Despite being a harsh wilderness with no room but to the toughest flora and fauna, Lapland is also home to unique landscapes filled with overwhelming natural beauty, yet to be fully touched by the destructive hands of mankind.
So how about buying yourself a piece of Lapland?
Sounds crazy? It’s not. Even more so, it’s relatively cheap as well, if you do the purchase through Geocollectors.
Geocollectors is a Finnish company that made it to domestic headlines with a rather peculiar business model: they acquire land from exotic locations, in this case Lapland, after which they resell the land in one square meter plots to private clients. The customers become legal proprietors to the small piece of land they've acquired and this way the company basically crowdsources the larger area between thousands of individual owners from around the world.
Why, you might ask?
There are several reasons, but from an environmentalist's perspective the crowdsourced land becomes much harder for any other entity to purchase the land back and exploit it, making it an effective way to protect and preserve the area in question.
Purchasing a one square meter plot costs you $100 and it gets you the proprietor’s package (which includes a piece of Lapland green dolomite marble and codes to access the location online) and the proper degrees and proof of purchase. Additionally you become part of the Geocollectors society, a community of like-minded people who share the desire to preserve the integrity of invaluable pieces of wilderness around the world.
The idea would be to participate in preserving numerous wilderness areas by collecting square plots in as many of the intended locations as possible (hence Geocollectors), which in current light would soon include countries like Brazil, Australia, and Niger, all places in which the company is currently doing biddings in.
Should you wish to visit your piece of wilderness after completing the deal, you could either go old-school style; pack up your backpack and trek over to the location by whatever means you see fit (though avoid anything highly non-environmental will you). Alternatively, if you’re a registered user, thanks to year-round cameras featured in the area which upload pictures, videos and 360-degree renderings of the place, you could access visual footage of the plot online without having to move one inch from home.
Geocollectors strongly points out that landowners are not allowed to build anything on their plots (which even with the permits would seem like a tough job considering the plot's size). A 10% cut from every deal goes to a target charity chosen by the landowners. To see which areas are on sale, go check out their map that has the available spots pinned down.
At first, Geocollector seemed like the businessman seen in Saint-Exupéry's famous novel The Little Prince. However, unlike the novel’s greedy businessman drunk with numbers, Geocollector offers much more than just a macabre sense of ownership with no real connection to the subject owned: a community of people who care for the environment and who've finally been given a means to legally take action to preserve the natural state of world.
Perhaps becoming a landowner in Lapland isn't such a bad idea after all.