We Opt to Act, Today and Every Day
Since the beginning, Camber Outdoors has partnered with REI as part of the company’s #OptOutside campaign.
Five years ago, REI launched a movement when it closed all 154 of its stores across 36 states on Black Friday, encouraging patrons to consume a little less and instead, to #OptOutside. Now, with the climate crisis more pressing than ever, the campaign has evolved and that movement has transformed into a mission: It’s time we fight for life outdoors every single day. It’s time we Opt to Act.
Although Black Friday will still serve as a nationwide day of action with clean ups from coast to coast, REI and its partners across the U.S., including Camber Outdoors, have committed to participate in ongoing change, not just for a day or a month, but every single day going forward. At Camber Outdoors, a nonprofit that focuses on advancing equity in the workplace of the active-outdoors industries, we hope to spark change at the place most of us spend, on average, 90,000 hours, or around one third of our lives: Our jobs.
We recently spoke to professional kiteboarder turned entrepreneur, Sensi Graves, about the importance of cultivating a workplace culture that’s sustainable, and in turn, the effect that can have on our overall culture. “It is the company’s responsibility to educate, step up to make change, and encourage employees to take the steps toward reduced waste and greater green initiatives,” says Graves. “It’s not just about changing out your light bulbs, it’s holding people accountable for their actions and encouraging them to think about their decisions outside of work as well as inside of it.”
Changing your light bulbs to LED efficient models, doing away with single serve plastic straws and paper products, as well as launching other environmental initiatives, such as composting or replacing canned sparkling water with a Sodasteam, are important actions every employer can take to #optoutside. What Graves is talking about, however, is cultivating a mindset that employees can carry with them when they leave work. It’s not about calling out or shaming others with your environmental evangelism, but rather educating yourself, volunteering your time, and sparking conversations about what we can all be doing better.
Is your company in the business of manufacturing? Is it taking concrete steps to launch greener practices? Are there funds available to purchase carbon offsets? Does your workplace culture support open communication, making it easier for conversations around sustainability to be heard and felt? If we, as employees working in the active outdoors industries, aren’t discussing issues of sustainability at work, we could all be out of jobs in the foreseeable future. While at the office, we encourage you to adopt an “Opt Outside” mindset, leading with your actions.
Over the next couple months, we’ll be sharing content and resources to help you get involved in the #OptOutside movement, as well as sustain continued action all year long, especially at your place of work.
This post sponsored by REI—we hope that you’ll join us in creating sustainable change over the course of our lives.