Yellowstone hotel gift shop educates shoppers on global warming, product footprints

Mammoth Hot Springs Hotel gift shop

Think of a hotel or tourist destination gift shop as a place full of cheap crap likely made by underpaid workers in the developing world? In most cases, you’re spot on. At Yellowstone National Park’s Mammoth Hot Springs Hotel, though, concessionaire Xanterra Parks & Resorts is aiming for a very different kind of gift shop experience: one that educates shoppers on the effects of global warming, and the lifecycle of the gifts they purchase.

Xanterra’s “For Future Generations” store in the hotel provides a scorecard that is

…intended to help customers decide whether to buy a product that was made in a place with a reputation for environmental disregard, or pay more for one made under conditions considered more environmentally sustainable.

The company also plans to install displays to educate consumers on the effects of climate change on Yellowstone itself, and to offer a kiosk that allows visitors to calculate their carbon footprints. Xanterra director of marketing and sales Rick Hoeninghausen notes “The intention is that the first thing visitors will know is that this is a place to learn about climate change.”

This isn’t Xanterra’s first environmental initiative: the company’s website offers a full range on information on the ecological footprint of the tourism industry, and reports and plans for its own efforts to “green” its operations.

Have second thoughts about visiting the gift shop now? If you’ve already had a chance to check out For Future Generations, let us know…

via Victoria Advocate

Image credit: Xanterra Parks & Resorts