Five ways founders can protect the outdoors
Here’s how to do your part for conservation, regardless of your company's industry.
You don’t have to be building in the outdoor industry to make protecting the great outdoors a priority. Whether your passion is global wildlife conservation or working with your team to conserve or maintain a local greenspace or waterway, here are a few ways founders can make a meaningful impact through their businesses:
1. Plant trees.
The environmental and social impact of trees, whether planted in a city green space or as part of larger reforestation programs, is well-documented. There are local, national, and global organizations that work with businesses to coordinate donations and offer hands-on planting programs. Help Scout celebrates new customers by planting one tree per new customer through The Nature Conservancy. In 2021, the company sponsored approximately 3,000 trees and hopes to surpass that number in 2022.
2. Maintain a trail or park.
Whether your company is based in an urban area or close to wilderness, there are plenty of opportunities to play a role in maintaining local trails and greenspaces. The American Trails Association lists local trail organizations and contacts by state, which is a great way to find out about local and regional volunteer opportunities. Info about trail stewardship in National Parks is available via the National Park Service website. If you’re looking to help protect and maintain an urban park in your community, the National Parks and Recreation Association site is a good starting place to learn about advocacy and partnership opportunities to protect urban greenspaces.
3. Look after your local waterways.
We all benefit when local water sources are clean, and national and regional organizations can help you make a difference in your area. There are also industry-specific groups, like Brewers for Clean Water, which are advocating for measures that help safeguard water sources from pollution. Individual breweries can also get into the game on the local level like Allagash Brewing Company in Maine does by donating ten cents from every barrel of beer they brew to a collective of organizations working to preserve their local water source.
4. Join the club.
Values-driven businesses that feel the pull to protect the great outdoors are pooling their passions for conservation through various national and global environmental organizations. If you want to add the power of your business to the mix, check out organizations like the National Park Foundation (The North Face and L.L. Bean are both corporate partners), 1% for the Planet (founded by Patagonia founder Yvon Chouinard), and The Conservation Alliance.
5. Build awareness and engage your team.
As a founder, no matter if you’re leading a remote team, headquartered in a big city, or working from a rural HQ, you can raise awareness about conservation efforts and offer opportunities for employee engagement. Programs like the World Wildlife Fund’s Together@Work offer a huge variety of educational resources and opportunities to learn about conservation efforts; local and regional conservation organizations (like Friends of the Forest Preserves in Cook County, Illinois) offer day-long team-building activities; and corporate giving platforms like Selflessly can help facilitate both giving and volunteering opportunities for your team.