Northwoods Adventures strives to be a socially responsible rafting outfitter, we donate to river stewardship causes, practice fair trade wages, are environmentally conscious and community minded. We believe there is more to being in business than profits and our actions reflect this belief.
As an organization our motto is simple. “Be the change you wish to see in the world.”(Ghandi), by living this credo today we positively affect our world for tomorrow.
At Northwoods Adventures we earn our living on rivers with wild characteristics, in accordance with this truth, watershed protection and river restoration are core issues for us. In 2007 the Sturgeon River was freed from a dam, resulting in the restoration of flows and white water opportunities by the very same organizations we support today. One Dollar from every raft trip purchase is donated to local, regional and national non-profit river stewardship groups to lend a voice of action to river stewardship.
Fair Trade Wages
Raft guides in the U.S. have historically been exploited as a cheap labor force, in exchange for the love of what they do they are treated poorly, hazed and paid migrant worker wages. Young willing guide prospects abound as high school and college students, when these guides reach a certain age and have to face the ”real world” the pay they received as a guide is no longer acceptable, nor are the lack of benefits especially in an extremely competitive environment with many replacements available. Due to this there is a very high turnover rate in the industry, good guides are hard to find and harder still to retain. The end result is usually accepted as life and they move on to a ”real job”. Fair wages and fair treatment are our starting point at N.A., we recognize that our guides are very talented professionals, they deserve better for following their hearts than to be used to keep overhead low and profits high.
We are aware that we have a footprint through our actions as people and as a company, we are practical in our approach to this issue and are constantly working on solutions to reduce our impact on the world around us. One of the many ways we do this is with Terraprene wetsuits, which are derived from plentiful Limestone, not petroleum like Neoprene. In addition to being oil free, Terraprene wetsuits have more elasticity, are more buoyant, more efficient at preserving warmth and will be composted at the end of their use life. We use non toxic, organic, bio cleanse solutions to wash our gear in and we use a process which conserves water without compromising the cleanliness of the process. We steer clear of toxic chemicals and search for solutions with less or no impact in our day to day operations wherever possible. We firmly believe in the 4 R’s Reduce, Re-use, Recycle and Repair.
Out on the water we practice a code of ethics and we believe in adhering to our highest ideals in our day to day business through our community actions as well. We buy locally, we support our fellow businesses and vendors in our communities. We are working towards a community outreach with local programs to teach Leave No Trace environmental ethics to children and outdoor groups as well as river stewardship and watershed awareness. We donate our time as volunteers for projects, river cleanups, perform daily trail trash pickup everywhere our guides go and work with local agencies to better resources for incidental responses.