Since Aurora Arktika started inviting guests to play outside in 2006 we have focused on human-powered activities such as backcountry skiing, hiking, mountain running and kayaking and used our sailboats as movable huts. We like to believe that we take our role as caretakers of nature seriously and that our environmental footprint is limited. But is it really so? Should we not try harder? How important is WHERE we explore compared to HOW we explore?
The Old Testament tells a story about the Earth´s creation. On the sixth day God created a man and a woman and said to them, "Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it. Rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky and over every living creature that moves on the ground." The book of Genesis was written down about 3500 years ago and then there were probably less than 100 million humans on the entire planet. This text proved to be hugely influential and it´s message perhaps taken a bit too seriously. Today there are close to eight billion people on planet Earth, 60 percent of all mammals are our livestock and 70 percent of all birds are farmed poultry. Only 20 percent of the planet's landmass remains as something we can call wilderness and now we are even rapidly changing the climate.
David Attenborough was probably right when he described humanity as "a plague on the Earth" and multiplier of all other environmental problems. And whether or not we agree with the Bible´s statement of us being the masters of the Earth, Homo Sapiens has clearly become it´s ruler. But that also means that this insignificant ape holds the key to the future – for better or worse. We CAN be responsible caretakers and ensure that future generations will not only survive but continue to enjoy this awesome planet.
To figure out how to live and work as sustainably as possible is probably the biggest exploratory mission of our times. Yes, the global environmental issues may often seem daunting to us and nothing we can do of any real significance. But it´s very important that each and every one of us at least tend to our own garden and clean up a little bit around ourselves.
We at Aurora Arktika have decided that before the end of the year 2025 we will have stopped using fossil fuel or any other non-sustainable fuel on our boats. As of now we don´t know how this can best be done but we look forward to figure that out. We will continue to explore uncharted waters of the Arctic but we will put even more efforts into exploring HOW we live and travel there. We will start different projects to become more responsible with all other supplies that we use on our trips. Most exciting could be the delicious food we serve on our boats and how we can with creative development of recipes and processes continue to serve even more tasty and wholesome meals primarily from local sustainable ingredients. Last but not least we need to work with our guests to minimize the impact of travel to and from our homes. In all of this are many interesting challenges that we are willing to accept, not because they are easy but because it´s time for all of us to do the seemingly impossible.
We do not pretend to know all the answers for how to combat climate change or protect our natural environment. Admittedly we are quite bewildered or confused and surely we will do many mistakes. But we are excited to ask questions and look for answers. Globally we need a giant leap in innovation in how we deal with our energy needs and how we live in harmony with nature in the future. Here lie exciting and interesting projects for future generations and in a way fantastic adventures and exploration. Real adventure begins at the end of our comfort zone; it should be a journey from which you will certainly not come back as the same person. Come and join us for this adventure, whether it is by joining our trips or simply by participating in our discussions and dialogue from your home, we look forward to an awesome odyssey.