The first hike I remember as a kid was on a hot summer day. I was with my Dad, brother and his friend. In our backpacks were probably mashed-up peanut butter and jelly sandwich, which we planned to eat at the top. The boulders felt insurmountable and the inclines too steep to scale for my little legs, I was maybe six or seven. There was doubt and I’m sure some complaining on my part.
But then the top. I remember the top. That amazing feeling of achievement. The way the trees seemed to fall away revealing the stunning view of Lake Winnipesaukee. Atop that little mountain I felt invincible.
I still feel invincible on top of that little mountain, the one I summit almost every weekend during the summer months.
The view makes me pause and appreciate every opportunity I have to get outside and there’s really no better day to get outside than on Earth Day.
Often when we think of Earth Day we think of reducing waste, recycling, picking up roadside trash or planting a tree and while all these things are fantastic, there are a few other ways to get involved and make a difference:
Support Local Conservation Projects
Many of our local hikes are made possible because of the efforts of conservation groups and land trusts. These groups seek out lands and work to conserve them for future generations, preserving trails, wetlands and mountain ranges that might otherwise be bought up and developed. Our family joined the Moose Mountain Regional Greenways, “Moosies” last year and have enjoyed the programming they provide for their members and the public: like moonlight bonfires and snowshoe races.
There are a few other local conservation groups in our area including the Belknap Range Conservation Coalition and the Lakes Region Conservation Trust all doing great work to conserve and maintain lands for recreational and research use.
Want to get involved? You can find local conservation groups close to you using a searchable map at Land Trust Alliance.
Purchase Sustainably Sourced or Used Clothing
When we think of waste we often think of things we toss into our kitchen trash, but we don’t often think of clothing. Clothing is actually a huge source of waste. Buying cheaply made, highly processed fabrics is huge waste contributor. One of the things you can do is shop thrift stores (apparently a growing trend, but kudos if you’ve been doing it for years!) and look for Bluesign approved fabrics and organic cottons. Bluesign approved clothing meets the outside standards for environmentally friendly and safe production.
While thrifting is great for casual clothing it’s tough to find technical gear for running in all the elements. Often times technical gear is chemically treated, making it not-so-environmentally friendly. One of the companies innovating technical, environmentally friendly gear is La Sportiva. Committed to providing great products and preserving the lands we love, La Sportiva has designed an Eco series of climbing shoes and created the Hail Jacket, a PFC Free breathable, waterproof shell.
Taking small steps towards sustainability in what you wear can actually have a big impact.
Support Sustainable Farming Practices
While what you wear ON your body is important, what you put IN your body is essential. Purchasing products from farms that use sustainable farming practices is one way to ensure we preserve our lands for future use, agricultural or recreational. One of those companies is yoghurt maker, noosa. Founded by Koel Thoma (an Aussie ex-pat) and Rob Graves, a fourth generation dairy farmer, noosa is committed to sustainable practices like using reclaimed water. They are also passionate supporters of what they consider their “smallest employees”: honeybees! Noosa uses honey to sweeten their yoghurt, so sustaining honeybee habitat is important, which is why they’ve committed themselves to supporting the Pollinator Partnership.
You too can get involved with protecting and expanding honeybee habitat (and you don’t have to start your own hive;). Find out how from the Pollinator Partnership.
Want to find out what noosa is up to? Check out their fan club.
What are your favorite Earth Day traditions? What do you do to help preserve and protect our lands?
I love connecting with readers! You can find me here:
Email: RunFarGirl [at] gmail [dot] com
Daily Mile: dailymile.com/people/scanney
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