An Environmentally Friendly Business
At Glacier Guides and Montana Raft, we take our commitment to environmental efforts, in conjunction with our mission statement, very seriously. After all, we live in an area that is experiencing rapid change due to climate patterns.
Our mission is to provide exceptional active travel vacations and experiences in and around Glacier National Park while preserving and protecting Glacier’s unique ecosystem using the best available ecologically sound practices. And that means the best environmental efforts, too.
We are committed to being an environmentally responsible business and are continually looking for new ways to improve our environmental efforts and practices. At Glacier Guides and Montana Raft, we look forward to sharing Glacier National Park with guests for generations to come. Join us in our support the National Park Service, the United States Forest Service, and the surrounding communities in our collective efforts to preserve and conserve the Crown of the Continent Ecosystem.
Our Environmental Efforts Include:
- Preserving the entrance to Glacier National Park by maintaining a vegetative screen and refusing to use billboards.
- Teaching and practicing Leave No Trace ethics on all our trips.
- Recycling paper, cardboard, aluminum, glass, plastics, steel, automobile oil, and batteries.
- Using post consumer paper in our printing and brochures.
- Purchasing wind power and hydro power (as a second option) to fulfill our electric needs.
- Using free trade and Energy Star products when available.
- Using refillable dispensers for shampoo and conditioner in our lodge.
- Using reusable dinnerware (plates, silverware and cups) instead of disposable ones on our trips.
- No longer selling bottled water (we sell canned water and refillable water bottles instead – and we have a fill station open to anyone).
- Selling more souvenirs with “Made in the USA” and “Eco-Sensitive” materials.
- Converting all of our light bulbs to more efficient compact fluorescent.
- In 1997, we founded Rafting for Refuse, a river clean up on the Middle Fork and North Fork of the Flathead River. Since then it has become an annual event. We have since added our “Rafting for Charity” events as well.
- We are proud to be one of the founding sponsors of ClimateRide.org, a bicycle ride promoting responsible energy use and positive action toward climate change.
- Buying organic and local food whenever possible for our trips.
Local Business Environmental Efforts
Here are just a few of the local companies that we work with:
Snow Country Gardens, Columbia Falls
Wicked Good Farm, Whitefish
Mountain View Growers, Kalispell
Great Northern Honey Co., Columbia Falls
Halfmoon Eggs, Columbia Falls
Lower Valley Farm, Kalispell
Moss Farm, Rollins
Lifeline Produce and Cheese, Victor
Flathead Lake Cheese Co., Polson
Forbidden Fruit Orchards, Paradise
Fresh Roots Farm
Five Fox Farm
Sweet Root Farm
County Rail Farm
Recognition of Our Commitment to Environmental Efforts
In 2017, Climate Smart Glacier Country chosen Glacier Guides and Montana Raft as its Climate Smart Business Champion, for sustainable practices and environmental leadership in the hospitality sector.
In 2012, 2013, 2014, again in 2015, and in 2016, 2017, 2018, and 2019, Glacier Guides and Montana Raft was honored by Montana State University, in conjunction with the Montana Governor’s Office, with an EcoStar Award for our pollution prevention efforts.
We are supporters of TAP (Travelers Against Plastic). Their goal (and ours) is to get travelers to consider treating their own water while traveling, as opposed to buying bottled water. By doing so, we can avoid the disposal of billions of water bottles around the world each year.
Glacier Guides and Montana Raft was in the first class from the Flathead Valley to graduate from the UnCommon Sense Program, a two year program set up by the Yellowstone Business Partnership that helps businesses further their environmental efforts. The above video was made for that program, and gives a glimpse into our environmental efforts and concerns.
Every little bit counts.
Glacier Guides and Montana Raft Company’s Purchasing Policy
The purpose of this policy is to support the purchase of products that are manufactured, shipped, used, reused, and disposed of in ways that minimize their impact on the environment. These “environmentally preferable” products should be purchased whenever their performance and price are in keeping with sound business practices.
Glacier Guides and Montana Raft personnel will purchase recycled, reused, recyclable, local and environmentally sensitive products whenever practicable. These products include, but are not limited to: printed material, paper products, food service products, packaging materials, cleaning products, building materials, fertilizer, vehicles and parts, outdoor gear.
In making purchasing decisions, Glacier Guides and Montana Raft personnel should research, evaluate and compare products based on price, quality, performance, and environmental impact. Products with the minimum amount of environmental impact should be chosen over those with a larger impact. If a product with a larger impact is chosen it must be justified and explained to one of the owners.
Measurements of environmental impact include, but are not limited: minimal environmental impact of entire product or service life cycle; maximum use of recycled products in product or service life cycle; minimum impact of shipping, including materials used, transportation methods and delivery distance; reuse of existing products or materials in product or service life cycle; recyclability of product; minimum packaging; reduction of energy/water consumption; toxicity reduction or elimination; durability and maintenance requirements; minimum of virgin material in product or service life cycle; minimum threat of harm to human or environmental health; ultimate disposal of product.
When requested, personnel responsible for purchasing will provide a status report to the Glacier Guides and Montana Raft “Green Team.” This will help share information across the organization with a goal of improving environmentally sound purchasing.