Going Green in Jersey

Going Green in Jersey

Jersey Kayak & Walk Adventures is committed to reducing the environmental impacts caused by the business’s day-to-day activities. We play an active role in encouraging our clients to discover our environment. With this comes a responsibility to ensure we minimise our impact.

The company was one of the first  Eco-Active Jersey Leaders and is a GOLD standard member of the Green Tourism Business scheme. Most members of our staff are Wild Life Safe (WiSe) trained guides. We are members of the Durrell ReWild Carbon scheme.

In 2013 the company won the prestigious Jersey Enterprise Environmental Award.

Jersey Kayak Adventures reduces its carbon footprint

Rewild Carbon 2022As part of our commitment to the environment, we reduced our carbon footprint by almost 50% by buying an electric van, switching from gas to electric heating, and doing more recycling. Plus, we regularly undertake beach cleans on our kayak tours.

We buy from businesses such as Peak UK which are extending their excellent range of paddle-sport clothing by using recycled products and reduced packaging. Werner Paddles recycle materials used in the manufacture of their paddles. Our old kit is often stripped down so parts can be reused for repairs and other uses. For example, old PFD foam makes an excellent mat to keep your feet warm when changing on cold days, and the foam makes good padding when storing kayaks on the trailers.

To encourage customers to use greener alternatives, we offer an eco-discount if they arrive by bus, bicycle, or foot.

The tricky bit is how to reduce our carbon footprint even further. Currently, the cost and availability of electric vans to tow kayak trailers are pretty limited. However, I expect the prices will soon get more realistic.
Another challenge is finding a sea kayak manufacturer that utilises more recycled material and can recycle their products at the end of their working life.

Carbon Offsets for a small business
Faced with reducing our carbon footprint, we looked at carbon offsets. For a small business, carbon offset schemes can seem quite complicated. It soon became apparent that carbon offsetting (when done well) is more than just planting trees.

Rewild Carbon
In 2021 we heard that the Jersey-based Durrell Wildlife Conservation Trust had created Rewild Carbon, a carbon offset project with a novel approach. Knowing that a world-famous conservation organisation founded by Gerald Durrell ran Rewild Carbon gave us confidence that this was a scheme worth considering.
Durrell links the purchase of forests in Brazil with habitat management for endangered species.

To restore the incredible colour of our planet, Durrell aims to:
Recover threatened or missing wildlife;
Revive and rebuild ecosystems and natural processes;
Reconnect people to the natural world they share, and take
Responsibility for demonstrating the value of the natural world.

Rewild Carbon invests directly in reforestation and has an integrated management scheme to support endangered creatures and local communities.

We can see where our money goes, and more importantly, it actively involves local communities in wildlife conservation.

Read more about the Rewild Carbon project and how it is helping to regenerate forests, habitats, and endangered species like the Golden Lion Tamarin here.

Responsible visitor charter

We can all help to ensure that our fantastic coastline and environment remain safe for future visits by helping to do just a few simple things.

In our desire to view wildlife, we may unintentionally disturb wildlife. Follow the advice of our trained staff. Read our wildlife watching code in the Environmental Guidelines.

Avoid bringing disposable water bottles with you. Use a cycle water bottle instead.

Try to reduce the amount of throw-away and single-use items you bring on our trips. Less packaging can make a significant impact in reducing the amount of rubbish on beaches. Paper bags and reusable lunch boxes are a great idea. On our offshore trips to Les Écréhous, we ask clients to use lunch boxes and avoid taking excess packaging.

Consider picking up one piece of rubbish from any beach you land on. Just removing one plastic item makes a difference if we all do this. If you want a bit of fun, join us on our cable tie challenge and see how many you can gather from a beach. Mick, one of our guides, is probably the expert at spotting these irritating things, which get washed up everywhere.

Driving and parking can be a nightmare at some of our departure points. If you arrive by bicycle or bus, we offer a discount when you book online. There is a discount of £2 on our kayak tours and £1 on our walks. Bus times can be accessed here.

Book activities and accommodation from members of Eco-Active or the Green Business scheme (see below).

Support local businesses. Buy local. Local businesses put more back into the community. (To learn more about this, read “The small mart revolution” by Michael H Shuman.) Jersey has lots of Farm shops, and they are a culinary delight.

Corporate Social Responsibility

Big words, but what do they mean for us in our approach to the environment, community, and the way we operate as a business in Jersey.

To reduce the environmental impact of our business, our targets are:

Comply with the requirements of environmental legislation and approved codes of practice.

Aim to improve environmental performance. Currently, we monitor our carbon footprint and aim to continue to reduce this by;

We use an electric van for day to day transport and getting equipment to ous seabed walks and tours.

Travel by bus when we need to go to meetings in St Helier.

We switched our office heating from gas to electric. Jersey Electricity is currently using % renewable energy.

We replaced a diesel van with a new and more efficient model.

Installed an air pollution monitor at our office as part of an island-wide research project.

Supported the National Trust for Jersey’s “Hedge Fund” by buying 50m of hedging planted around local fields. The aim is to increase biodiversity and make a small local step to reduce our carbon footprint.

Introduced Carbon offsetting in 2021 by signing up to Durrell ReWild Carbon.

Use environmentally friendly cleaning materials used to wash our kit.

We are moving our purchasing of kayak clothing to Peak UK because they are producing kit made from recycled materials and have also removed plastic packaging from most of their products.

Reduce pollution, emissions, and waste arising from our activities. This is aided by our online booking system, which allows us to have more control and better scheduling of our bookings.

Raise awareness, encourage participation, and train employees in environmental matters. Most staff have completed a Wild Life Safe training course.

Encourage similar environmental standards from all suppliers and contractors.

Participation in local environmental issues. We are members of the Jersey Ramsar Management Authority, the local Marine Biology group, and take part in the annual Marine Mission event.

Endeavour to buy local products from local suppliers where ever possible.

We try to check out our suppliers’ environmental practices.

Eco-friendly things we do:

Use biodegradable detergents and sterilising solutions when cleaning wetsuits.

Use recycled paper.

Operate energy-efficient light bulbs at the office.

Operate out of a home/office.

Offer work experience placements with Project Trident for young people.

Offer special rates for schools and youth groups.

Support local charities by offering raffle prizes and training/support for people undertaking kayaking events to raise money for charity.

Organise beach clean-ups on some of the remoter coves around Jersey by encouraging clients to pick up items of discarded plastics.

Pick up waste and discarded plastic from beaches.

Buy local whenever possible. Cleaning/washing products are bought from the Co-operative stores.

We aim to operate out of just one venue each day to reduce fuel emissions.

Wild Life Safe (WiSe)

Wild Life Safe Adventure TrainingStaff have undergone Wildlife Safe training and follow the observing wildlife code. WiSe is a Training and Accreditation scheme aimed at operators of passenger pleasure craft, wildlife cruise operators, dive boats, and charter yachts who may encounter marine wildlife such as whales, dolphins, basking sharks, or seals.

Training consists of instruction on how to best view these creatures whilst at the same time minimising disturbance to them.

Eco-active scheme

We were the first Jersey company to sign up for the Eco-active business scheme and are now an Eco-Active Leader. This scheme encourages businesses to consider their broader environmental impact and adopt good practices.

Member of the Plastic Free Jersey campaign.

Jersey Kayak Adventures played an active role in the Ecrehous management plan, the Marine Wild Life Watching Code for Jersey, and the Seabird Action Group (Plemont headland and the puffin colony – Jersey seabird protection zone).

Green Tourism

We are one of the first members of the Green Tourism business scheme (GTBS) in Jersey and gained the GOLD standard in 2010. We have maintained this standard.

The GTBS is the leading sustainable tourism certification scheme in the UK. Businesses opting to join are assessed by a qualified grading advisor against a rigorous set of criteria, covering areas like energy and water efficiency, waste management, biodiversity, and more.

Memberships:

The Wild Life Safe scheme

Eco Active – a Jersey-based scheme

Green Tourism – the GOLD standard

British Canoeing

Jersey Hospitality Association

Société Jersiaise: Member. They were founded in 1873 to study Jersey archaeology, history, natural history, the ancient language, and the conservation of the environment.

Jersey Heritage Trust: Seymour Tower accredited guides.  We are responsible for updating the tower operating procedures and guide training with JHT.

Support local businesses. Buy local, act globally. Local businesses put more back into the community. (To learn more, read “The small mart revolution” by Michael H Shuman.) Jersey has lots of Farm shops and to shop, there is a culinary delight.