O.A.R.S. – THE ECO-SAVVY ADVENTURE TRAVEL OUTFITTER FURTHER REDUCES CARBON FOOTPRINT WITH A NEW COMMITMENT TO SOLAR POWER

Angels Camp, California – February 2008 – For nearly 40 years O.A.R.S. (Outdoor Adventure River Specialists), has been committed to being a leader in the field of sustainable travel.  Their goal isn’t simply to be one of the most environmentally responsible tour operators in the world, but to continually raise the bar and challenge other companies to raise their standards as well.

O.A.R.S., the first rafting company in the U.S. to offset all of their carbon emissions, is in their third year of working with NativeEnergy, purchasing approximately 613 tons of carbon offsets in 2007, which has the same global warming offset impact as keeping over 100 average cars off the road for an entire year.

In an effort to become ever increasingly energy responsible, in 2007 O.A.R.S. made the decision to go 100% solar for their warehouse and main office operations in Angels Camp, California, and for their warehouse and office in Flagstaff, Arizona, for their Colorado River operations in the Grand Canyon.  These two new systems are expected to generate over 123,000 KWH of electricity their first year and every year thereafter – enough to keep 8 medium-sized houses supplied with electricity for an entire year.  This will result in a reduction of approximately 180,000 lbs – over 90 tons of green house gases (mainly carbon dioxide) per year.

“The last few years have represented a period of change in our country – an awakening to the significance of sustainability – where “being green” is not only cool, it’s expected,” George Wendt, President & Founder of O.A.R.S., said recently.  He continued, “At O.A.R.S., we’re thrilled to see such progressive movement, but then again, conservation is the foundation of our company and the lifeblood of our future, so let’s hope that “being green” isn’t just a fad; let’s hope it’s here to stay.”

In its continuing effort to do all that it possibly can to help preserve the environment, O.A.R.S. plans to double its electricity-generating capability in 2008 by installing solar energy at its warehouses and offices in Lewiston, Idaho, for the four rivers it runs in the state, in Jackson, Wyoming, for its operations in Grand Teton and Yellowstone national parks, and in Vernal, Utah, for its operations in Dinosaur National Monument.

In 2007 the internationally recognized adventure travel outfitter swapped the motors on their gear boats for trips on Jackson Lake for new four-stroke engines, reducing fuel consumption significantly.  They provide on-site employee housing in most destinations, sparing guides and staff from potentially lengthy, carbon-emitting commutes.  Additionally, more than 20% of the fuel used in the company’s Grand Canyon gear vehicles is now bio-diesel.

O.A.R.S., often recognized as the premier whitewater rafting outfitter in the United States, increasingly is asked to share its knowledge regarding environmental protection at a number of professional meetings for those in the outdoor industry and members of the federal land management agencies.

Said Wendt, “We agree with NY Times columnist, Thomas Friedman, who, when speaking of a new form of patriotism, coined the phrase, “Green is the new red, white and blue.”  Indeed, I believe we’ve shown our true colors for nearly 40 years.”

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Since 1969 O.A.R.S. has set the standard in first-class rafting, sea kayaking and multi-sport vacations, with destinations and unparalleled experiences on over 35 rivers and coastlines of the world.  O.A.R.S. caters to active travelers of all ages and abilities with more than 75 unique itineraries worldwide, including one-day and weekend escapes.  For more information on O.A.R.S. eco-friendly adventures, including a free 84-page color catalog, call O.A.R.S. at 1-800-346-6277, email the company at info@oars.com or visit www.oars.com.