“Those who contemplate the beauty of the earth find reserves of strength that will endure as long as life lasts. There is something infinitely healing in the repeated refrains of nature—the assurance that dawn comes after night, and spring after winter.”
Ad·ven·ture. adˈven(t)SHər. noun. an exciting or remarkable experience or activity.
What’s your relationship with adventure? Do you seek it out? Do you have access to it? Do you wait for it to find you?
Adventure looks different to everyone. For some, it’s summiting mountains or surfing big waves. For others, it’s a leisurely walk on a new path in your neighborhood. Opportunities for outdoor adventure are endless and all around us.
A great way to develop a deeper love for our planet is to get outside and savor its beauty. Strong connections with nature create awareness of the interdependence among our own life and the environment. Respect and appreciation for the natural world are the basis for a sustainable society where people and planet live in harmony.
The Coronavirus pandemic has kept people inside, while at the same time driving us to the safety of the outdoors. National parks have seen an increase in visitors, as people explore what is open and available, whether close to home or on road trips. This has brought on a new set of issues, with parks struggling to control crowds and comply with Covid restrictions. For any adventure, it is important to be aware and respectful of surroundings, do your research and plan ahead.
We also need to harness appreciation for the natural world as motivation to protect our environment, large swathes of which are under threat on multiple fronts. The current federal administration in the US has removed protection from 13.5 million acres of land, opening it up to mining and development. Intense forest fires burn season after season and hurricanes devastate areas with winds and water, threatening human, animal, and plant life, as well as economies. Natural spaces are disappearing and half of all habitable land on the planet is used for industrial agriculture.
How can you fight back? Live your values by contacting elected representatives to advocate for conservation policies, climate action and organizations fighting for land preservation. Call further attention to the economic value of nature by supporting sustainable outdoor tourism that benefits local economies, communities, and environments, which can be a big economic boost, on par with fossil fuels.
We are not alone in this fight! Mission-driven companies are leveraging their platforms to effect change and advocate for environmental protection. A pioneer in using business as a force for good, Patagonia, recently launched this short film showcasing the beautiful Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness in Minnesota. It features amazing scenery, while arguing against proposed copper mining in the area, a serious risk to the ecosystem and pristine wilderness. Our longtime partner Klean Kanteen is acting on climate — continually identifying, measuring and changing practices to reduce and offset impact across all aspects of the company, from raw materials to employee practices, production to distribution — and even staying true on commitment to the Paris Climate Agreement, when the US administration pulled out.
Today’s challenges will teach you about accessibility of the outdoors and responsible adventuring, so you will have the tools you need to support the healthy, inclusive natural spaces we all love and deserve, for future generations to enjoy.
Imagine living 10 miles from the ocean and never visiting the beach, because you don’t have the means to get there. Imagine lacking access to any kind of nature, because your community doesn’t have funding to preserve or create green spaces. Imagine feeling unwelcome in outdoor recreation areas, because no one who looks like you is represented.
Such are the realities for too many, perhaps for you. Outdoor adventure should be available to all, but that is not always the case. People of color, specifically Black people, have been excluded from many outdoor spaces, further showing how systemic racism is deeply embedded in every aspect of society. We celebrate, champion and advocate for a diversity of outdoor experiences, reinforcing how and why adventure must be accessible to and benefits everyone.
One inspiring organization bringing that idea to life is Outdoor Afro, a cutting edge national network that celebrates and inspires Black connections and leadership in nature. With nearly 90 leaders in 30 states, thousands of people are connected to outdoor experiences, changing the face of conservation and leading the way for inclusion in outdoor recreation, nature, and land preservation for all!
Diversify Outdoors is another organization with the goal of promoting diversity in outdoor spaces where people of color, the LGBTQIA+ community, and others have been historically underrepresented. These are just two of the amazing movements working to ensure the outdoors are accessible and a place of healing for everyone.
Share your favorite story with us from either site. Why did it resonate with you? (150 words)
What do you pledge to do to make outdoor adventure more accessible to and equitable for all? Post your answer as a powerful statement on Instagram or Twitter, tagging @TurningGreenOrg, @MelaninBasecamp (Diversify Outdoors’ handle), @OutdoorAfro and #PGC2020.
Upload a PDF Document with your response and a screenshot of your social media post. Include your name (or team name), username, email address, and school.
You may have heard the quote, “It’s about the journey, not the destination.” Your destination is important, as is how you go about getting there. The steps you take toward or during an adventure matter just as much as where you go. Consider gear, transportation, food, even the contents of your backpack. Whether you love hiking, biking, climbing, surfing or other outdoor activities, there are many ways to make it truly sustainable! When adventuring, Leave No Trace in the places you visit, so all of us can enjoy the natural world for generations to come.
It’s time to get outside, PGCers… we’re going on an adventure!
Let’s plan a local adventure! Think about what you’ve learned so far during PGC and how to reduce your ecological footprint in the process.
Pick your place. Make it local (even hyper local), somewhere you can get safely and easily. Read up on and incorporate the seven principles of Leave No Trace into your plan. Please consider:
Share your planning details in a creative way. Post it on Instagram with a brief caption, tagging @TurningGreenOrg in the caption and image itself, as well as @KleanKanteen, @leavenotracecenter and #PGC2020.
Upload a PDF Document with your response and screenshot of your social media post. Include your name (or team name), username, email address, and school.
So you’ve thought about where to go, how to get there and what to bring. All that’s left is to go on your adventure. And today is Sunday, so take a moment to enjoy the splendor of the outdoors this weekend!
Start by setting intentions for your adventure. Read 12 Essential Lessons Nature Can Teach Us for inspiration. Write down one intention and tuck it in your pocket.
An adventure is all about your intentions and exploration! Even if you don’t go far, looking at familiar places with a new perspective is powerful.
Let the adventure begin! Take three pictures of your surroundings and caption them with observations. What are you seeing? What animals, plants, and other humans do you notice?
Reflect on your experience.
Share a reflection on Instagram that includes one inspirational takeaway, along with a picture of your adventure and a call for others to go on an adventure of their own. Tag @TurningGreenOrg and @KleanKanteen and use #PGC2020.
Going outside is not an option for everyone right now. Fortunately, you can adventure from your home! Google’s Art & Culture website features thousands of virtual experiences from museums and iconic outdoor spaces all over the world. Explore national parks in the US or search for experiences by country. Be sure to choose an outdoor adventure!
Share a reflection on Instagram that includes one inspirational takeaway, along with a picture of your adventure and a call for others to go on a virtual adventure of their own. Tag @TurningGreenOrg and @KleanKanteen and use #PGC2020.
Upload a PDF Document with pictures from your adventure and your responses. Include a screenshot of your social media post. Include your name (or team name), username, ema.il address, and school.
Up to 10 Greener and 10 Greenest outstanding submissions will be selected as winners.
Each Greener Winner will receive:
Each Greenest Winner will receive: