“I arise in the morning torn between a desire to improve the world and a desire to enjoy the world. This makes it hard to plan the day.” — E.B. White
This great quote from the author of Charlotte’s Web is taped on the wall above my computer at the Run the Alps’ office in New Hampshire. It perfectly expresses how I feel about my own goals in life.
It’s a tightrope. Some days, I fall before taking the first step. On a very few lucky days, I strike a balance.
As a company, I’ve always wanted Run the Alps to both enjoy the world and improve it. So, this month, we joined 1% for the Planet.
Unless you’re large enough to become a B Corporation, the usual structures don’t express these twin goals. Instead, the focus is on profit — so we can tick off one or two items in Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs — perhaps with a dozen pairs of Salomons thrown in, too.
So, we did the next best thing. We made a commitment to donate 1% of our profits to support nonprofit organizations working on issues related to climate change. It’s a tangible way to express our values.
We work to express these values in other ways, too. In getting the word out about Run the Alps, we’ve partnered with trail races and trail events around the country. We donate 5% of the cost of a tour to those organizations, whenever someone picks up a card and books a tour. We want to support an activity that has deeply enriched our lives.
We’ve also started a new Guest Program, inviting elite trail runners and others in the world of trail running, along on tours. The goal is to learn from each other, and share our enthusiasm for trail running, across the usual boundaries. As we develop new ways for our clients and friends to enjoy trail running in the Alps, we’ll also be growing our ability to improve our world, too.
Much of it is not selfless. It’s necessary — urgent, even. The late climber David Brower, also notably the first Executive Director of the Sierra Club, wrote, “There’s no business to be done on a dead planet.” It’s oft-quoted, and justly so.
We’ll do our best to walk E.B. White’s tightrope. Like Run the Alps itself, it’ll always be a work in progress.
Now, time to click “Publish,” lace up those Salomons, and enjoy the world.
Happy trail running, everyone. We’ll see you in the Alps!