Just in time for Earth Day, the newest northern lights are energy-saving compact fluorescents, at least in tiny Churchill, Manitoba. Award-winning ecotour outfitter Natural Habitat Adventures is helping shed light on climate change while providing real community service to the town-dubbed "The Polar Bear Capital of the World" -- that serves as home base for its popular polar bear adventures. Natural Habitat Adventures' Bulbs-for-Bears program is enlightening homes and businesses in the 1,000-resident community with some 3,600 compact fluorescent light bulbs (CFLs) this year with the help of corporate sponsor Gaiam.
The donated CFLs are projected to save residents more than $150,000 over the life of the bulbs -- as well as reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Also hip to the dirty logistics of trash removal in the remote location, Natural Habitat Adventures is providing a bulb crusher for responsible CFL disposal in the fragile Arctic environment. And to help the bright idea spread, the company provides residents, businesses -- and ecotourists arriving to see the bears in their natural habitat -- with educational materials about CFLs' climate change-fighting benefits and how to take them home.
Recently named a "pioneer in sustainable travel" by National Geographic Adventure magazine, which ranked its Antarctica expedition a 2008 "Best New Trip," Natural Habitat Adventures consistently lights the way toward greener travel, including providing carbon-neutral wildlife adventures to more than 30 countries, employing a cooking oil-fueled "veggie van" for its Winnipeg transfers, and recently introducing the planet's first hybrid safari vehicle. The company's polar bear trips start from $4,195 for a 6-day expedition.