Environmental Stewardship

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Planet Before Profits

The world is on fire and it will take a groundswell of people working together to put it out. At OG, we’re proud to be a 100% carbon neutral company. Programs are intentionally designed to minimize our footprints on the ground while our complete CO2 offsetting program does the same for the air. That means that your experience with OG from start to finish is carbon neutral. But we don’t just want to be a neutral force for good, we want to be a positive one. That’s why every OG program contributes directly to climate and conservation projects being carried out by our partners around the world.

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PROGRAM DESIGN

Our itineraries are intentionally designed to naturally reduce our footprint. This shows up in all aspects of our programs, but here are some of the ways we lower our impact on program.

Low Impact Transportation

We’re walkers, hikers, bikers and busers. On an OG program, you can expect to move around in ways that are naturally better for the earth. Whether it’s a 3-day trek in the Andes or a 2-day float down the Amazon, moving slowly is both an incredibly rewarding way to travel and kind to our environment.

Local and Independent Digs

We eat, sleep, stay and play with small-scale, family run businesses we know and love. This way, we can be sure that they walk the talk when it comes to their environmental policies and practices. Eating regional cuisine is not only fun, but it also means that the food hasn’t travelled halfway around the world before reaching your plate!

Preparation is Everything

We are diligent about knowing what we bring to and what we leave in a place. For example, all participants bring their own refillable water bottles so that we don’t have to constantly buy single-use bottles on program. We reduce our impact by being equipped with the gear and knowledge that helps us do just that.

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EDUCATION

A critical aspect of striving for carbon positivity and inspiring real change is education. Every one of OG’s programs has an element of environmental justice education, where we take the time to think about and reflect on our individual impact as well as the changes we can influence on our collective impact. Here are some of our partners who are doing extra-cool work for the earth.

Partner-Bee Farm Shunku

Bee Farm Shunku, Ecuador

In the Ecuadorian Highlands, this family-run organization aims to restore the bee population in Ecuador and preserving the once pristine highland forests. They focus on community and global education to promote a “bee friendly culture” both locally in Ecuador and in the places their visitors call home. Meet them in person on Ecuador: Food Revolutions

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Spiti Ecosphere, India

Ecosphere is a social enterprise whose focus is to create sustainable livelihoods that are linked to nature and culture conservation. They are located in the Spiti Valley in the Himalaya. Not only does Ecosphere commit to the development of the place, people, and resources of their specific region, but also to the outside world with whom they wish to share their rich and natural world.

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Kausay Puku, Peru

The Kausay Punku farm is a family enterprise run by the Ccapa brothers, Arcadio and Dario, located in Maska. Their purpose is to preserve the Incan culture and lifestyle, and traditional methods of working the land, while encompassing continual themes of environmental sustainability and traditional healthcare. Visit Kausay Punku on Peru: Secrets of the Sacred Valley.

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CARBON OFFSETTING

First, we calculate our footprint. The emissions are calculated based on information we collect about our office operations, air travel, transportation & accommodation in-country, and the types of activities on program.

Then, we contribute to carbon offsetting projects through Sustainable Travel International and PlanetAir. We chose two organizations to work with so that we could offset our Canadian participants’ footprint and our US & International participants’ footprint with relevant organizations. Here’s a little bit more about what they do and why they’re cool!

Sustainable Travel International has been working to minimize the negative impacts of tourism and maximize its positive benefits for people, cultures, nature, and wildlife around the globe since 2002.

Their educational and intersectional work includes carbon offsetting for travellers and businesses. OG is proud to be a Guardian Member of Sustainable Travel International in addition to offsetting US and international participants’ flights and program GHG emissions through them.

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Tonnes of CO2 offset with Sustainable Travel International in 2019-20

PlanetAir is a Canadian organization regarded by the David Suzuki Foundation as one of the leaders in the industry of carbon offsetting. They were launched by the Unisféra International Centre in 2005 and are recognized for their high-quality carbon credits and thorough reporting on their work.

We offset Canadian participants’ flights and program footprints with PlanetAir. OG also offsets its office GHG emissions with PlanetAir, as we are also based in Canada.

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Tonnes of CO2 offset with PlanetAir in 2019-20

If Not Now, Then When?

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