Eco Education While Zipping Through A Coastal Temperate Rain Forest

by Robin Yeager on 01/18/2010

in Environment, Green Education/Training

Sustainability: Living within the earth’s capacity to support life.

That’s the most concise definition of sustainability I’ve seen. I might add “now and for the future” but perhaps that’s superfluous. In any event, it’s the operating mantra of Ziptrek Ecotours, a Whistler, B.C. company founded by two friends from Winnipeg to provide eco education in conjunction with eco adventure.

On an overcast winter day, I and 7 other (considerably younger) outdoors types emptied our pockets (literally) before donning harnesses and helmets at the base of Whistler mountain in British Columbia. As we traveled into the region’s old growth rain forest, our guide engaged us with a geologic history of the area.

Before Marc and Marchi launched us onto each of five ziplines, ranging from 400 feet to 2200 feet in length and soaring up to 160 feet above the whitewater of Fitzsimmons Creek,

Ziptrek Zipline, Whistler, BC

Ziptrek Zipline, Whistler, BC

we learned about The Natural Step, a science-based sustainability system developed by a Swedish oncologist who had observed a connection between cancer and the environment. The sustainable development framework, as condensed by Ziptrek, is comprised of four elements: (resource) extraction, production, (environmental) degradation and (our) contribution.

A 7.5-megawatt hydro project on Fitzsimmons Creek is under construction. Promoted as a sustainable project, it is supported by Ziptrek’s owners. The power project will impact the river’s flow where water is diverted through a pipe to produce the energy before returning to the creek. We can only hope that it won’t impact the zipper’s aesthetic experience.


{ 1 comment }

Marc-Oliver 01/22/2010 at 6:52 pm

Hello Robin,

Thank you very much for your article. … Hope the eco and the Natural Step was an inspiration for you. Let us know, if you have some ideas, how we can improve our service and the guest experience. We like to hear from you.

Sunny Wishes from Whistler and the Village,
Marc-Oliver, Tour Guide and Social Media Manager

Comments on this entry are closed.

Previous post: New Homes should be Water-Efficient as well as Energy-Efficient

Next post: Contemplating the Ocean