We know that all of our guests rent their vans in order to see and experience those sparkling landscapes and unusual traditions that make Alaska a unique and wondrous place, and we want to make sure that future generations also get to have those same experiences. To that end, we are committed to doing our part to keep Alaska’s natural beauty and cultural heritage intact.
We chose minivans for their easy driving and maneuvering, but another benefit is that they get much better gas mileage than almost all RVs, and even larger camper vans. Our vans regularly get 24mpg+ on the highway—even when fully loaded with people and gear. Some guests have done even better.
When we clean our vans, we take care to use environmentally safe cleaning solutions and procedures. Simple Green and vinegar both remain useful tools in our arsenal, as well as a lot of good ol’ elbow grease. Harsh chemicals aren’t always necessary if you’re willing to do a little scrubbing! We use environmentally safe—and scent-free—laundry detergents, and all of our appliances are energy- and water-efficient.
We’re also big fans of the Pay-It-Forward philosophy, and we have set up what we refer to as the “Free Shelf” in our office for that purpose. Any food, dry goods or other useful camping items that renters aren’t able to take home with them get placed out on the shelf for other renters to use. We make sure all items are clean and safe to use, and encourage their use, as they not only make things easier for each new renter, but mean less waste in landfills and recycling centers as no one has to purchase things just to throw them away at the end of their trip. At the end of the season, any unopened food gets donated to the Alaska Food Bank (see our Who We Support page).
We also take the time to make sure all of our renters know how to keep Alaska’s backcountry clean while they’re out in our vans. We make sure everyone knows how to dispose of waste—whether in bear-proof containers, gray water disposal sites, or bringing things back to our office after their trip—and we also take time to explain how to remain “bear aware,” to protect both humans and bears in the backcountry.
We send every rental out with a fully stocked kitchen, reducing the need for single-use and disposable items, and we provide recycling bins at our office for those items that couldn’t be avoided.
And we are active partners in the Tour Green program, an initiative started by the Renewable Energy Alaska Project (REAP), a nonprofit dedicated to clean and renewable energy development, education, and advocacy in Alaska. Learn more about Tour Green.