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A mantra for AllSeason Vacation Rentals

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Another initiative was to review the company’s use of supplies and cleaning products. Their main supplier, Slope Side Supply, did an audit of the products the company uses and rated them on a scale of one to three; one signifies that a product is the most environmentally-friendly available while a three means a product should be reassessed. To make things easier, Slope Side also included a short list of environmentally-friendly alternatives.

For example, in the future the company will be switching from individually packaged shampoos to dispensers that can be filled using a bulk packaged product.

"This stuff is more low-hanging fruit," explained Chelswick. "A lot of these products are already available, as long as you’re in the habit of looking for them. Whistler is fortunate to have a company like Slope Side that is also looking for ways to become more sustainable, because as suppliers to a large number of companies in town they are in a position to help companies do things better, and change the way they think."

Another initiative that Chelswick is just starting to implement is offering guests the ability to purchase a "Zero Net Carbon Emission Vacation." The idea is that AllSeason would plant trees to off-set the carbon created by guests coming to Whistler.

Although he says his calculations are rough at best, Chelswick went through the exercise to see if the program was economically feasible for guests and the company.

What he discovered was that a family of four visiting Whistler from Europe will produce about 30 tons of carbon dioxide, the majority of which is produced by flying. AllSeason then found an American company that will plant a tree in an endangered rainforest for $1.50. If every tree can off-set approximately one ton of carbon dioxide in its lifetime, a Zero Net Carbon Emission Vacation for a family of four from Europe could be available for as little as $45.

"For a vacation that could easily be costing them in the neighbourhood of $10,000, it’s not a lot of money," said Chelswick.

He has since presented his idea to Tourism Whistler, which is in the process of refining the concept for other Whistler accommodation businesses in the resort. Chelswick welcomes their involvement because it means the concept will be studied more in depth. So far he hasn’t found any other working carbon off-set program in the world to base his own program on.

"My calculations are rough, and only apply to a family of four from Europe. What needs to be done is a more thorough study, about 10 scenarios that we could apply to the majority of visitors to Whistler," Chelswick said. Those scenarios, providing the calculations are verifiable, could one day be used to create a scale to charge people for Zero Net Carbon holidays.