Best Ways to Give Back to the Environment This Year
From national wildfires to international storms, it’s been a hellish year for the environment. The many rollbacks on environmental protections throughout 2020 didn’t help either.
Love for mother earth and the joy that it brings is a core value at Nomadica. We pride ourselves in respecting the planet and making sure we can all continue to enjoy it for years to come.
With the holiday season quickly approaching, your family and friends are most likely at the top of your gift-giving list. But why not add the environment to your list this year?
Here’s a rundown of ways you can help the environment and reduce your carbon footprint during the holidays and beyond.
Donate Your Spare Change to Wildlife Protection and Restoration Organizations
At Nomadica, we’re always on the lookout for brands and organizations that work to protect the environment. Your donation to these orgs is a great way to help save the earth through sustainability efforts, restoration programs, and eco-friendly education.
Here’s a list of some of our favorite environmentally-focused organizations that could use your support this holiday season.
The Overland Expo Foundation
The Overland Expo Foundation is a group of outdoor enthusiasts who are passionate about protecting and saving our environment. They’re all about defending public lands and promoting the ability and freedom to responsibly explore in your favorite overlanding vehicle.
A major part of their mission is to fund and educate individuals and organizations that focus on advancing and protecting the overland community and world at large. In addition to land restoration and cleanup, they also fund organizations and individuals with similar charitable projects and goals.
Tread Lightly! is an organization that focuses on programs and policies that help educate outdoor lovers on how to be more responsible in the wild.
Their programs and training help educate recreationists on the importance of ‘treading lightly’ and focus on balancing the enjoyment of outdoor recreation with maintaining healthy ecosystems for fish and wildlife.
The Explorers Club is a group of scientists, explorers, and even astronauts who research physical, natural, and biological activities and their impact on the earth.
Fun fact: many Explorer Club members are responsible for lots of famous firsts, and were the first to travel to the North Pole& South Pole, the deepest point in the ocean, and the surface of the moon!
You can donate to help these explorers advance their research here.
Volunteer at a State or National Park
If you want to help save the planet but don’t know where to start, a good place is a local state or national park. From trash pickup to administrative tasks, there are many ways you can lend your skills and talents.
The National Park Foundation is big on encouraging folks to join in on maintaining parks and wildlife through volunteering. And the National Park Service offers a variety of volunteer opportunities for individuals and groups through their Volunteers-In-Parks program.
These volunteer positions are pretty flexible, so you can find a day and time that works for you. There are even options to clean and give tours alongside park employees, or with one of their many partner organizations.
Opportunities are available at park locations throughout the United States and in international locations, too. Some of these open roles are specialized and require certain knowledge, skills, and abilities — find out more by visiting their website to see what they have to offer.
There are also lots of programs that let you stay at the most amazing parks for free. You can do this through cool artist-in-residence programs, research volunteer opportunities, and trail volunteer programs.
If all else fails, try contacting your local state or national park to see what efforts need the most help.
Support Outdoor Brands with Strong Missions
The holidays are usually a time for big gift purchases. Considering the amount that most of us spend in these last few weeks of the year, it’s important to be mindful of who you’re buying from and what causes they support.
Do some research to figure out which outdoor brands are doing the work to be good stewards of the land. Feel good knowing your purchase is a gift to your loved one and a gift to the planet.
Don’t see your favorite brand on any lists? Don’t worry — there are many outdoor gear companies that focus on environmental conservation. Now’s as good a time as any to branch out and find your new favorite!
Engage in Eco-Friendly Travel
From hiking to camping and everything in between, there’s a lot of easy steps you can take to make sure your next outdoor adventure is eco-friendly:
- Planning an upcoming overlanding adventure? Here are some tips from avoiding oil leaks to investing in some environmental-friendly gear.
- If you’re traveling with multiple explorers, try ditching the plastic and purchasing recyclable and sustainable single-use items.
- When you’re on the road, drive-thrus offer a quick bite, but are also bad for the environment. Reduce your carbon footprint and try buying and supporting nearby local food and farmers.
Practice Leaving No Trace Principles
With a year full of stay-at-home orders and quarantines, getting outside to overland or camp with friends and family is one of the best ways to enjoy the holidays this year.
If you find yourself heading for the hills in the next few weeks, practice leaving no trace with these seven basic ethical principles:
- Plan ahead and prepare. Getting lost can lead to making impulsive choices such as damaging surrounding land.
- Travel and camp on established ground. It’s important to stay on path and choose sustainable campsites.
- Dispose of waste properly. Professional backpacker Andrew Skurka is a go-to for tips on disposing of human waste when camping.
- Leave what you find. Rocks and shells are tempting to bring back as a souvenir, but remember that nature is their home.
- Minimize campfire impacts. Limit starting a fire, and make sure you know the fire regulations for where you’ll be camping. If you do have a fire, make sure to put it out properly.
- Respect wildlife and be mindful of wildlife etiquette by not feeding or disturbing nearby animals.
- Be considerate of other visitors. Limit unnecessary noises and keep your furry friends on a leash!
Want to learn more? The Leave No Trace Center for Outdoor Ethics provides proven solutions to help overlanders, campers, and more travel more responsibly.
Ready for Your Next Adventure?
When it comes to feeling grounded this holiday season, look no further than spending time in the great outdoors.
If you’re in the market for new camp gear to make your next outdoor adventure a little more comfortable, convenient, and stylish, be sure to browse our featured collection of the month >