Kammok Outsiders know the feeling of connection that comes from stepping into nature. It’s the first breath of fresh air when we get out of our cars and into the mountains. It’s the audible sigh after jumping into the ocean where all we hear are the rhythmic waves crashing onto white sand beaches. However, there’s no doubt that these spaces and experiences away from our screens are in danger due to climate change.
Our commitment to protecting the environment for current and future generations extends beyond Earth Day. We’ve announced our commitment through our partnership with Climate Neutral (read more on it here). We know that for there to be any hope of surviving the climate crisis, we have to take action as both a brand and as individuals.
Earlier this month our team at Kammok paused work at the office and hit the trails, but this time we didn’t camp or climb. Instead, we decided to pick up the trash that humans have left behind along a local trail.
We spent our day walking the Barton Creek Greenbelt in Austin and picked up a surprising amount of dog poop bags, styrofoam cups and plastic wrappers that were bound to end up contaminating waterways, buried in the soil for hundreds of years or in the stomach of wildlife.
For anyone who spends time outside, we urge you to take another look at the seven principles of Leave No Trace. They have great educational resources about the importance of creating minimal impact in wild places.
Still have questions or aren’t sure why this is important? Drop us a message on Instagram, we’d love to hear from you!
After our team outing on the greenbelt, we decided to get the community involved. For this cleanup, we wanted to hit the streets instead of a trail. So much of the trash that ends up in the wild actually comes from urban areas. With heavy rainfall, winds and waste transportation, a lot of it makes its way to natural areas.
We put out an invitation for people in Austin to join us in cleaning up our neighborhood. We set up outside and welcomed new and familiar faces to the Gear Shop for a trashy adventure.
We split into two groups and made our way East, trash bags in hand, gloves and grabbers at the ready, we walked along the streets picking up plastic wrappers, cigarette butts, old shoes, rags, glass bottles, and styrofoam.
Along our route, we were pleasantly surprised by the number of people who stopped to thank us for picking up trash. People know it’s a problem, it’s a matter of getting out and doing something about it.
Protecting our planet is not only an environmental issue but as our founder Greg McEvilly says, is a human issue. It affects our way of life and it’s our responsibility to do something about it. While picking up trash may not be a long-term solution, it’s a small action we can each take in addition to lowering our consumption of single-use products, using alternative modes of transportation, and choosing to support brands that take climate change seriously.
At the end of the day, we didn’t just spend a Thursday evening cleaning up trash, but also connecting with people who understand the power of collective action.
Thank you to those who showed up for our first community cleanup in Texas. We can’t wait to organize more in the future and expand to other locations. Stay tuned for future events in Austin by following @Kammok_ATX on Instagram.