hiker in autumn

Four tips for an eco-friendlier Alaska vacation

How to Travel More Sustainably When You Visit Alaska

A love of our landscape is not new in Alaska. In a place so beautiful, with the strong cultural values of Alaska Native peoples, reducing our impact on the environment is only natural. We know that sustainable travel – considering environmental, social, cultural, and business practices as part of the travel process – is important to Alaska, our communities, and our future.

And it’s easier than you might think to tread more lightly when you visit. These four steps are a fantastic way to get started: 

1. Pack A Little Lighter

No one likes to carry around heavy suitcases, and Alaskans are pretty laid back when it comes to fashion, so bring just what you need when you’re filling your suitcase. 

It’s easy if you plan to dress in layers, re-wear items, and remove packaging from anything new you bought for the trip. 

Less weight in your suitcase means less energy – human or mechanical - is needed to move stuff around, reducing your transportation carbon footprint.

Wondering what you need to bring? There’s a packing list in The Alaska Vacation Planner.

2. Buy Local Eat Local

Buying goods and services locally - including hiring local guides – not only cuts down on shipping and transportation costs, it helps support local families and communities.

You’ll also get to know more about local people and cultures by connecting one-on-one with Alaska residents. Is there something you’ve always wanted to know about living in Alaska? Here’s your chance to ask! 

And, by eating local foods, you’ll get to try wild Alaska salmon and halibut, locally grown (giant!) veggies, and regional favorites while supporting Alaska fishermen, farmers, and craft food and beverage-makers. While shopping, look for the Alaska Grown, Made in Alaska, and Silver Hand labels to signify Alaska-produced items. 

3. Reduce, Reuse, Recycle

The “3Rs” are a common theme for promoting sustainability and they make sense. (Did you know nearly half of all plastic produced is only designed to be used once? )

Reduce your footprint by bringing an extra reusable shopping bag to carry your locally produced purchases and using your own refillable water bottle or coffee mug for daily use. 

Plus, those water bottles and coffee mugs are great places to put travel decals and stickers from all the great places you’re going to visit! 

4. Choose Sustainably Certified Tourism Businesses

Look for TravelAlaska.com’s advertising partners with the Adventure Green Alaska (AGA) logo. The AGA program certifies tourism businesses operating in Alaska based on economic, environmental, and social sustainability standards. AGA monitors compliance, and certified businesses must renew every two years to maintain certification. They’re the green team!

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