We'll ask participants of each expedition to debate which organizations to support with their group's funds.
This conversation will, we hope:
- Deepen our awareness of environmental NGOs, big and small, in Chile, the United States, and beyond
- Spur each participant to articulate their own philanthropic values to a community who will hold them to these values
- Inspire continued support from individual participants going forward
We've admired 1% for the Planet for years. As Doug Tompkins used to say (quoting Dave Brower):
"You've got to pay your rent for living on the planet."
As 1% for the Planet puts it, we as a society are falling far short of paying sufficient rent: "currently, only three percent of philanthropic giving in the U.S. goes to environmental causes; and only three percent of this giving comes from the business community. On top of that, government funding for the environment is variable even in the best of times. The global community has a responsibility and opportunity to step up for the planet and drive positive change."
If you go the route of trying to quantify the contribution we get from nature, giving back 1% to nature seems like only a start. In estimating the overlooked contributions of natural capital to GDP, the World Bank found that natural capital may make up over a third of many countries' wealth. Whether you're walking up a mountain or down the street, virtually everything you notice has its roots in natural systems: water, air, wood, the food that keeps you going...
Any wilderness-based project, like ours, has an additional imperative to support the health and vitality of the natural world. No part of our business could exist without it. We stand on the shoulders of generations of conservationists and environmental activists who have pushed for protected areas, battled climate change, defending endangered species, and educated the next generations.
A 1% donation doesn't let us off the hook.
We're 100% invested in figuring out all the ways we can minimize our negative impacts and maximize our positive ones.
We're asking participants to buy carbon offsets for their flights. As Leave No Trace Master Educators, we train participants in minimal-impact camping. Years of conservation work in the Patagonia region inform our curriculum in environmental ethics and natural history. We build low-carbon menus for expeditions, including asking participants to opt vegetarian. Most importantly, we hope that walking through these wild and rewilding landscapes gives each person a deepened commitment to work toward a healthier future.
All this is just a beginning. As an evolving experiment to build a new form of wilderness travel, rooted in the transformative power of these places, Chulengo learns and grows day by day, mile by mile, person by person. We mean it when we say we need more willing bodies and curious minds to join us--please consider yourself invited as a co-creator.