What is the standard for ethical ecotourism?
In order for any organization to make a difference in the green movement, it is essential that they appreciate and respect the efforts already taken by others and not try to dismantle any such progress with political meanderings. Creativity and constant positive forward thinking are the keys! Human power is the only responsible platform for any sustainable, natural exploration! When considering auxilary propulsion, which is necessary when conditions are not suitable for kayaking, the responsible path forward is to not rely on conventional wisdom but to make every attempt possible to mitigate our impact on the sensitive habitats by considering alternative fuels and, most imporatantly, by not pursuing or spinning propellers over marine mammals, or in the shallows of the estuaries. We believe that with our new vegetable oil powered water jet propelled vessel, Ripple Effect has set a higher standard for ethical ecotourism!
Principles and morals are the only way to measure any progress. Monetary gain can never conflict with moral higher-ground. The best thing about a small organization is the ability to measure these. Constant analysis is critical with the growth of an organization to maintain it's original code of ethics and to not fall victim to the easy opportunity to rely on mediocrity to shape the events that we are solely responsible for. At Ripple Effect, we hold ourselves responsible for every ripple, every wave that we set in motion! We make conscious decisions daily that could possibly affect the quality and quantity of life on Earth!
Who is behind the ideology set forth by the company? What is the motivation? Is it to just maintain a certain level of mediocrity- to just put in enough effort to just stay afloat- job security? Or, could it be that we at Ripple Effect are entirely motivated to bring our cause to as many people as possible to spread our message far and wide using knowledgeable enthusiasm, sustainably. No cynics here! We will continue to work as diligently as possible to make sure that we get to continue the work that we love all while respecting the ideas already set forth by others and forging new ones. Otherwise, this would just be a job!
Yes, no business can be green without taking great strides to reduce, reuse, and recycle. At Ripple Effect, we utilize technology to maintain much of our administrative system. Our fully automated website allows for our virtually "paperless" back office with online reservations. All of our new brochures and even our business cards are printed on recycled paper printed with vegetable inks to reduce those pesky VOC's. Our e-gift certificates are totally paperless and make it easy to send someone "the ultimate green holiday surprise". You won't find us frivolously advertising in printed tourist pamphlets that are irresponsibly distributed and inevitably end up in the land fill.
Let's not forget that life, as we know it, is confined to the biosphere only on this wondrous "blue planet", one in a billion! In the biosphere, 90% of all life lives within 10 miles of the coast. That accounts for the fish in the sea living on the continental shelf which comprises only 2% of the oceans! Or, more importantly, this also accounts for humans wanting to be at the beach. So whether your lucky enough to live here, or you are on vacation in this coastal paradise, it is all too important that you consider your own impact and help to counter act the environmental pressures brought on by our own recreation! If you have read thus far, then you are definitely in the right place and we welcome you!
As naturalist guides, our purpose is to interpret the natural beauty that abounds in Northeast Florida so that our patrons take home an experience, a sense of place, that will stay with them for a long time and, hopefully, be passed along to the other important peoples in their lives. We call this the "Ripple Effect"! We are only interpretive guides and put no emphasis on the importance of ourselves. The message that we convey comes from the diligent biologists, archeologists, and educators in our community that have dedicated their lives to the knowledge that we put forth. This is the very reason that we have developed partnerships with the finest environmental educational organizations in the area including the GTM NERR (National Estuarine Research Reserve), Marineland Dolphin Conservation Center, and the University of Florida's Whitney Laboratory for Marine Bioscience. Not to mention that for years we have been active supporters of the CSO's (citizen support organizations) that help to fund many of the educational outreach programs in the Florida State Parks including Washington Oaks and Faver-Dykes State Parks. What can you do to help? A percentage of all of our proceeds goes towards funding the research, education, and stewardship of all of our non-profit partners and we are very grateful to have the opportunity to serve the environmental community here in Northeast Florida!