'If thou hadst thy will what wouldst thou reserve?' said Manwë. 'Of all thy realm what dost thou hold dearest?' 'All have their worth,' said Yavanna, 'and each contributes to the worth of the others.' J.R.R. Tolkien, The Silmarillion
Tolkien loved the natural world. Middle-earth was a character just as important as any other throughout his works, and his descriptions of its various landscapes make this clear. Whether in the green, rolling fields and hills of the Shire, the wild and bleak moors of Eriador, the snow-capped peaks of the Misty Mountains, the ethereal woodlands of Lothlórien, or the “dishevelled dryad loveliness” of Ithilien, The Lord of the Rings was in some ways a love letter to the landscapes of the real world that Tolkien had known throughout his life.
He also understood the danger posed by industrialism. When the Hobbits return to the Shire, they find needless destruction of the old and beautiful, and its replacement by the new and ugly; pollution of air and water; neglect; "and above all, trees wantonly destroyed". The desolate and polluted land of Mordor and the industrial hell of Isengard serve as a warning for us all - if we do not take care of the world around us, there will be nothing left for our future.
As such, ArdaCraft is committed to reducing our own small impact on the natural world. Server hosting requires energy, and we are proud to say that our host Scaleway has been supplying 100% of its electricity consumption by wind power and hydroelectricity since 2017. It is also committed to the circular economy by extending the life-cycle of its hardware and ensuring that 100% of their hardware components are reused and recycled. You can read more about their efforts here.
We also hope to educate our playerbase about the natural world through our focus on botanical and geological realism. We are building hundreds of tree species, researching real-world biomes to be applied to Middle-earth, and have geologists assisting us with the map. In this way, we hope to engender a greater appreciation for the natural world amongst our builders and guests.
Finally, our long-term goal is to donate a certain percentage of our Patreon funds towards the UK’s Woodland Trust, to help restore some of the landscapes that Tolkien loved. We hope that he would have approved.