Did you know there are over 50 billion pieces of litter lingering on United States roadways, parks, public lands and more?
That’s a lot of trash. And it will only get worse. Unless we do something about it.
On Black Friday, we’re skipping the lines and hitting the trails with REI. And this year, we’re not only Opting Outside.
We’re Opting to Act.
In an effort to protect Mother Nature and preserve our trails, we’re committing to conservation — and we’d love for you to join us!
You don’t need to wait until Black Friday to get started.
Keep reading to discover 8 easy ways you can help keep our trails beautiful, starting right now.
#1. Spread The Word
Don’t just get out and hike — get out and make a difference for the environment. And let everyone know about your efforts.
Scream it from the rooftops: Opt to Act!
You can spread the word by:
- Sharing this blog post on your social networks
- Liking our Opt to Act posts on Instagram
- RSVP-ing to an #OptOutside hike near you
#2. Set A Positive Example On The Trail
When hiking, show others what it looks like to respect the nature all around you. Your effort will encourage others to make changes for the better of the environment.
Here are some ways you can set a positive example on the trail:
- Pick up litter from the trails
- Drink from a reusable water bottle
- Practice Leave No Trace principles
#3. Pick Up Litter During Your Hikes
Help keep the trails healthy by doing your part every time you hike.
Simply bring a ziplock bag with you and collect trash from the trail.
It may not seem like much when you start, but you’ll soon realize the litter adds up, and your impact means a lot!
52 Hike Challenge Community Members @apavlisko and @pavcory opting to act
#4. Refuse To Use Harmful Chemicals
Check your products, specifically sunscreen and insect repellent, for chemicals that are not only bad for you but are also harmful to the environment.
- Instead of using DEET in your bug spray, opt for Picadarin.
- Instead of using carcinogens like Diethanolamine and Benzophenone in your sunscreen, opt for zinc oxide.
#5. Practice Leave No Trace (LNT) Principles
Ever heard of the expression, “take only pictures, leave only footprints”?
Let’s live by that.
According to the Leave No Trace Center for Outdoor Ethics, 9 out of 10 people are uninformed about their environmental impact while spending time outdoors.
Here’s how you can Leave No Trace:
- Stay on marked trails
- Leave nature wild
- Pack out your trash
- Respect wildlife
To learn more, visit LNT.org.
#6. Hold Yourself Accountable
Want to hold yourself accountable for conservation?
Sometimes Opting to Act seems easier said than done. But you can make it easier by finding others who care about the environment just as much as you do.
Here’s how you can hold yourself accountable:
- Volunteer with your local parks department
- Go on organized stewardship hikes
- Join a trail maintenance club
You will make friends with like-minded nature lovers while you help preserve the trails - it’s a win-win!
#7. #OptOutside And Hike With Us On Black Friday
#OptOutside with us on Friday, November 29th, by hiking of course!
This is a great opportunity for you to:
- Meet fellow #52HikeChallenge participants and partners
- Meet the organizers of your local hiking groups
- Make new hiking buddies
- Invite your friends and family to enjoy the outdoors
We proudly practice Leave No Trace (LNT) principles on all of our hikes.
#8. Keep The Momentum Going All Year Long
Black Friday is just the beginning. Opt to Act every time you hike, and you will do a great service to our public lands.
How are YOU Opting to Act this year?
Share your Opt to Act game plan in the comments!
Want to remember this for later? Pin this to your favorite board!