I’m not a fan of labels. They can be offensive, limiting, and lead to stereotypes; however, there’s one label I’ll wear: Outdoorsy.
Outdoorsy has worked its way into adventure lexicon right up there with puffy jackets. It’s a power word that evokes a special kinship to the outdoors and for many, a declaration of our preference to be outside instead of tethered to the office.
While the frustration of crowded parks, trails, and mountaintops would certainly pluck a few feathers from my down jacket, now is the time to turn the not-so outdoorsy types into outdoorsy believers. If we learn to love the outdoors, we’ll want to protect and preserve it.
Donald Trump’s pick for cabinet positions and subsequent bills introduced have left many of us concerned with what it all means for the environment and the places where we adventure, be it for a trail run, hike, or any number of outdoor activities. There’s already a public lands heist happening and Trump’s environmental agenda favors fossil fuels, logging, and well, pretty much anything that doesn’t conjure up wilderness bliss.
The Trump Administration is certainly bad news for the environment and all things wild, but it doesn’t need to be all gloom and doom (says the woman who is still foaming at the mouth over HJ Resolution 69) if we continue to make noise in support of the environment.
From social media, board rooms and coffee houses to dining room tables around the county, our conversations are ripe with vigor and urgency focusing on what we can do—our collective action.
As “outdoorsies,” we’re a pretty vocal and passionate bunch, so now is the time to round up our outdoorsy friends, recruit the not-so outdoorsy ones, and roll up our puffy coat sleeves and advocate on behalf of the outdoors. We need to speak up by calling our elected representatives, support environmental organizations through financial contributions or volunteer work, stay educated on the issues, and share what we learn with friends and family – or heck, even strangers. The National Resources Defense Council (NRDC) and the Outdoor Industry Association are reliable sources for information.
I’ve heard from many friends who want to do more, but struggle with where to begin. I share the story of launching my blog initiatives (Small Change and Make a Pact, Pack it Out) as a springboard for inspiration. Some of my best ideas come when I’m running, so head outside and do what you love and use these prompts to kickstart your environmental crusade:
- Connect your passion for the outdoors to a need – perhaps start locally
- Build your community – identify supporters and strategic partners who can assist you
- Differentiate your cause to help it stand out and gain traction
- Create impactful stories to share online and offline
- Acknowledge your community and those who join your efforts
What you create doesn’t need to be as ambitious as starting a blog and launching two initiatives—or it could be. The idea is to fuel your passion for the outdoors to do something. Help your community understand the issues and what can be done about it. Together, we can stand up for the environment.
I can’t wait to hear what you create – please share your ideas and stories with me.