Boundary Coutry Trekking's Sustainable Practices Implementation Plan
Reviewed and Amended January 4, 2012
The following is a list of actions we have undertaken or shall undertake to make our business more sustainable. In the case of actions we plan to take, we have set a target date for implementation
For our purposes we have divided this Implementation Plan into three categories: Environmental Responsibility, Involvement in Our community and Economic Responsibility.
Environmental Responsibility - We have developed what we call our "Green Plan" which lays out in detail what we are doing and need to do to make our business more environmentally responsible. The following is a summary of this "Green Plan." However, while we certainly intend to do our part it is our belief that individual actions, while worthy, are not adequate to address the environment challenge facing our planet. A recent New York op-ed by Thomas Friedman sums up our belief in what needs to be done.
Cleaning supplies- we are striving to use, as much as possible only natural biodegradable cleaning products. These practices should be fully implemented by the end of 2007
Electrical Power- we are striving to cut back on the use of electric power.
- We are in the replace most of our incandescent lighting with compact florescent and LEDs.
- We have an ongoing policy to conserve energy by turning off lights and electrical equipment when not in use.
- We plan to add additional roof insulation to Poplar Creek Guesthouse B&B and replace storm windows on a portion of the Little Ollie Cabin by spring 2011
- We inreplaced our older model kitchen refrigerator with an efficient one within the next two years. Replace one refrigerator with an "energy star" refrigerator as of May 2009
Garden and yard
- We fertilize our garden and lawn using natural fertilizer.
- We compost yard waste and vegetable kitchen waste
- We offer a voluntary towel re-use service as an alternative to daily wet towel replacement.
- We shall replace our clothes washer at Poplar Creek Guesthouse B&B with a washer which reduces the drying time required by our dryer. This action shall be implemented by the end of 2008. Still have been able to afford the move yet as of spring 2011.
Office –While we do not feel our office can become paper free, we are working to reduce our use of paper. We recycle the office paper we do use.
Recycling- we recycle the following: Aluminum, Glass, Paper (magazines, newspaper
and office paper) Plastic bottles and Steel cans
Reforestation - since 1998 we have planted over 2500 native trees on our property and we pledge to continue this practice. We plan to plant a minimum of 200 additional native trees annually for at least the next 5 years. In 2007 as a result of the Ham Lake Fire we donated our 200 red and white pine seedlings and assisted in the community tree-planting in the burned-over area around Seagull Lake.
- May 2008 Gunflint Green Up planted approximately 75,000 trees and Poplar Creek B&B and the Little Ollie area 500 Trees were planted
- May 2009 Gunflint Green Up Planted approximately 25,000 trees and in the Little Ollie Lake area 250 trees were planted
- May 2010 Little Ollie area and along the Tall Pines trail 700 trees were planted.
Gasoline- we are striving to reduce the number of trips by car into Grand Marais and beyond and to minimize the use of our gas-guzzling 3/4-plow truck.
- we only offer low impact silent sport trips.
- we support and Practice - "Leave no Trace" camping on all trips
Banadad Ski Trail System - We currently maintain the forty Six-Kilometer, Banadad Ski Trail System most of which travels through the BWCA. Within the BWCA non-motorized hand tools are used for maintenance of the trail. Some mechanized tools are used for maintenance outside the wilderness. Snowmobiles are used to groom the trail and each fall volunteers assist in the maintenance.S
It is our intention to operate this trail system as a Carbon Neutral Ski Trail beginning with the 2007-08 ski season. The planting of trees is used to off-set the carbon contributed to the atmosphere by our snowmobile grooming, use of mechanized tools outside the BWCA and for the carbon add by the vehicles driven by our trail volunteers to travel to the Banadad.
- May 2008 Carbon off set for 1.733 metric tons of CO2 at a cost of $134 was given to Jim Raml for planting trees on Sea Gull Lake
- May 2009 Carbon off set for2.16 metric tons of CO2 at a cost of $166 was given to the Gunflint Green Up and in addition help to organize the Gunflnt Nordic Ski Trails to also go Carbon Neutral resulting in a $798 carbon off set (includes the Bandad Offset) contribution to the Gunflint Green Up
- May 2010 Carbon off set for 2.17 metric tons of CO2 at a cost of $168 used to purchase trees for planting
Commitment and Involvement in our Community
Food including breakfast, trail lunches and canoe camping meals.
- We purchase food, as much as possible locally.
- We purchase local produced products including smoked and fresh fish, maple syrup and some fresh vegetables (from our local coop and farmers market).
- When available we use food harvested from our own garden or in the case of berries from our area.
- We us organic and natural food as much as possible - including free trade products from our local food coop.
Trails used for our Lodge to Lodge Bicycling and Hiking programs but not
maintained by us.
- The Mesabi Trail -We return 5% of our Lodge to Lodge Bicycling gross revenue to the Mesabi Trail.
- We were one of the organizers of the Banadad Ski Trail Association.
- We actively promote membership in the Superior Hiking Trail Association and the Banadad Ski Trail Association
We are members of the following community organizations:
- Cook County Whole Foods Coop
- Grand Marais Chamber
- Gunflint Trail Association- Board member
- Gunflint Scenic Byways Committee- Board member
- Gunflint Historical Society
- Little Ollie Road Association
- Poplar Creek Commons Association - Honorary Member
- Lutsen-Tofte Tourism Association- Associate Member
- Poplar Lake Property Owners Association- Board Member
- Superior Hiking Trail Association - former Board Member
- Minnesota Bed and Breakfasts Association - Barbara is President
- Banadad Trail Associaiton organized in 2008-09 - Trail Maintenance Supervissior
- Minnesota Bed and Breakfast Association- Ted is chairperson of the Association's Green Committee which develop a Green Certification Programs for the Association's membership- to this program click on - Green Journey.
- Gunflint Trail Fire Department
- WTIP community radio
- Habitat for Humanity
Boundary Country Trekking shall be profitable enough for us to make a living and in
doing so we practice the following:
- We hire staff locally
- We shall pay above the prevailing wages and way above the State and Federal minimum wage.
- We support the rights of labor to organize and collective bargaining. And we shall do nothing to abridge these rights
- We support raising the state and national minimum wage to a living wage
- We shall purchase locally, as much of possible, the supplies and services necessary to operate our business.
We invite your response- criticism or suggestions
While we ascribe to these above mentioned and described Principals of Sustainability we realize we are not perfect, we make mistakes and at times may stray from these Principles. We invite your criticism.
We are also sure there are other Principals of Sustainability we have missed. We invite your comments and suggestions of what else might be included or how we might do a better job.