This is what #nacforadventure is now built on. It’s the mantra that’s on the main page. It’s how I post on social. And it’s how I fuel my everyday decisions.
When I first made nacforadventure, I wanted to have it only be about our (usually outdoor) adventures. This is how I wanted people to see me. A bad ass ski and hike chick that loves to wander and travel in nature.
A year later, I made #parttimeplants to document my plant-based journey, but it turned into more of a sustainability blog. And I am not mad about it. It’s become something that I am more passionate about than I could ever imagine. And writing about it only fuels my appetite (literally and figuratively). It opened a totally new dimension on how I want to present myself to society.
Then last year, I realized that adventure and sustainability can co-exist… through the merging of #nacforadventure and #parttimeplants. In fact they should always co-exist. Loving the outdoor world means that you need to protect it for yourself and for future generations. Which turns towards creating a sustainable and conscious mindset.
So let’s take a look at some way to connect the dots between adventure and sustainability.
Leave No Trace
This idea is fairly simple.
Don’t take anything from nature.
Don’t leave anything behind.
Don’t vandalize or change the environment .
I love the saying “Take nothing but pictures. Leave nothing but footprints. Kill nothing but time.” It’s a little cheesy, but I think it’s important to think about it every time you step outdoors. If you want to read more ways to leave no trace, check it out here.
Make Your Own Adventure Food
This is something that I am working on. it’s super easy to grab granola bars for cheap at your local Smith’s. I often snack on Clif Bars and Lara bars, but this summer, I want to try and make my own trail eats. Whether it’s making homemade granola from oats, maple syrup, and cinnamon or slapping some bulk peanut butter with some homemade jam on a piece of bread, it helps when you reduce the amount of plastic- covered snacks from your pack.
Clif bars do have a Terracycle program, but I believe in reducing waste instead of relying on recycling to save the day. Because in most cases, it may be more difficult and not as reliable.
I also love the prepackaged freeze dried backpackers food, but I also love bringing fresh veggies and bulk food for short camp trips or picnics. In the future, I really want to look for a food drier, so that I can make my own backpacking meals, but for right now, fresh will do.
We still will have Backpacker’s Pantry as an option, as they have a great variety for vegans. If we do take the meals for Backpacker’s Pantry, we always use it as a little trash container. It works really well because it reseals, and keeps the stench of the garbage inside the bag.
Stay tuned for more ideas on low waste trail snacks.
Secondhand Shop For Gear
Shamelessly mentioning second hand gear. It’s a great way to reduce costs, but also increases sustainability… win win. By buying used gear, it helps keep it out of landfills and give it a new life to be used and abused. It’s fairly simple, so I will leave it at that.
Support Local Shops
Whether you choose to get gear secondhand or not, I think it’s important to support local companies. You could be getting their demo bikes. Or buying from a local business. When buying things online, remember to think about what it takes to get from their warehouse to your doorstep.
MIT published a neat little article talking about the environmental impacts of several different “archetypes” of shoppers. Overall, it comes down to several different factors, such as where you live, and how you get to the store, but it notes that online shopping doesn’t always mean better for the environment.
In addition, shipping in poly bags and other plastic packages (along with bubble wrap), adds to the waste you could have cut out from just refusing a bag at the brick and mortar store.
Lastly, shopping at local stores and businesses helps boost the local economy, and can help smaller mom and pop shops make a sustainable living.
These are just a few things to help combine adventuring and a sustainable lifestyle. They are easy steps to switch your mind towards conserving the natural environment that we love so much.
Your sustainable adventurer,