Every year on April 22nd, we celebrate Earth Day. We become conscious of what we are throwing away, what we consume, and if we have time, we head outside to pick up trash or plant a tree. While there is absolutely nothing wrong with these actions (I wholeheartedly support EVERY Earth Day-specific activity), I find myself asking why it takes a designated date to get most of the population (including my younger, naïeve self) to “celebrate” something that we interact with, live with, and rely on every single day of our lives. We all know that we should recycle, use less plastic, invest in those reusable bags, and maybe even walk or bike to work if we are able. However, it seems as this “go green” aspect of our lives is severed off from the rest of our lives. How are we supposed to “go green” every single day? How do we incorporate Earth Day into our lives every day?
Well, apart from quitting your job and becoming a nomadic environmental activist (props to you if you actually do this), we can individually make everyday decisions about what we eat, what we buy, where our money goes, and what we do with products we already own. This is an aspect of our lives that is usually not associated with “going green,” but becoming aware of what companies stand for environmentally can help us make informed decisions about where we spend our money.
This Earth Day, I would like to share with you some of the really, really, REALLY amazing things that the outdoor companies we carry at GOS do for the environment. You might already own products from these brands, but you might not know what cool things these brands do for the environment. If anything, I hope this information helps you become a more environmentally friendly and informed consumer. I know both my coworkers at GOS and I support these brands, not only for the products they make, but also what they stand for.
-Black Friday 2016- Patagonia gave 100% of their $10 million in Black Friday sales to grassroots environmental organizations. A local non-profit Friends of the Big Sioux River was a recipient of a $5000 grant directly from that campaign! Patagonia also donates 1% of their annual sales to these same organizations through 1% Fhe Planet, which is an organization that businesses all over can choose to become part of.
-Patagonia works to repair and recycle their products so it doesn’t end up in landfills through their Worn Wear program.
-Patagonia Provisions is working to create a positive change in the food industry, allowing you to buy environmentally responsible (and delicious) food and beer. Including South Dakota’s own Wild Idea Buffalo jerky!
I could go on forever about Patagonia, but check out their blog to read about the seemingly endless work they do to protect and repair our environment. http://www.patagonia.com/blog/
United By Blue
-United By Blue removes one pound of trash from our world’s waterways for EVERY product sold. The United By Blue team, along with volunteers, organize these cleanups and have removed 995,291 pounds of trash across 26 states since 2010. You can join these cleanups here. https://unitedbyblue.com/pages/cleanups
-Apart from making all of their swimsuits out of recycled fishing nets (trust me, they are some of the most comfortable swimsuits you’ll ever wear,) they promote responsible consumption through donation and repair, as well as providing information about how to create less food waste. They are also big into Women Empowerment, and you can read about all of this on their blog. http://blog.lolewomen.com/category-cause/
-Royal’s Rewear Program allows you to send back used items that will either be reworn, reused, recycled, or resold. Plus, all proceeds from this program go to The Yosemite Conservancy. Royal Robbins has their business code of conduct, which includes environmental and ethical practices, available on their website, so you can read about what they stand for. https://www.royalrobbins.com/social-responsibility
-Prana uses materials such as organic cotton, recycled wool, hemp, recycled polyester, and responsible down, making environmentally responsible and sustainable products. They partner with and follow the processes of bluesign, fair trade, fair labor association, responsible forest initiative, and traceability. Read more about these here. http://www.prana.com/about-us/sustainability.html
The North Face
-The North Face is a co-founder of The Conservation Alliance, which works to empower students to take action on Climate Change. Through the Explore Fund, The North Face helps young people across the country experience and explore the outdoors. The Explore Fund also supports Leave No Trace, a non-profit organization that promotes and inspires responsible outdoor recreation. Read more about these organizations as well as how your TNF products are made here. https://www.thenorthface.com/about-us/responsibility.html
-Arc’teryx partners with and supports community organizations such as The Bird’s Nest Project, North Shore Trail Builder Academy, and the Conservation Alliance. They work to create as little environmental impact as possible through product durability and responsible sourcing. http://www.arcteryx.com/csr.aspx?country=us&language=en
-HydroFlask partners with the Pacific Crest Trail Association, the Oregon State Parks Foundations, and the Appalachian Trail Conservancy to launch the Parks For All program that helps support the development and maintenance of public green spaces everywhere.
-Plus, if you purchase a HydroFlask bottle or mug, it means you are NOT purchasing plastic water bottles or one-time use coffee cups that end up in landfills.
These are just some of the brands within the Outdoor Industry that work every day to be environmentally and socially responsible while supporting and partnering with organizations that share a similar interest in not only helping to preserve and protect today’s natural treasures, but will help ensure that these natural areas are preserved and protected for future generations to come. All of us at the Great Outdoor Store support these brands, and we love to follow what they are doing for the environment. So if you are out on your favorite trail or just taking a walk in the park, we hope you have a great Earth Day.