What happens when people choose to #OPTOUTSIDE

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If you want change, you have to make it. This past Black Friday we teamed up with REI and Leave No Trace in the movement towards creating positive impacts in our world.

You’re probably familiar with REI’s ongoing campaign to close its doors on the biggest retail day of the year and ask everyone to join the #OptOutside movement rather than participating in Black Friday shopping madness. This year, they decided to kick their efforts up a notch by partnering with Leave No Trace, organizing a nationwide day of action to promote community connection, a cleaner environment, and scientific discovery.

While it’s great to spend a day dedicated to getting outside and simply enjoying the outdoors, this year’s campaign encouraged everybody to direct their energy toward taking action to preserve the environment that we care about so much. The hashtag #OptToAct encompasses the motivation that change is a choice that each of us make, and it starts small. Through collaboration with REI, Leave No Trace, CitSci.org, and citizen scientists, local cleanup events were conducted in eight cities all over the country.

The events focused on not only leaving our communities cleaner than how we found them, but also on documenting the magnitude and makeup of the trash present. Citizen scientists took to the beach, city parks, and their own neighborhoods to find littered plastic bottles, food containers, and even a discarded suitcase and propane tank!

We’re still crunching numbers, but what we know so far is that working together, the #OptOutside campaign: 

·      Inspired 875 volunteers in eight natural areas

·      Removed 3,105 pounds of waste

·      Logged more than 3,100 volunteer hours

·      Engaged 11 local partners

“In total, those efforts equate to an $80,000+ contribution toward protecting public lands.”

-Leave No Trace

Through events like this we connect with our communities and understand that while the environmental issues we face are grand, as a team we can all take action together that makes a difference.

Didn’t get a chance to participate in this year’s clean-up? Don’t wait until next Black Friday to get involved!

4 Ways to #OptOutside Today

  1. Participate in REI’s #OptToAct Plan and act each week of the year. 
  1. Sign up or attend a Leave No Trace Event happening in a city near you! 
  1. Participate in the Earth Day Network’s Great Global Cleanup!
  1. Start or join a citizen science project on CitSci.org

Want More? Check out Natural Areas Benefit from ‘Opt Outside’ Cleanup Campaign With REI

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