I’ll start out by saying this blog could also be titled “Minimizing Our Environmental Impact” or “Reduce, Reuse and Recycle: A GCW Way of Life.” Do we understand it’s hard to juggle a handful of potato chips, a can of soda, and a pita stuffed with chicken and veggies and guacamole and sour cream and black olives and ooh, don’t forget the dill spear? Yup.
Do folks sometimes wish we were a bit more forthcoming with the paper towels and maybe some plastic cutlery, for crying out loud? You bet. But, we’re pretty committed to making sure we leave each Grand Canyon campsite (or lunch spot) cleaner than we found it, so everyone who travels in the Great Unknown behind us finds it as pure and pristine as it was in the days of its earliest visitors.
That means minimizing the amount of trash we generate on the river — the less trash there is, the less likely it is for any to slip from your hand and take flight on a surprise gust of wind. It also means we pack out every single tiny little piece of trash we do generate on our Colorado River trips. While we think you’ll be impressed by the amount of storage space there is on our boats and by our wily guides’ ability to compact trash and sort recyclables (yep, we sort it all on river because all the recyclables go directly to a recycling center at the end of the trip), the truth is, trash takes up a lot of valuable space. We would rather use that space to store things like fresh fruit and vegetables, your gear, camp chairs, and tents. So we make some tough decisions. We ask you to get your hands dirty on your Grand Canyon Whitewater river trip. We ask you to lick the mayo off your fingers, to utilize a nearby rock for a table, and to plant your beverage securely in the sand. And, secretly, we hope you’ll return from your Grand Adventure knowing we all can get by just fine with a little less.