Chances are, if you are an outdoor adventurer, you are an environmentalist, or in the least, eco-aware. The outdoors is full of beautiful landscapes to admire, climb, and swim. Unfortunately, this makes an impact on these precious ecosystems. To minimize your impact while you enjoy then outdoors, avoid trekking unnatural materials into the wilderness and using harmful energy sources along the way.
Get gear that was made in an eco-friendly process.
Patagonia makes the ever popular outdoor fabric of fleece, but from recycled soda bottles. The plastic is melted into small pieces and then transformed into yarn. The yarn is spun into polyester for fleece. Patagonia has save nearly 90 million soda bottles from landfills. After you are done with your Patagonia gear, you can recycle it back to the factory to be made into new material.
Timberland is making a very impressive eco-performance in their production and packaging methods. They have a center in the Dominican Republic powered by wind and solar energy. Their European Distribution center in the Netherlands is run entirely by wind energy, waste steam, and hydro-power. California has one of fifty largest solar panel systems, comprising 60 percent of the power at that center, saving 480,000 lbs of carbon emissions.
Green Index Tags will let you know how green the Timberland product is. It will have three scores, on a scale of one to ten, related to greenhouse gas emissions of the production process, the chemicals and solvents used, and the recyclability of the completed product.
Timberland makes a variety of outdoor footwear, with component held together by nontoxic, water-based adhesives. These have shown to out last conventional materials. Your feet will be comfortable in the thermal-regulating SmartWool interior. In 2006, they even started making their boxes from 100 percent recycled cardboard and soy-based inks.
Backpacks are a must for hikers. These green bags allow luxury.
Voltaic Systems makes backpack and daypacks with embedded solar panels with plug-in. This resilient product is equipped with cords so you can carry your ipod or phone in the shoulder strap pouch, while charging.
Reware Juice Backpacks are also solar powered. Reware power pockets are travel size and put out 12 watts but stow into a piece 5″x9″ and less than an inch thick.
Freeplay Energy is a U.K. based company that makes alternative energy radios, lanterns, and flashlights. The Freeplay Eyemax radio is also a flashlight; crank it for 30 seconds or solar power it for up to 30 minutes of use. Freeplay Summit is a global radio and alarm clock that will run for 20 hours when fully charged; this has the benefit of weather alerts.
Camping should get you close to nature, but not harming it. Make your outdoor adventure as eco-friendly as possible.