtml?20061003173012901907&m6492&http://www.reiadventures.com. The activities of an average U.S. household can result in more than 35,000 pounds of CO2 and other pollutants each year.