Natural Habitat Adventures wants to reduce the national park’s staggering amount of waste—and give you an awesome summer safari

Natural Habitat Adventures in Yellowstone
Courtesty of Natural Habitat Adventures

The leave-no-trace concept sounds simple, yet each year, over 100 million pounds of waste is generated in national parks. Natural Habitat Adventures, the world’s first carbon-neutral travel company, aims to reduce that number with a new zero-waste safari in Yellowstone National Park. More than a year of research went into this industry-first expedition. The goal, says the company’s sustainability director, Court Whelan, is to divert 99% or more of all on-trip waste produced throughout the week. From your glamping base just outside of Big Sky, Montana, you’ll dine on locally sourced foods without plastic plates, cups, or straws and scrape leftovers into a compost pile after each meal. Everything that can’t be recycled or composted locally will be brought back to the company’s headquarters in Boulder, Colorado, and handed off to TerraCycle, a company that recycles otherwise unprocessable waste. The hope is that you’ll leave with memories of bison, elk, and wolf encounters as well as new habits you can use back home. From $5,695; July 6–12.

Courtesy of Natural Habitat Adventures

Take It Home

The average American produces 4.4 pounds of trash per day, says Court Whelan. Here are three things you can do at home to get closer to zero waste:

Compost. Making the extra effort to separate compostables and take them to the curb or to a local composting facility drastically decreases the amount of waste we send to landfill. 

Forgo Plastic. Set a goal of purchasing fewer single-use plastics such as food containers, travel toiletries, and water bottles. Take a stand against purchasing plastic bags, straws, and cotton swabs, which often end up in our oceans.

Recycle. Find out if there are alternative recycling facilities, like TerraCycle, for items that can’t go into your home single-stream container.