Samesun Backpackers understands the impact travel and tourism can have on the environment. This incredible planet that we live on and explore has become burdened by overuse and pollution. The future rests in our collective hands and Samesun wants to do what we can to ensure a healthy planet for all to share. We are committed to improving our business practices to become more environmentally and socially responsible.
Here are nine ways we have improved our operational procedures to reduce our footprint and help spread our environmental message to our international guests:
- Cleaning products
Samesun Backpackers in Vancouver, Venice Beach, Banff and Kelowna have switched from chemical based cleaners to natural, environmentally friendly products. The products used in our hostels are from Lotus Pro and use three natural oxygen atoms to oxidize bacteria and convert it safely back into oxygen. This technology has been safely used for water treatment, food sterilization and medical therapies for its remarkable anti-viral and anti-fungal properties as well as being fully approved by Canadian and US Health Departments. This reduces harmful chemicals and bleaches from going into our waterways whilst improving the sanitation in our establishments.
Samesun Kelowna also use whole orange peels from our free hostel breakfast to create a homemade cleaner. Adding orange peels to vinegar creates a natural spray cleaner that is used for tabletops and windows.
Our hostels are constantly reviewing and improving our recycling procedures to reduce landfill waste and help promote reuse and recycling. All plastic, glass, tin, cardboard and paper are properly sorted and sent to specific local companies for recycling. All glass bottles and tin cans used in The Beaver Bars and Restaurants in Vancouver and Banff are recycled.
Through recycling, we can eliminate the first two stages of production: extracting and refining raw materials, and saving on overall energy consumption and CO2 omissions used to create plastic, glass or paper items in the future.
Within the last 12 months Samesun Backpackers have seen an opportunity to improve our recycling options to include composting food scraps in our Canadian locations. Encouraged by the City of Vancouver’s Greenest City 2020 initiative, Samesun Vancouver became one of the first businesses downtown to start their composting program. Samesun hostels in Banff, Kelowna and Vancouver as well as The Beaver Restaurants now have successful composting programs for food scraps, laundry lint, paper towels and more. Clear signage in our hostels help to explain to guests the importance of composting.
- Lost property donations
With hundreds of backpackers coming through our hostels every week we have a surplus of clothing that gets left behind. Whether an item has been misplaced or just won’t fit into a stuffed suitcase, Samesun will catalogue it for three months before donating it to a local charity. Some charities in Vancouver that we donate clothes to are Big Brother, D.T.E.S. Women’s Shelters, and The Gathering Place.
- Energy saving light bulbs
All Samesun hostels have or are in the process of changing to energy saving light bulbs. Energy saving light bulbs use one-fifth to one-third less electricity of standard bulbs and last eight to fifteen times longer as well.
- Solar panels
Samesun Kelowna has roof-mounted solar panels which are used to heat the water at the hostel. This saves on using fossil fuel power and helps promote renewable energy.
- Educating our guests
Samesun Backpackers provide clearly labeled and easily accessed recycling and composting facilities that ask our guests to help us help the planet. This bold signage with environmental information can help to educate our guests on the important responsibilities we all share for our collective future. We hope our guests will think about their own impact and take this responsibility into other aspects of their lives.
- Charitable donations
Samesun Backpackers is committed to engaging in charitable causes such as Movember, Bikinis for Breast Cancer and other events throughout the year. Our total donations per year exceed $1000 and this year we have made a $200 donation to A.L.S. as part of the ice bucket challenge. However, we didn’t want to waste fresh water….. see what we did here.
- Environmentally responsible hostel activities
Samesun Backpackers offer hostel activities for our guests, which help them to meet other travelers and explore the amazing regions around western Canada and the USA. Our hostel activities are always focused on low foot print events using public transport, walking or cycling to get around. We encourage our guests to car pool or use public transit as much as possible to reduce the impact of travel.