Not a teacher? Then don’t even think about volunteering for a week in a school or orphanage abroad. That’s just one of the guidelines Susan E. Gibson, Author of “How To Be An Amazing Volunteer Overseas: Stories from the Field, Rules of the Road” presents in her book. Because volunteering abroad is not just about visiting a new destination and getting warm fuzzies from doing good. Sometimes volunteering is harder work than you anticipated. Sometimes it does more harm than good. And sometimes it’s extremely beneficial to the local community. So for this Sustainability Spotlight we sat down with Susan and asked her to summarize, in a nutshell, how to volunteer abroad (the right way).
When we gear up, we want to know we’re not doing damage to the planet we so love to explore. That’s where Sustainability Spotlight comes in! Here, we’ll highlight brands, materials and products that leave a lighter footprint.
Yeah, yeah, the saying is April showers bring May flowers, but it rains just as much in the fall in many places in the U.S., so autumn seems like as good a time as any to highlight eco-friendly rain jackets made of recycled materials. So here are 6 of the best of the best so you can stay dry during all of your adventurous wanderings.
Winter is coming. And that means it’s time to bundle up. Preferably with a cozy puffer jacket that feels like it’s wrapping you in a fluffy, warm hug. But many (dare say even most) puffy jackets are insulated with duck or goose down, which isn’t a vegan-friendly material (read about why we don’t use down in this article). Fortunately, there are brands like Save The Duck making quality outerwear using sustainable, non-animal materials that can totally stand up to the rigors of winter and the great outdoors. So we sat down with the brand for a chat so they could tell us all about who they are and what drives them to craft such impressive coats, vests, jackets and more.
Circularity. You might have seen it pop up every once in a while on Terradrift, our Instagram page, or over on YouTube. It’s a term we use fairly frequently. But you might not know precisely what it means. Or maybe you have a pretty good idea, but are foggy on a few of the details or aren’t really sure what it has to do with sustainability. So allow us to clear up a few deets regarding what circularity means and what the flaming Brazillian Jiujitsu it has to do with your outdoor clothing and gear.
Just about everything we do, everything we buy, sustainable or not, has a carbon footprint, meaning it creates harmful greenhouse gases of one sort or another. That includes the manufacturing of your favorite recycled rain jacket or vegan hiking boots. But while these gases can’t be avoided, they CAN be offset and balanced. Meaning a company, brand, heck, even an individual (yes, even you, dear friend), can put in the effort (and the cash) to make that foot print a little lighter. Think, oh, I dunno, footprints on the beach getting erased by the tide. Once a company (or, you know, you) offset 100% or more of those harmful emissions via sustainable endeavors that create carbon-positive effects, you can proudly call yourself carbon neutral. And that is a solid mark of a sustainable brand. But it can be an expensive, time consuming, and highly complicated achievement to reach. Which is why Climate Neutral exists: to help more brands and companies, large and small, reduce their footprint by becoming carbon neutral. So we quizzed Climate Neutral’s CEO, Austin Whitman, on the company’s mission and how they plan to achieve it. Read on to get the scoop.
Sustainability in the outdoors doesn’t end with recycled products or Leave No Trace principles; equality is just as big a part. And no one knows that better than Pamela Slaughter, Founder of People of Color Outdoors and a nominee for the first-ever Facebook Community Awards. So we sat down to chat with her to learn a bit about what she’s doing to encourage people of color to get outside and play and why that matters. For all of us. Read our Q&A with her now.
You know we’re all about supporting sustainable brands here at Terradrift. We’re also all about making gear last and keeping it out of the landfill, which is a major win for sustainability. Well then, there couldn’t be a more perfect brand to highlight in this here Sustainability Spotlight series than Nikwax. We’ve used their stuff to clean and maintain our gear for years, so we thought it was high time we sat down with Heidi Dale Allen, the brand’s VP of marketing, so we could hear more about how Nikwax is keeping it clean and advocating for keeping the gear you already have in use for longer. Read on, son!
Do you know what’s in your tent? What coatings and chemicals? Whether it’s treated with unsustainable PFC DWR treatments or chemically-dyed fabric? While most tent manufacturers these days put that sort of info front and center, there’s one thing not as many manufacturers are talking to consumers about: fire retardant tents.
It’s plastic-free July! Which means it’s time to talk about single-use plastic waste and how we can do our part to reduce it. Why? Because as the oft-quoted stat declares, there will be more plastic than fish in the ocean by 2050, 90% of plastic doesn’t actually get recycled (including the stuff you put in the recycle bin), and all of that adds up to devastated eco systems, overflowing landfills, and a whole lot of wasted resources. So check out these brands who want nothing more than to help you make the switch from single-use.
We get stoked about sustainable outdoor clothing and gear from sustainable outdoor brands. After all, if the brands that outfit us for adventure don’t care about the environment they’re encouraging us to recreate in, then are they even worth our spending money?! But that’s why we love highlighting eco-conscious brands in these here Sustainability Spotlights: to introduce you to the cool, eco-friendly names and products we’ve come to know and love. Like Helly Hansen. Wanna know more? Sure ya do. Read on for our Q&A with Rebecca Johansson, Sustainability and R&D Manager at sustainable outdoor brand Helly Hansen.