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For a Sustainable World
left better than it was found
We see the difference we make to the communities in which we operate by developing clear and measurable objectives in the following areas:
We ensure that our activities complement and advance the communities in which we operate by responsibly promoting their unique social, cultural and heritage characteristics.
We ensure that HI Canada, its regional Associations and their hostels are economically viable into the future and engaging local economies in collaborative ways.
We minimize our impact on climate change and ecosystems by understanding how our activities impact the natural environment, taking steps to intentionally reduce our impact and raising the ecological awareness of all.
We're nothing if not resourceful. Two hostel managers in the Rockies got together and came up with a plan to convert recycled chest freezers into 'hybrid refrigerators' that harness the cold Canadian winter air to refrigerate food. In the summer, they're powered by solar panels. As a result, the hostel uses 1,400 fewer litres of propane per year.
In 2016, HI Athabasca Falls Wilderness Hostel officially went fully off the grid with the installation of 15 solar panels, bidding a cheerful "smell ya later" to their old diesel generator. The solar panels provide 100% of the hostel's electricity in the summer months and reduce the hostel's greenhouse gas emissions by a whopping 88%.
In an effort to reduce their carbon footprint, and to harness some of those powerful Newfoundland winds, HI Bonavista installed their very own wind turbine. The 50-foot windmill kicks into gear with 12 km/h winds and can produce up to 400 kWh of clean electricity per month.
HI Vancouver Jericho Beach is located in beautiful Jericho Park, which is home to a number of rare plant and animal species. Hostellers can help protect biodiversity in the area by taking part in our Earth Easy Project. Donations are given to the Jericho Stewardship Group to fund replanting and the building of bird and bat boxes in the park, and hostel guests can also volunteer to help remove invasive plants while also replanting natural plants.
Thanks to support from the HI Sustainability Fund, HI Yoho National Park, Whiskey Jack Wilderness Hostel installed a micro-hydro electrical power generator in 2015, which brought electricity to this remote hostel for the first time ever. The generator uses flowing water from a nearby stream to power the hostel's lights, fridge and communications, while also giving guests a glimpse of renewable energy in action.
We will reduce, and make continual progress towards eliminating, the release of any substance that may cause environmental damage to the air, water, the earth or people.
We will strive to change our consumption patterns by choosing cost-effective products and suppliers which eliminate, minimize or mitigate adverse environmental impacts.
We will make sustainable use of renewable natural resources, such as water, soils and forests. We will conserve non-renewable natural resources through efficient use and careful planning.
We will reduce, and where possible eliminate, waste through source reduction, re-use and recycling. All waste will be handled and disposed of through safe and responsible methods.
We will strive to minimize the environmental, health and safety hazards to our staff and volunteers, and to the communities we serve, or in which we operate, through safe technologies, facilities and operating procedures, and by being prepared for emergencies.
We will encourage our hostel guests to support the Canadian Code of Ethics for Tourists. We will keep hostellers, members, the Canadian public, and the international community, informed in a timely manner, of HI-C's role in environmental stewardship.