What makes us who we are?
Why do we do what we do?
What sets us apart?
These are some of the questions
that we are routinely asked,
and are happy to answer!
The quick answer is:
We do what we do because who we are sets us apart!
What does that mean? Ethical Ecotourism is more than just a catchy phrase... its the
way we run our tours, our business model, and the difference between other kayak
tours and ourselves. Examples of this go from our virtually paperless "back office",
to the responsible fishing practices in our kayak fishing tours. As we know that
each decision we make will cast "ripples" through the environment, we make sure we
can ethically stand behind everything we do. Here is our interpretation and standard
of 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!
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
and every wave that we set in motion!
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 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!
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 Reserve),
Marineland Dolphin Conservation Center, and the University of Florida's Whitney
Laboratory for Marine Bioscience. 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 go to funding the
research, education, and stewardship of the GTM NERR!