• Business Business

Non-profit capitalizes on state's tourism industry to make profound impact on landscape — here's how

"It's a carbon cost that people could actually relate to and understand."

"It's a carbon cost that people could actually relate to and understand."

Photo Credit: iStock

A non-profit in Alaska is attempting to mitigate tourists' pollution by asking for money to install heat pumps across the state, improving energy efficiency.

Carbon credits — which allow people to essentially donate money to environmental causes to offset their carbon footprints — are becoming more and more mainstream as concerns over the overheating of our planet continue to elevate. Oftentimes, people won't see the impact of their carbon credits because they benefit a cause outside of their immediate experience. 

This isn't the case with the Alaska Carbon Reduction Fund, a program spearheaded by members of Renewable Juneau and Alaska Heat Smart, according to Grist

The fund aims to install heat pumps in Juneau to reduce pollution from locals and tourists alike. By asking tourists to pay extra on their sightseeing excursions, the fund is asking them to help preserve the natural wonders in the area, like the Mendenhall Glacier, so that future travelers and residents can enjoy the beauty of the location rather than seeing it melt away.  

"It's a carbon cost that people could actually relate to and understand," said Andy Romanoff, who administers the fund.

"I just don't understand why these things haven't taken off like wildfire," Garri Constantine said of heat pumps, which allowed him to stop spending hundreds of dollars a month on firewood to heat his home.

Heat pumps are a cost- and energy-effective alternative to traditional heating systems that can both heat and cool buildings by using electricity to move heat into and out of spaces rather than actually producing cold or hot air. 

The technology is already saving numerous residents tons of money in Maine, and 25 U.S. states and territories have committed to quadruple the number of heat pumps in the country by installing 20 million pumps by 2030.

Join our free newsletter for cool news and actionable info that makes it easy to help yourself while helping the planet.

Cool Divider