What’s going on for Earth Month

April 6, 2022

Found in Community news

Happy Earth Month! This April, MEC and our partners are celebrating with creative initiatives you can get in on. Find out how to join the Climb for Climate challenge, pick up a free sapling, upcycle your unwanted socks and take action for our favourite planet.

Join the Climb for Climate challenge

Get outside to give back. The challenge? Log as many vertical metres as possible from now until April 30. For every 20m of vertical you climb, MEC will donate $1 to Protect Our Winters Canada. Our goal is 500,000 metres of vertical overall, which would equal 56 Everests and a giant $25,000 donation. Rack up the metres of elevation however you like – run, bike, ski, climb, hike, you name it.

It’s free to sign up, you get a 1-month FATMAP Explore voucher, and yep, we’ll have prizes!

Plant a tree for free

Head into your local MEC store on April 22, and pick up a complimentary sapling with your purchase, courtesy of tentree, a brand that plants ten trees for every item sold. It’s the perfect day to visit us if you’re in need of bike supplies for climate-friendly commutes or are looking to refresh your camping gear for human-powered adventures. Limited quantities of saplings available, so come by early.

Go from enthusiast to advocate

To help you become an effective climate advocate and make a difference, Protect Our Winters Canada (POW Canada) has officially launched a free Enthusiast to Advocate Training Program. Sign up online to learn how to talk about climate change, engage and organize your community, and how to advocate for better, more equitable climate policy. We’re proud to help bring this program to life as part of MEC Outdoor Impact.

Recycle your old socks

Only 12% of clothing materials end up getting recycled. It’s time to change that. MEC is the first retailer to introduce the Smartwool Second Cut Project™ to Canada – let’s recycle your old socks into new gear.

From now until May 2, drop off unwanted socks at your local MEC store; look for the Smartwool Second Cut Project bins. All socks are welcome, as long as they’re clean: all brands, all colours, all materials, all conditions (single socks are good too). Smartwool will give these socks new life as dog beds – nice! To date, the Second Cut Project has kept 5440kg (12,000 lb.) of material out of landfills.

Know how your gear is made

Last Earth Month, we set major sustainability goals for MEC Label products. This Earth Month, we want to share how we’re tracking toward our goals. We’ll be releasing our MEC sustainability progress report later this month – stay tuned to learn about the successes, challenges and new ideas springing to life. By 2025, our big picture aim is to have at least one environmental or social responsibility feature* per MEC Label product.

Keep an eye out for more sustainable materials

If you do need to purchase new gear, Earth Month is a great time to learn about materials. A few highlights of more sustainable materials landing at MEC this season:

Reclaimed foam in pillows

MEC Camp Pillows are stuffed with cushy foam bits leftover from MEC sleeping pad production to keep scraps out of the landfill and reduce our footprint.

Trifecta of goodness

MEC Fair Trade tees are organic cotton, bluesign-approved and Fair Trade Certified and are a favourite with MEC staffers.

Foam formulated with algae

Merrell Hydro Moc Sandals have foam made with Rise by Bloom, a replacement for petroleum-based EVAs. It’s made partially of algae biomass and the extraction process turns green water into clean water.

60 plastic bottles in a blanket

Rumpl turns discarded plastic bottles into their cozy Original Puffy Blanket.

Learn Leave No Trace skills

Earth Month is the perfect time to brush up tips to recreate responsibly outside. Whether you’re planning a spring hike or bike trip, Leave No Trace Canada has great advice on ways to minimize your recreation impacts – check out the LNT Canada site for tips (do you know their first principle?). LNT Canada has been a community partner of MEC since they started in 2006… and we’re happy to announce they’ve got a new website coming soon with lots of resources and tools – keep an eye out.

Be part of our bag library

Okay, so this new bag sharing initiative launched before Earth Month, but it’s prime time for a plug: if you live in Vancouver or North Vancouver, bring us your extra reusable shopping bags. We’ll add them to our bag-share pilot program and put them back in circulation. The pilot has been popular so far… but we need more bags to keep it going.

Keep an eye on @mec for even more info about more sustainable choices in the world of outdoor gear.

*By that we mean recycled content, organic content, Fair Trade, PVC-free, Responsible Down Standard, Responsible Wool Standard, preferred Lyocell, rechargeable, Leather Working Group, or bluesign®-approved materials.

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