Celebrate inclusivity and sustainability with these outdoor Pride activities

June 10, 2019 by  
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June is Pride month, and there are celebrations happening in major city centers all over the world. A small but growing number of activities is also happening throughout the most wild and natural corners of the U.S. and beyond. LGBTQ+-focused outdoor activities and safe spaces are increasing in number and visibility, and though there are more this month than ever, they are all part of a movement to promote inclusivity and representation among those who love the outdoors — and those who don’t know they love it yet. Where to find outdoor Pride activities The Venture Out Project This LGBTQ+-owned company has hosted queer-specific trips since 2014. This June, it is offering a Queer & Trans, Indigenous, People of Color Backpacking Trip in Vermont and a Queer Arctic Adventure in Canada. It also offers more low-key day hikes , family trips and youth service projects. Related: The ultimate checklist of backpacking essentials Canyons River Company Based in Idaho, this company offers a River Pride Trip, a six-day rafting trip on the Salmon River that includes wine tasting . National Outdoor Leadership School This organization has an LGBTQ+ backpacking trip in Utah, which takes place over nine days and is led by queer instructors. Outdoor adventures for LGBTQ+ youth Learning in the outdoors has proven benefits for kids, including building skills and self-esteem as well as increasing performance in the classroom. A limited number of LGBTQ+-focused youth trips and activities allow youth to explore their identities and the outdoors in a safe, inclusive space. Out There Adventures is a Seattle-based company that offers trips led by queer instructors for LGBTQ+ youth. It is offering two Pride-focused events this summer: a rafting and service trip for teenagers in Oregon and a Yosemite trip in July. According to one young participant of an Out There Adventures trip, “I would get these overwhelming feelings of being at home and knowing that those were some of the only moments in my life where I was 100 percent sure that I was in the right place and 100 percent sure that it was something that I wanted to do for the rest of my life. I would be willing to do things to keep myself in good health and motivated and educated in order to achieve those feelings over and over and over.” Events in your own backyard If you don’t have the interest or ability to attend a far-flung trip to celebrate Pride, you can focus locally on ways to get outside and active. Many cities have 5K runs, walks or dance events as part of their Pride festivities. This can be a great way to get fresh air and exercise , especially for people who get their motivation from community members or a loud bass line instead of a babbling brook. Research your local gym and see if it is hosting any Pride events, like Homoclimbtastic in West Virginia. If the gyms near you are not hosting an event, speak up and ask why not. The more interest they hear, the more likely they are to consider adding something to the calendar next year. Check out MeetUp.com to find groups of like-minded people in your area. There might already be an LGBTQ+-focused outdoor group near you. If not, create one yourself! How to be eco-friendly at Pride parades The Seattle-based organization OUT For Sustainability aims to make Pride events around the country carbon-neutral and zero waste . Follow the organization’s Greener Pride tips for a more sustainable celebration: • Bring your own water bottle to the parade. • Bring a reusable bag to collect promotional items. • Make a colorful outfit from items you already own instead of buying a new outfit. Better yet, make a costume out of recycled materials.• Avoid balloons, glitter and beads. These plastic items are toxic for the environment and detrimental to marine species. Celebrate without them. Instead, try natural body paint, flowers and recycled art. • As a vendor, remove all trash at the end of the day. Do not serve food in plastic foam containers, and offer water for people with refillable bottles. • Reduce or refuse handouts and promotional items, especially plastic items. • Avoid handing out or taking cheap T-shirts that support the unsustainable and unethical fashion industry.• Run your Pride float with electric vehicles or human power instead of diesel fuel. Tips for outdoor companies to be more inclusive Visibility and representation matter LGBTQ+ folks often do not see themselves represented in outdoor brands or websites. Consider your staff and models , and come up with a specific plan about how you will incorporate more identities. Don’t promote people just for the sake of diversity — promote and hire LGBTQ+ staff, models and managers because they are qualified and will inspire a broader audience. “We need to put people from these communities out in the forefront, not because they represent diversity but because they’re great at what they do,” said Elyse Rylander , founder of Out There Adventures. “We don’t have enough roundtables with people who are not white, cisgender dudes talking about their badass outdoor experiences. But we should.” Host LGBTQ+ events If you host trips or events, consider adding LGBTQ+-focused activities. You might take for granted feeling safe and included on hiking trips, but discrimination excludes many people from participating. It’s great to host an event during Pride month, but this is something that matters year-round. Participate in a Pride parade Walk the route or make a float . It can be a great way to show that you care about and serve all types of customers and clients. Manufacture gender-neutral gear Active gear for all genders should come in all color palettes and target all body types. LGBTQ+ outdoor advocates to follow on social media There are many advocates and activists focusing on bridging the gaps between queer folks and the great outdoors. Here are a few amazing leaders to follow on social media : Pattie Gonia A play on the “Patagonia” brand name, @PattieGonia is the self-proclaimed first nature drag queen. Pattie advocates for a more inclusive outdoor industry and takes fabulous photos that combine drag fashion with outdoor gear and awe-inspiring locations. Pattie is also offering LGBTQ+ hikes in a few cities around the U.S. during the month of June. Queer Nature A non-binary duo in Colorado founded @queernature to educate people about deeper connections to nature using both queer and indigenous philosophy and leadership. Unlikely Hikers Jenny Bruso set out to change the stereotype of what an “outdoorsy” person looks like. @unlikelyhikers ’s posts promote diversity and inclusivity in all forms, focusing primarily on body diversity and queerness. Via New York Times Images via Yannis Papanastasopoulos , Nic , Levi Saunders , Pineapple Supply Co. and NeonBrand

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Celebrate inclusivity and sustainability with these outdoor Pride activities

Episode 139: What’s in store for the big climate summit, a self-driving roadmap

September 7, 2018 by  
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Plus, we know energy efficiency is a great way to cut operational costs, so why aren’t more companies on board?

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Episode 139: What’s in store for the big climate summit, a self-driving roadmap

Financing a new, climate-friendly metropolis

September 7, 2018 by  
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Will smart city projects with longer-term benefits weaken credit ratings?

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Financing a new, climate-friendly metropolis

3 DIY Compost Bin Designs You Can Make This Weekend

November 3, 2016 by  
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Composting yard waste and kitchen scraps is a great way to recycle nutrients and divert waste from landfills. There are many ways to make a DIY compost bin with reusable materials. Fall is a great time to get started, because leaves in compost…

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3 DIY Compost Bin Designs You Can Make This Weekend

Grand Junction, Colorado converts human waste into fuel for 40 city vehicles

January 22, 2016 by  
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When it comes to renewable energy sources, an often overlooked fuel is right under our noses. Human waste, collected and processed in waste treatment plants just about everywhere there are humans, can be used to produce renewable natural gas that just so happens to be a great way to fuel vehicles, produce heat, and electrify anything that needs electricity. The city of Grand Junction in Colorado is going where few have dared to go before, relying on converted poo to power 40 city vehicles. Read the rest of Grand Junction, Colorado converts human waste into fuel for 40 city vehicles

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Grand Junction, Colorado converts human waste into fuel for 40 city vehicles

6 animal-shaped architectural wonders

January 22, 2016 by  
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6 animal-shaped architectural wonders

EPA regional head steps down after agency rules response to Flint water crisis “inadequate”

January 22, 2016 by  
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As the water crisis stemming from lead contamination continues in Flint, Michigan, the head of the Midwest region of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has tendered her resignation. Susan Hedman will leave the agency effective February 1, making her the second official to step down in the aftermath of a public health crisis impacting more than 100,000 residents, including over 25,000 children. Read the rest of EPA regional head steps down after agency rules response to Flint water crisis “inadequate”

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EPA regional head steps down after agency rules response to Flint water crisis “inadequate”

3 Florida residents infected with the Zika virus after Latin America travel

January 22, 2016 by  
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The Zika virus , which has been spreading throughout Latin America in recent weeks and causing birth defects via infection of expecting mothers, has just arrived in the US. Three Florida residents who had recently visited Latin American countries have contracted the virus , though there are no accounts of the virus being spread within the country. While Zika cannot be transmitted from human to human, the biggest concern about infection is for pregnant mothers and the unborn. Read the rest of 3 Florida residents infected with the Zika virus after Latin America travel

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3 Florida residents infected with the Zika virus after Latin America travel

Gardening Tips: Aromatic Garden 101

December 17, 2015 by  
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We cover gardening tips frequently.  Gardening is a great way to get reconnected with nature and reduce waste.  And, there is nothing better than the sweet smell of an aromatic garden in bloom.  No matter what shade of green thumb you have, the…

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Gardening Tips: Aromatic Garden 101

7 Must Try Green Subscription Box Services

September 30, 2015 by  
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More subscription box service firms specializing in green and natural living are opening up (pardon the pun). If you’re looking to switch to more eco-friendly products, it’s a great way to try new products without a huge investment. Most of these…

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7 Must Try Green Subscription Box Services

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