Guest Blog on

As a follow up to our Action at The Conservation Alliance Winter 2009 Outdoor Retailer Breakfast, I had the opportunity to write a short blog on the 350 website.  Check it out at


Thank you to all who attended the Alliance Breakfast and helped up create a powerful image for 

The North Face and Polartec Launch Eco Champion Social Media Campaign

Check out this post from SNEWS – do you know an Eco Champion who should be nominated?

The North Face®, the world's premier supplier of authentic, innovative and technically advanced outdoor apparel, equipment and footwear, and Polartec®, the creators of the highest performance textiles available, announce the launch of their ‘Eco Champion' program. The campaign, designed to recognize passionate people improving the environment, will honor an ‘Eco-Champion' with a $15,000 donation made in their name to a chosen green cause and a $1,000 gift certificate to The North Face® online store.

"The Eco Champion campaign is a celebration of those individuals who dedicate their lives to making a difference in our world," states Nate Simmons, Director of Marketing for Polartec. "Both Polartec and The North Face are committed to reducing their environmental impact through programs like the recycled Polartec fleece in The North Face Denali jacket, and we are thrilled to recognize others who embrace the world we live in."

The ‘Eco Champion' program is a two-round campaign, created and managed by social media advertising network, Brickfish®. The program invites entrants to submit videos, photos or blogs showcasing people who deserve special recognition for their efforts to improve the environment. Twenty-five finalists, selected by The North Face® and Polartec® from round one, will advance to round two. Of the twenty-five finalists, one grand prize winner will be selected through online voting to receive a $15,000 donation made in their name to a green cause of their choice plus a $1,000 gift certificate to The North Face® online store. In addition to the grand prize winner, The North Face® and Polartec® will also award the second and third place winners with donations made in their names.

"The health of our planet and the outdoors is an integral part of The North Face brand," said Letitia Webster, Director of Corporate Sustainability for The North Face. "We are thrilled to partner with Polartec for the ‘Eco Champion' challenge to offer such a powerful program in recognition of the individual contributions of committed people and demonstrate the tremendous collective input we can all have."

All twenty-five ‘Eco Champion' finalists will receive a new Denali jacket by The North Face. The Denali, which debuted in 1989, helped introduce the warmth and functionality of Polartec® fleece to the world. A certifiable classic, the jacket has sold millions of units and can be found everywhere from Everest base camp to college campuses worldwide. This year, The North Face has switched the Polartec® fleece in the Denali to a new, recycled Polartec® Classic 300 fleece, which contains 87 percent recycled content. The new Denali will save the energy equivalent of approximately .83 gallons of gas and 33 pounds of carbon dioxide per jacket versus a jacket made using virgin polyester fleece.

The ‘Eco Champion' campaign ends March 18. For complete details, click here.

Inching Toward Greener Cellphones

 I am almost embarassed by the amount of cell phones I have gone through over the past couple of years – I don't know if it's partly being an irresponsible phone user, or the fact that these things don't seem to be made to last…. I have had many hit the pavement, I've lost them, accidently submerged them in water, you name it, and I've probably done it.  The hard part is figuring out how to properly recycle them… Which is why during my last move I actually packed and unpacked 3 phones that are no longer functioning. 

Check out this great article by James Kanter that discusses how some cell phone companies are starting to go green:

Cellphones may be ubiquitous in the wealthy world – but the companies that make them seem to have been slower than some other consumer goods to jump on the green bandwagon.

Now there are signs that is about to change as the industry begins introducing a far wider range of eco-friendly options, as Eric Sylvers writes from the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona.

That suggests a new niche for environmental technologies – and environmental marketing – could be quickly developing.

Click HERE to read more…                                        

Last-Second Green Valentine’s Day Guide

For all the procrastinators out there, check out some last minute ideas from the Huffington Post on making your Valentine's Day more sustainable. 

OK, you put off getting something for Valentine's Day until the weekend, only to realize that V-Day is Saturday. No problem. We've got your last-second Valentine's Day gift ideas that are both romantic and (sometimes sneakily) eco-friendly. And before you get scared away at the idea, let me promise that two of them involve nudity. OK? Got that? Naked is on the list.

Click HERE to read more…

We Like that Salazar Guy!

Less than a week after he rescinded controversial energy leases on BLM land near national parks in Southern Utah, new Interior Secretary Ken Salazar announced yesterday that he would halt a Bush administration plan to open new offshore areas to oil and gas drilling. Salazar called the Bush plan "a headlong rush of the worst kind," and promised to "restore order to a broken process.

Check out the full story from the Washington Post.

California Work Program for Young Is Threatened

The California Conservation Corps is threatend due to the budget deficit facing the state of California.  Read this article from The New York Times to see why this inspirational program in California may soon be history… 

A California Conservation Corps crew repaired trails in Mount Tamalpais State Park. The corps employs 1,300 young adults. More Photos >

MOUNT TAMALPAIS STATE PARK, Calif. – An hour before sunrise, Jason Prue, a shaggy-haired member of a California Conservation Corps work crew, stood scrubbing a breakfast dish in the rain, shaking off a night of sleeping in a wet tent and loving every minute of it.

"I like working in the rain," Mr. Prue, 21, said on Thursday. "It's beautiful. And it's a free shower."

But Mr. Prue, who joined the corps after living in his car for a stint, and hundreds like him could soon be jobless. A budget crisis has put the California Conservation Corps, the country's largest and oldest work program for mostly hard-luck teenagers and young adults, on the chopping block.

Click here to read the full story.


Conservation Alliance Member Recognized for His Commitment to Wilderness

Teague Hatfield, owner of Alliance member FootZone of Bend was recognized by the Campaign for America's Wilderness for his commitment to Wilderness protection for The Badlands, a 30,000-acre desert wildland outside of his home in Bend, Oregon. Congratulations to Teague for this much-deserved recognition. Check out the article here.

On an unrelated note, Teague's shop hosts a weekly lunchtime run that helps ensure that Conservation Alliance staff leave their desks at least once a week!

Trashing the Fridge

How far will you go to reduce your carbon footprint?  Check out this great article from The New York Times that shows what some people are willing to go without to become more environmental responsible….

By STEVEN KURUTZ Published: February 4, 2009

FOR the last two years, Rachel Muston, a 32-year-old information-technology worker for the Canadian government in Ottawa, has been taking steps to reduce her carbon footprint – composting, line-drying clothes, installing an efficient furnace in her three-story house downtown.

About a year ago, though, she decided to "go big" in her effort to be more environmentally responsible, she said. After mulling the idea over for several weeks, she and her husband, Scott Young, did something many would find unthinkable: they unplugged their refrigerator. For good.

"It's been a while, and we're pretty happy," Ms. Muston said recently. "We're surprised at how easy it's been."

As drastic as the move might seem, a small segment of the green movement has come to regard the refrigerator as an unacceptable drain on energy, and is choosing to live without it. In spite of its ubiquity – 99.5 percent of American homes have one – these advocates say the refrigerator is unnecessary, as long as one is careful about shopping choices and food storage

Salazar to Halt Utah Oil and Gas Leases

Supporting our operative theory that positive change has arrived in Washington DC in matters concerning the management of public lands, new Interior Secretary Ken Salazar will cancel oil and gas leases on 77 parcels of BLM land in Utah. The leases, covering 110,000 acres adjacent to Arches National Park, Dinosaur National Monument, and other special wildlands, were offered in the last days of the Bush Administration.

Sharon Buccino, an attorney for the Natural Resources Defense Council responded: "What's significant here is you really do have Salazar taking a very critical first step toward restoring some sort of balance to the management of public lands. We can have energy security without sacrificing the West's wild places."

Check out the full story from the Washington Post here.


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