Preparing for Freedom? Newsletter

Rumours are beginning to fly that Boris will start to ease the lock-down restrictions from Sunday, maybe with access to the outdoors coming first. For those of us yearning for nature, this would be great news and we're here to help. This week:

Free trip! Would you like to join us for a weekend of freedom and the outdoors in Snowdonia?  As a social enterprise, we want to make sure that we're doing all we can to make it easier, cheaper and greener for you to get outdoors. If you'd like the chance to win a trip of your choice with us, all we ask is for you to complete this short survey. 5 quick questions that SuveryMonkey says will take 2 minutes, and you could win a trip worth £50! 

Sustainable Adventures

It's easy to think that the mountains we love will be there forever, but over the years we’ve seen them change. In Snowdonia, the fifteen years to 2010 saw temperatures rise, precipitation increase, and flora and fauna decrease as soil degraded. A pattern that’s played out around the world, damaging our climate, air, seas, rivers, soil, animals and our own health. There’s still hope to repair the planet, if we act now. It's imperative that our adventures are sustainable and responsible. Here are our 5 top tips:

  • Make the most of the journey - getting to and from the adventure often comes with our biggest footprint. Jumping in the car or on a plane is often easiest, but the emissions are significant! Ride shaing and public transport are better, but Via Outdoors is greener, easier and cheaper than both of those

  • Take the road less travelled - The myriad ecosystems supporting our environment are equally fascinating and fragile. We must be careful not to overpopulate and exploit the wild places we love so much. There are too many routes scarred by erosion, litter, congestion and a lack of nature. Fortunately the definition of adventure is in avoiding the most common paths. At Via Outdoors, we share suggested routes with our customers so can hopefully help out there too

  • Pay attention to the little things - It’s well documented that slowing down and taking notice of the little things is good for us, but it also helps the planet. It may sound a bit wishy-washy, but recent research shows that noticing and admiring nature is strongly linked to people taking conservation action. So when you’re out on our next adventures, whatever that might be, take the time to engage every sense and appreciate the outdoors. When did you last feel, smell or even taste wild nature? 

  • Enjoy a shopping adventure - Outdoor kit can have a large footprint, from a litre of oil required for a single fleece to 2,500L of water required for a single t-shirt. Try to buy less, buy second-hand, repair what you can, and recycle what you have finished with. This will help the planet and your wallet!

  • Go bigger! - The success of environmental and mountaineering charities is vital if we want to enjoy adventures for generations to come, and they need our support. From following BMC guidance and volunteering to build paths, to signing petitions and voting for those who match our values, there’s a lot we can do that will have an impact beyond ourselves. 

What have I forgotten? Please do get in touch and let us know!

Our Pledge for the Planet

Via Outdoors was set up as a social enterprise that was set up to connect you with the great outdoors and to protect the planet. In this blog post, we outline why we're doing this and how we're working to improve our impact on the environment, from offsetting to donations.We can summarise it in these six bullets:

  1. Continuing to do all we can to reduce our energy use

  2. Using accredited nature-based solutions schemes to offset our remaining emissions so that we remain carbon neutral in scope 1, 2 and 3

  3. Remaining zero to landfill by reducing avoidable waste, maximising recycling and extracting energy from remaining waste

  4. Donating at least half of our profits to high impact environmental charities that use nature-based solutions to repair and sustain the planet

  5. Continuing to use our platform to educate and inspire people into conservation action

  6. Working with accommodation and guiding partners who are also working to become more sustainable and who reflect our values

So what are you doing to protect the planet and what more could you do? Why not take the climate pledge, reduce your energy use, move to zero avoidable waste or donate to environmental causes? Tag us on Instagram and we’ll happily share your great work with the world! 

Looking for the perfect present for the adventurer in your life? Just like you all, we're itching to get back to the mountains. We miss the freedom of nature and the sense of being alive that only adventure brings.  You can now give this gift of freedom to a loved one, or support a small social enterprise by buying yourself one.  Each gift card allows the recipient to join one Via Outdoors trip in the coming year, with either transport, accommodation and guiding options so you can customise your perfect present.  So why not get ready for the great outdoors once again? Via Outdoors Gift Cards

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