“How can I be a better Idaho guide this year?”

I’m about to embark on my first river float trip of the spring. It’s the usual scenario. I’m overpacking “junk-food” gear like journals and lotion, but underpacking important warm clothing layers, all while trying very hard to remember where my most important pieces of technical equipment were placed during the offseason. I’m excited to be heading out to the Owyhees with a well-seasoned, all-women, Idaho-guiding crew and to pay homage to the 10th anniversary of wilderness protection for the area. Among the chaos, I look forward to the whitewater season and ask myself this important question: “How can I be a better Idaho guide this year?”

I think about it in tiny ways. The small, effortless changes I can make on a daily basis to make sure I’m still meeting my own needs for self-care in a long season of work while, at the same time, taking care of these wild places I love. If litter and waste around the world are a tragedy of the commons, then I consider making small changes among Idaho guides a triumph of the commons. I like the idea of being part of that triumph. It gives me hope for the future.

So without further ado, here is the first of three blogs dedicated to the outfitters and guides of Idaho. We are the ones who introduce people to our state’s wild rivers, natural landscapes and wildlife. Now, here’s a “Green Guide” to help us be a more sustainable, professional group while working and recreating in the outdoors.

Tips for More Sustainable Guides

As your stuff wears out, switch to Zero Waste practices:

  • Use a handkerchief!
  • Switch from liquid soap to solid soap and store in a plastic-free tin
  • Buy a double-edged safety razor
  • Use a bamboo toothbrush
  • Consider toothpaste powder
  • Get a refillable floss container
  • Buy reusable bamboo cutlery for food on the go
  • Switch to a wooden comb/hairbrush
  • Purchase reusable silicone bags to replace one-time Ziplocks
  • Use wool dryer balls instead of dryer sheets
  • Think about switching to a silicone menstrual cup

These switches aren’t novel or difficult. They’re simple and mostly effortless — but together they make a huge difference. Download the Green Guide Tips PDF to print out for your local groover station, car-home, or guide-fridge.

Happy spring organizing!