The summer rhythm of Juneau, Alaska, is shaped by 1.5 million cruise ship tourists who visit to watch whales or see the 13-mile-long Mendenhall Glacier, which has retreated about a mile in the past 40 years. Now some of the money they pay to offset their emissions is helping less-well-off Juneau residents install heat pumps, which are cheaper and less polluting than heating with oil. “It’s a carbon cost that people could actually relate to and understand,” says Andy Romanoff. He runs the nonprofit Alaska Carbon Reduction Fund, which has paid for 41 installations since 2019, preventing 3,125 metric tons of emissions over their 15-year lifespans. Most of the fund’s donations came from the nearby gold mine and a Juneau guiding company but Allen Marine, a regional tour operator, now offers an opt-in donation when booking online and the smaller Wild Coast Excursions also includes the offset in its prices. However, no cruise lines or major airlines participate as yet.

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