Planning a summer vacation but feeling pretty lousy about the whole U.S. withdrawing from the Paris accord thing? You’re not alone. And renowned tour company Intrepid Travel is standing with you, making it a smart option for eco-conscious travelers booking in solidarity with protecting our precious lands. A global adventure travel company that was established 28 years ago, the company currently offers more than 1,000 trips in more than 100 countries and on every continent.
And this week, the tour behemoth, which is also the largest carbon-neutral tour company in the world, announced that it’s going to double its carbon offset contribution this year on all 68 of its tours that run in America. The pledge was taken in response to President Trump's decision to withdraw from the Paris climate accord, according to a company press release.
“The tour operator has cited that travel companies must still have a stated commitment to doing right by the environment despite the lack of government intervention from the executive branch,” the statement reads. “Doubling their commitment means Intrepid will offset approximately 3,000 tons of CO2 emissions in 2017. This is on behalf of over 2,500 passengers traveling across 68 tours operating in the United States.” The carbon offsetting investments will go toward the Dempsey Ridge Wind Project in Oklahoma, a VCS-accredited wind power project generating electricity from renewable resources.
“The responsibility for climate change has been handed over to public and private leaders to take action,” says Leigh Barnes, director of Intrepid Travel in North America, reacting to the Paris climate accord news in the same statement. “We all have a part to play, and this was the most immediate action we could take. Offsetting does not grant us a license to create carbon, but it allows us to make a positive contribution to the planet while we continue to work towards meaningful emission reduction strategies.”
And the company certainly practices what it preaches: In addition to being carbon-neutral since 2010, it has invested $1.1 million into renewable energy projects since that time and also planted 50,000 trees in Australia, Kenya and Thailand. In addition to these initiatives, Intrepid strives to find less carbon-intensive alternatives throughout the tours themselves, including using 21 different kinds of public transportation worldwide, staying in modest, locally-owned lodging, and dining at locally-owned restaurants where the food is sourced locally.