Sustainability Spotlight: Flagstaff Extreme Adventure Course

Are you looking for adventure, the great outdoors, and sustainability? Then Flagstaff Extreme is your answer. Located in the cool pines of northern Arizona, this Adventure Course encourages people of all ages to get outside and test their skill on a ropes course in the trees. They just added a new attraction called Adventure Zips that has over 30 zip lines. Flagstaff Extreme values environmental consciousness and incorporates sustainability into their business, setting a strong example for sustainable tourism in Flagstaff. Here are some of the great things they are doing to lessen their impact.

Reducing
When the adventure course was being built, owner Paul Kent opted to remodel an old office on the site rather than tear it down. Reusing building materials not only significantly lessens the amount of waste in landfills, but it also prevents demand for new materials to be created. Kent also minimized the impact of the building remodel by not installing carpet which also helps improve indoor air quality.

Flagstaff Extreme helps their customers reduce their impact with by offering free water refills for people who bring their own bottles. Instead of plastic bags for merchandise sales they use reusable string bags. They opt for walkie talkies that use rechargeable batteries rather than one-time use batteries. They also recognized an excess of packaging waste in shipments of carabineers they received, so they contacted the company and asked them to remove the extra packaging. 

The Flagstaff Extreme crew reduces their energy consumption through use of a Nest thermostat and Energy Star rated appliances including printers, computers and hot water heater.  To conserve water, they have low-flow toilets installed and no-watering-needed landscaping.

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Reuse and Recycling
Flagstaff Extreme has recycling bins in their office and throughout the course. When course material gets worn out, instead of heading to a landfill it gets branded and sold as unique souvenirs of the course. Additionally, they are going to start turning the old harnesses into belts and dog collars which will be for sale soon. Landscape debris, such as fallen trees, get chipped and added back to the forest floor. Hazardous and electric waste gets disposed of properly.

Hugging the Trees
Without the Ponderosa pines, there would be no adventure course so healthy trees are of utmost importance to Kent and his team. The platforms surrounding the trees were built with extra space that allows the trees to continue to grow. Flagstaff Extreme works closely with an arborist to make sure that the trees are healthy and to reduce the risk of fire.

Sustainability Philosophy
The staff at Flagstaff Extreme follows the Leave No Trace philosophy, which consists of seven core principles for enjoying the outdoors responsibly with minimal impact. Not only do they pick up any trash that they see on the course, they have also adopted mile 337 on I-17 northbound and work to make sure it is free of trash.

Flagstaff Extreme also works with other local business to support the local economy. For example, they buy their office supplies from Quality Connections, a nonprofit that employs people with disabilities, and their t-shirts come from local printers. Congrats to Flagstaff Extreme for setting a great example for sustainable businesses in Arizona! Find out more by visiting their website