Monthly Archives: April 2013

Following Through

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Do you remember what you did for Earth Day last week? Earth Day was exactly 7 days ago. Is what you did still helping this planet? I was convicted this weekend and week about following through for our planet.

Last week for Earth Day the Sugar Pine Foundation came to Patagonia and we planted 250 Jeffrey Pine seedlings on the hill next to Patagonia. It was great! We worked hard, had a great time, and felt like we were doing something great for the environment in our neighborhood. Here is a link to the blog post I wrote on the event.

On Friday of last week I walked out on the hill to check on the baby seedlings. The trees were starting to brown on their tips and the soil was bone dry. They didn’t have any water! They went from growing up in Tahoe, being watered everyday and living in healthy soil to this dry desert soil with no water for over a week! That’s the kind of change that sends trees into shock. I went and grabbed two buckets and watered all the trees I had planted and some others I found that others had planted.

I realized that if I don’t go up on the hill and water the trees as often as possible they will not make it in this harsh environment. I find it quite ironic that Reno has been experiencing the weirdest spring, with random snow and rain mixed with temperatures in the high 70’s, but ever since we planted the baby seedlings we haven’t received a drop of precipitation.

So that’s where I was convicted. I had done my part on Earth Day, and it felt great. Planting trees and cleaning up the river, doing great things. BUT, in order for my efforts on Earth Day to actually transform into a beautiful pine tree I’m going to have to think about the trees I planted every week and follow through by watering them throughout the year, for many years to come.

Did you do something similar to me? Are you following through on it? I challenge you to make a goal for the year that shows your consciousness to our environment. Follow through each week for a full year, and let’s see what blossoms from it! Post your ideas here!

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Outdoor Activity – Camping!

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Do you remember camping when you were younger? My family loved to camp when I was growing up. We would pack up everything: bikes, dogs, kayaks, canoes, sleeping bags, food, all the kids and pile in our van. I loved camping because we usually ate better meals camping than we would during the week at home.

Me, my brother and sister would hop on our bikes and race around the campground for hours until my parents would tell at us to come for dinner, then we’d do one more lap. Those were the good ol’ days. Looking back I didn’t appreciate camping as much as I should’ve. But something about getting older is you get to look back, reflect, and learn to appreciate the good moments as they come since life only gets more busy as we get older.

There are literally hundreds of options for camping in the Reno/Tahoe area. And that’s not even counting backpacking camping options.

If you don’t want to be in the middle of the tourism camping that takes place in Tahoe during the summer I would recommend Frenchman’s or Stampede reservoirs. They are on highway 80 west heading towards Truckee. Both are quieter campgrounds with all the activities you could ask for. You can hike, boat, swim, bike, wakeboard, bring dogs and even ATV’s.

If you want beautiful Tahoe closer to your campground I would recommend Fallen Leaf Lake in south shore. This location offers access to south Lake Tahoe, Fallen Leaf Lake, Angora Lake, the hiking trail to Mt. Tallac and more!

To get more information on local campgrounds in the Reno/Tahoe area visit this link. To reserve a spot at one of these campgrounds click here!

So get out there, reserve a campground and make some memories. I promise you will not regret it. Since I have gotten older and go camping with my parents less I go with my friends. I’m not nearly as prepared each time, I’ll forget silverware or some item needed but we always have fun and make memories along the way! What are your favorite camping memories?

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River Clean Up!

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On Tuesday our work did a river clean up in honor of Earth Day. Patagonia employees worked from 9 until 2 filling trash bags and trying to keep the river area around our work and surrounding area clean. My department took hour long shifts and I was assigned to work from 9-10.

Just looking at the river, it doesn’t look bad. I have defnitely seen dirtier rivers around the country. However, when taking a closer look, there were plently of things to be gathered, recycled and cleaned.

I walked from Patagonia along the river bank towards Mayberry park. I was keeping my eyes peeled for little items that the people before me had missed. I found headphones, bottle caps, fishing lures and other small things. The item that most people overlooked that was causing some damage was fishing line.

I’m guessing when fishermen get caught on something if they aren’t able to pull their line in they cut the line loose. Whatever the line was stuck to then stays there, and eventually will get free. I found yards and yards of line stuck in bushes along the bank. When the water level goes down, whatever was stuck in the bushes is then suspended in the air. The fishing line acts as a tiedown that groups the debris to the bushes. This line is not good for the animals that live in and around the river.

It was very intricate work, but I got as much line out of the bushes as I could. There were tons of random things found, from a dead raccoon to a huge piece of metal that had sunk to the bottom of the river (pictured below).

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All in all, it was a great river clean up! The area looked cleaner, and people were excited to get out there and help clean up the area that we call home for 8 hours a day. Does your work do anything like this? If not, what would you like to see your work to? Share here!

Why isn’t Earth Day Everyday?

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Today is Earth Day. Happy Earth Day!

But what does that mean? The Internet describes it as: “Earth Day is a day that is intended to inspire awareness and appreciation for the Earth’s natural environment.” Under that definition, they are asking us to be aware of the environment that is allowing us to live and sustaining our existence one day a year. Why don’t we appreciate that every morning when we wake up from a sleep?

Think about this example. We use cars as tools to get places. We appreciate them for what they are. In order for us to enjoy the benefit of a car, we must do routine maintenance to ensure that we can keep driving. We get the oil changed, check the engine, rotate the tires and make sure the breaks work. People have two options, they can do this maintenance as things go wrong (brakes squeak, tire pops, etc..) or they can be proactive and do it ahead of time, to ensure that nothing bad should happen.

Are we proactive with our planet? Some would say yes, and indeed there are people and groups out there who are thinking ahead and trying to do the things to ensure our Earth is a “well-oiled machine.” But if everyone drives this car, say it is a communal car that a neighborhood all shares. That car is going to be driven all the time. The more it’s used the sooner it will need maintenance. Wouldn’t it make sense that everyone who drives it pitch in to make sure it runs well? If there is only one guy trying to do the maintenance for everyone and stay ahead of everything that needs to be done he is going to be in over his head because the other people won’t chip in for the amount that they are using it. This is what is happening with our Earth.

Now, the Earth is different than a car, I simply used that as a small example to help get the point across. Throughout our lives we all enjoy the benefits that this planet gives us. Are you pulling your weight more than one day a year, not just on Earth Day? I know that I enjoy this planet 365 days a year. There isn’t a day that goes by where I am not appreciative of the beauty around me and happiness I get from living on this planet. I am not able to reciprocate 365 days a year, but I try to do as much as I can when I can.

By creating an ongoing appreciation for Earth, we can subconsciously become more responsible every day. Without realizing you will start to contribute a little bit. This is going to look different for each individual, so I encourage and challenge you to think of ways that you can really appreciate the Earth everyday. It can range from recycling all your paper and plastic at work to joining an environmental group such as Keep Tahoe Blue.

So let’s celebrate Earth Day every day, not just one day a year. This planet helps to give us life! So let’s give a little something back. Please share what you do or would like to do to make everyday Earth Day.

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Reno’s Earth Day!

Happy Earth Day Reno!

As many of you know today is the day before Earth Day. Reno has an awesome annual event to celebrate. It has been happening now for 22 years and is located at Idlewild Park. The festival aims to bring people together in order to teach them about Earth Day and the values of diversity, ecological responsibility, and reinforcing sustainable cooperative habits.

There are over a hundred exhibitors, ranging from local non-profits to businesses from the western states. Companies strive for these goals: to educate the public on clean and green technologies, human impacts on the environment and the ideas and concepts for sustainable living habits. They also try to provide a radically inclusive forum for local businesses, innovators, artists and organizations to share and express their Earth friendly messages, ideas, and wares.

It is a fun, educational gathering for the community to participate in and learn healthy habits. I promise that if you go there you will become more aware of the diverse perspectives on the plant and our place with in it. There is plenty of parking and it’s a perfect day in Reno to get outside. Bring your friends, family and neighbors, I promise you will enjoy it!

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This event is so good for our area. The weather is warm, people are looking to get outside, and it’s a great forum for people to learn so much about the earth and sustainability. It is much appreciated for the businesses and groups to get out there, and take their personal time teaching others. The reason they do it is because they love it. Go take a trip to Idlewild park and come back here and tell me what you thought. If you have been before, tell me why you like it!

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Planting with the Sugar Pine Foundation!

Today I had an opportunity to help the environment literally right in my own backyard. Patagonia, where I work, is located right on the Truckee river. On the opposite side of the trail are trails, a ditch creek, and some good hikes.

Many employees go walk or run the trails on lunch breaks and many non-Patagonia employees hike on these trails everyday. The hill used to be a forest that ran up to the river on the south side, but deforestation has left it a desert.

Today the sugar pine foundation came to our work and employees volunteered to plant baby Jeffrey Pines along the hillside. I was able to participate and the group planted over 250 baby Jeffrey Pines!

First, you find a nice flat, north facing area that can provide shade for the baby tree. Areas where water will naturally run were preferred because Nevada is so dry that these trees need as much water as they can get.

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Here are some baby seedlings that we planted.

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A picture of the seedling in the hole before filling it.

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Dig the hole about a shovel head’s length deep. Fill it with dirt and pack it down. Throw some mulch over it and then give it some water.

Patagonia employees planted 250 trees along the side of the hill that is on the other side of the river. If everybody helps out, waters the seedlings, and we get some good rain, we should be able to see some trees on the desert hill soon!

It was awesome to help out and give back to the area where I spend time working and running on my lunch breaks. I can’t wait to come back in years and see these trees grow up big! I love giving back to the earth that gives me so much.

I encourage everyone to get out there and do at least one event or volunteer opportunity like this, because everyone helping out can do so much for our environment that we enjoy everyday. Get out there and give back this spring, come back here and share what you did!