April 2018 is the 48th anniversary of Earth Month, with Sunday, April 22nd being Earth Day.
This month, each blog post is going to be dedicated to Mother Nature herself. Although I think it’s sad that we’ve only been celebrating the ground we walk on for 48 years, I am excited that more and more people are taking a genuine interest in the place we call home.
I like to nurture nature in many ways; one of those involves giving back. As a very busy person, I often do not have the schedule flexibility to physically participate in a cleanup or charity event, so here’s how I tend to give back:
I like to purchase from companies that have purpose. For example, Parks Project is a great place to purchase products that directly fund backlogged projects in the parks AND a place to find projects to volunteer on! If you visit their Volunteer Days page you are provided with multiple opportunities to physically give back to the land. The only thing I dislike is that there isn’t a huge representation of East Coast projects or products but I do know that they are working on it. In fact, I was asked to write a top 10 for the beloved Adirondack Mountains I call home in an attempt to spread the wilderness appreciation love to the North East! I’ve also purchased awesome t-shirts and accessories that directly support our parks; percentages from each purchase go to specific partners for Habitat Restoration, Visitor Programs, Wildlife Conservation and Youth Education (can I get a round of applause for this one!) in our National Parks.
Live by their motto: Leave it Better than You found it.
Another great company called Keep It Wild funds and hosts local (usually Arizona area) cleanups through a percentage of the funds earned from each product sold. They also select ambassadors called Wild Keepers, which I consider myself very lucky to be a part of! These ambassadors, all 800 plus of them, head out once a month for Impact Day to make a true difference in the wilderness that surrounds them; on the March Impact Day the group collectively picked up 8,953 pounds of trash! The goal is to raise awareness while inspiring others to join in on the fun. If you are interested in becoming a Wild Keeper and being held accountable for making a difference, applications for the Summer Term will be up on the site soon! With awesome products that support clean up efforts and countless clean ups available to attend, you can’t go wrong with purchasing from this company.
Other great companies that give back in a number of genuine ways include Ivory Ella, Oliberte, Patagonia, Pura Vida Bracelets, REI, Ripper Wear, TenTree Clothing, Toms, Warby Parker, Wewood and more!
I do not live in a big city, however, I try my best to carpool or walk when/where I can! It might seem minuscule but walking to the post office or UPS drop box up in town instead of driving does make the slightest of difference; many people consider riding their bikes for small errands as well. Carpooling/ planning rides out so that only one vehicle has to use the resources necessary to get us where we need to go is also very helpful. And in cities where this is possible, utilize public transportation! I know growing up on Long Island, my friends and I would take the bus to the mall or the train into the city.
Considering I do not live in a place where walking, riding, or public transportation is overly possible I do try to be conscious of this when I travel. Last year when visiting Sweden and Finland, I walked or rented and rode a bike to every site I wanted to see! In Yosemite Valley last summer I took the shuttle bus around to minimize my driving impact. Simple thoughts such as these truly make a difference!
And now for my final suggestion, you can join and/or make donations to an environmental group. I belong to the National Parks Conservation Association and the local Adirondack Council. Find one that works best for you! Many include member benefits, however, the biggest benefit for me is the feeling of giving to an organization that is making a difference in something that I love and care deeply about every day. Keep in mind, every little donation counts! In all my time spent in the National Parks, I was able to donate my change with every transaction.
Some organizations you can look into include: 1% For The Planet, National Wildlife Federation, Sierra Club, Wildlife Conservation Society, World Wildlife Fund, and more!
Small, everyday items that give back each and every time you utilize them include, eating less meat and more plant-based meals, buying local, planting native species, using reusable bags, making sure trash makes it to its container and so much more!
Throughout the month look out for posts on the Three R’s of the Environment and specific ways you can celebrate Earth Month through this principle.
Let’s work together to keep nature, nature.
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