Woman and child in Arches National Park

Sustainable Tourism in Moab

“MoabFirst” brings together the local community, business owners, land agencies, local Government Departments, and Grand County, Utah Stakeholders to develop the short-term and long-term Sustainable Tourism Criteria for Moab, Utah. Setting short and long term goals will allow the “MoabFirst” Sustainable Tourism Committee to plan, execute, and monitor the Criteria for the future of Moab, Grand County local community and its visitors.

Moab Sustainability

Sustainable Tourism is defined by the United National World Tourism Organization as “ Tourism that takes full account of its current and future economic, social and environmental impacts, addressing the needs of visitors, the industry, the environment and host communities”.

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Moab’s Plastic Bag Ban

The Moab City Council, in September 2018, voted unanimously to enact a ban on single-use, carry-out type plastic bags. The goal is to reduce the use of throwaway plastic products, particularly lightweight plastic bags, which are a litter problem and escape into waterways and oceans where they are harmful to animals and may enter the food chain as they degrade into smaller and smaller – but still plastic – pieces. The ban is another step toward the City meeting its goals as established in its “2020 Vision: A Sustainable Moab Plan,” which was passed by the Moab City Council in 2008.

The MoabFirst Event

The “MoabFirst” event will take place on January 18, 2018, in front of the Moab Information Center on the corner of Main and Center Streets (weather permitting). The Moab Area Travel Council will be giving away the reusable bag to anyone in Moab supporting the Moab City Plastic Bag Ban. We will ask each person, before they receive the bag, what two things they will do to support sustainability in 2019.

MoabFirst Reuseable Bags

This is the beginning of the “MoabFirst” Sustainable Tourism Program from The Moab Area Travel Council to appreciate, protect, and preserve all that we have here in Grand County.

Moab’s Electric Vehicle Charging Stations

Through a $50,000 grant from Rocky Mountain Power’s Plug-In Electric Vehicle Program, the City of Moab has installed 10 level 2 electric vehicle charging stations at five locations throughout the community. Plug-in electric vehicles can help substantially improve air quality because they have zero, or very little, tailpipe emissions. Conventional vehicles produce carbon dioxide, carbon monoxide, sulfur dioxide and nitrogen oxides. At level 2 stations, a vehicle can be fully charged in four-to-six hours.

The charging station initiative is part of an effort to transform the region’s transportation system by incentivizing the development of geographically dispersed charging infrastructure, increased energy security through reduced petroleum usage, and the implementation of reliable alternative transportation.

Moab Recharging Station

The new charging stations are located at:

  • ACT Campground, 1536 S. Mill Creek Drive
  • Adventure Inn, 512 N. Main St.
  • Center Street Gym, 203 E. Center St.
  • Moab Golf Course, 2705 East Bench Rd
  • Moab Springs Ranch, 1266 N. U.S. Highway 191
  • Rocky Mountain Power Office, 400 N 100 W

Tesla Supercharger Stations

In addition to the 10 level 2 electric vehicle charging stations, Moab also has 4 Tesla Supercharger stations. Superchargers provide Tesla vehicles with half a charge in about 20 minutes. The 4 stations are located at:

  • Best Western Plus Moab, 16 South Main St

Widespread vehicle electrification across the country could reduce greenhouse gas emissions by between 430 million metric tons and 550 million metric tons annually by 2050. In a recent study, the Utah Department of Transportation recorded an average of 13,000 vehicles at the intersection of Main and Center streets. If one percent of those vehicles were electric, an average of 124,800 pounds (62 tons) of air pollution could be avoided locally each year.

Moab’s ACT Campground – A Model of Sustainability

ACT Campground and Learning Center in Moab, Utah is a green-integrated camp park that models the ways commercial or residential properties can be environmentally friendly.

Visit Like a Local

Woman and child in Canyonlands National Park

Welcome to our home. Moab locals take pride in the region’s special places, and they live by the “Leave No Trace” code of ethics. To preserve our home for future generations, visit like a local and observe the following practices:

Stay on the Trail – Protect Biological Soil Crust
Drive and ride only on roads and trails where such travel is allowed; hike only on established trails, on rock, or in washes (dry stream beds). Biological soil crust, also known as cryptobiotic soil, is the foundation of desert plant life. This black, knobby crust is made up of many different living organisms and plays a vital role in maintaining the desert ecosystem.

Biological Soil
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Biocrust holds together sand grains, which helps prevent erosion and dust. It also holds moisture and fixes nitrogen in the soil, which helps plants to survive. However, this sensitive soil is extremely fragile and can take decades to grow. Even a footstep can damage the crust for decades, having lasting impacts on the desert environment. Please stay on the trails. Help protect this fragile, but crucial, life by remaining on designated roads, routes, and trails at all times. Where hiking trails are not established, hike in sandy washes (dry stream beds) or on bare rock.

Note that immature Biological Crust looks similar to light-colored bare soil but develops into the mature black pinnacles.

Leave No Trace of Your Camping
Camp at designated sites or, where allowed, at previously used sites. Avoid placing tents on top of vegetation and use a camp stove instead of making a campfire. Use a portable toilet. Unless signs indicate otherwise, leave gates open or closed as you find them.

Help Keep Canyon Country Clean
Pack out your trash and recycle it, clean up after less thoughtful visitors, and dispose of human waste properly.

Protect And Conserve Scarce Desert Water Sources
Camp at least 300 feet from isolated water sources to allow for wildlife access. Carry your own drinking water. Leave potholes undisturbed and wash well away from pools and springs.

Allow Space For Wildlife
When encountering wildlife, maintain your distance and remain quiet. Teach children not to chase or pick up animals. Keep pets under control.

Leave Historic Sites, Native American Rock Art, Ruins and Artifacts Untouched
Admire rock art from a distance and never touch it. Stay out of ruins, leave artifacts in place, and report violations.

Observe Posted Speed Limits
Prevent excessive noise by driving slowly through residential neighborhoods.

Moab’s Green to Gold Program

Green to Gold is sponsored by the City of Moab that offers simple solutions to help Moab businesses reduce their impact, save money and gain recognition for their achievements in energy and water conservation, waste reduction, alternative transportation and social responsibility. The businesses recognized for Green to Gold will receive a Green to Gold sign and businesses can also earn badges for their achievements in each of the categories. The Green to Gold businesses want to make a difference in our community and we ask that you support their efforts by visiting their business.

Businesses, churches and schools have been joining the new Green to Gold Program. Participants agree to address their impact through assessments, facility audits, and free training and rebate programs. The focus in 2018 has been water and energy. During the summer of 2018 partners saved 851,768 kWh, which is the equivalent of taking 136 cars off the road for a year or the annual CO2 emissions from 68 homes. Please support the partners that are helping to make Moab a more vibrant, healthy community:

  • AArchway Inn
  • ACT Campground
  • Adventure Inn
  • Arches Electronics
  • Barlow Adventures
  • Canyonlands Auto
  • Canyonlands Field Institute
  • Canyonlands Copy Center
  • Certified Ford
  • Chile Pepper Bike Shop
  • City of Moab – Art Center, Pool & Sun Court
  • Desert Bistro
  • F & F – WC City Villas Associates
  • F and L LLC
  • Farm And City General Store
  • Flyoff Properties LLC
  • Grand County
  • Grand Tire Co
  • High Desert Auto
  • Indigo Alley
  • Knowles Home Furnishings Inc
  • La Quinta
  • Lee Nail
  • Lost River Trading Co Inc
  • Mcelhaney Construction
  • Mega Blue
  • Moab Auto Parts
  • Moab Free Health Clinic
  • Moab Home Center Inc
  • Moab Ice LLC
  • Moab Made
  • Moab Side X Side Adventures
  • Moab Tour Company
  • Monument Waste Services
  • Nation’s
  • Navtec Expeditions Inc
  • Original Red Dirt Shirts
  • Recycling Center
  • Royce Electronics
  • Sheri Griffith Exped
  • Sherry’s Country Store
  • Times Independent
  • T & H Corner Stop
  • The Arches Book Co
  • Turner Lumber
  • U S Post Office
  • UDOT Region 4
  • Wabisabi Inc
  • Ye Ol Geezer Meat Shop
  • Zions National Bank

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