Your Green Life: "Madeline Island Ferry"

By KBJR News 1

May 7, 2012 Updated May 7, 2012 at 8:03 AM CDT

"Travel Green Wisconsin" is a certification for businesses in Wisconsin that have shown true dedication to sustainable practices.
According to Mike Radke, the Operations Manager of the Madeline Island ferry, Bayfield is a leader in going green.

"You know, Bayfield has really been the leader in "Travel Green Wisconsin" for a number of years, it started here originally, it originated here." Says Mike Radtke, the Operations Manager at Madeline Island Ferry.

Like most businesses, the ferry serves started with the little things.

"Of course when we started, we started with kind of simple things, changing light bulbs to CFL's, improving our recycling efforts, those kinds of things." Said Radtke

But the simple things weren't enough, they wanted their employees to be apart of the sustainable business plan as well.

Radtke says, "The other is just working with our employee's. We offer a financial incentive to our employee's to commute to work with each other."

The next step was to improve efficiency, and reduce emissions, to their petrol guzzling ferry boats.

"The Madeline, which is behind me, was our first one five years ago, with new, what is referred to as, "Tier Two" EPA engines, which reduces diesel emissions significantly." Says Radtke

The Madeline Island Ferry, along with most of the business in Bayfield, is making an effort to be a green community.
These sustainable practices not only benefit the residents, but the thousands of tourist that visit the scenic lakeside every year.

Radtke says, "Your know, I think that most of the businesses have a very close connection to Lake Superior, we look at it every day and I think that we recognize that from a tourist stand point, maintaining the environment we live in is important to us. It's a business decision if nothing else."
Radke says that in the long term future they plan on constructing a new vessel with sustainable practices in mind.