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What’s going on for Earth Month

April 6, 2023

Found in Community news

It’s Earth month! This April, MEC and our partners are celebrating with creative initiatives you can get in on. Find out how to recycle your old climbing rope, upcycle your unwanted socks, and take action for our favourite planet. Plus, climbing legend Tommy Caldwell is coming back to MEC for an event to chat sustainability and climbing – and this time, he’s got climbing company.

Climate action in action

MEC is setting out on our most challenging expedition yet: uniting external partners in the outdoor industry and empowering our own business to create lasting change in the climate crisis. We’re pushing ahead with a new commitment to reduce our emissions in line with climate science targets. The goal? Reduce our emissions 55% by 2030 and 90% by 2050.

This is a big step for us. There’s a ton of data and planning behind these targets, and they’ve been submitted to the Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi) for validation. Check out our climate action plan to see how we’re going to make it all happen.

Recycle your climbing ropes

When: April 13 – May 31 at all MEC stores, except Hudson’s Bay locations

New for 2023, Sterling Rope is launching their dynamic rope recycling program in Canada at MEC. It’s a very cool program that gives old ropes new life. Some ropes get upcycled into things like dog leashes or bag handles. Others are melted or ground down into nylon pellets to be turned into carpet fibres, fleece, skateboards and dog toys.

If you have dynamic climbing rope that’s dirty, damaged or ready to retire, this is your chance to get it out of your garage or gear closet and put it to work in a new way. Any brand is accepted, as long as it’s dynamic (not static) climbing rope. Coil or bind your rope (no flaked and loose ropes, please) and drop it off in the big Sterling Rope Monster Box at MEC stores.

Recycle your old socks

When: April 6 – 30 at all MEC stores

Only 12% of clothing materials end up getting recycled. It’s time to change that. The Smartwool Second Cut Project™ is back in Canada to recycle your old socks into new gear. Last year, this project was incredibly sock-ccessful, with over 650,000 socks collected for recycling in North America.

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 a new Second Cut™ Project Hike Sock – nice! To date, the Second Cut Project has kept over 24,900kg (55,000 lb.) of material out of landfills.

Tommy Caldwell, Sonnie Trotter and Edelrid at MEC

When: April 26 at MEC Vancouver, tickets go on sale on April 13

The legend is back. Join MEC and Edelrid as we chat about climbing access, climate advocacy, and adventures with Tommy Caldwell and Sonnie Trotter. Expect another sold-out show with stories, drinks from local sponsors, community groups, and epic prizes – all hosted by MEC Ambassadors Sean McColl and Emma Contaoe.

Mark your calendar for ticket sales (they go fast) and keep an eye on @mec for ticket giveaway contests.

A group of climbers trying on climbing gear at a MEC store.

Hot Planet, Cool Athletes: student education

Want to empower the next generation of climate advocates? Protect Our Winters Canada (one of our MEC Outdoor Impact partners) offers a free climate change education platform for students and teachers across Canada.

Hot Planet, Cool Athletes helps high school students be climate leaders through educational videos, presentations from top Canadian athletes, a huge bank of teacher resources and sustainable student challenges. It was developed in partnership with the University of Waterloo Interdisciplinary Centre on Climate Change.

MEC was a founding partner of Protect Our Winters Canada, and we’re proud to keep investing in their advocacy work, and programs like Hot Planet, Cool Athletes, that unites people to make change.

Protect 30% of Canada’s wild spaces by 2030

MEC Outdoor Impact’s key national conservation partner is the Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society (CPAWS). They’re on a mission to protect 30% of land and water in Canada by 2030, and they’re partnering with Indigenous organizations and communities to support and advocate for Indigenous-led conservation initiatives.

How can you help? Join the “We Can’t Wait” campaign and take action on the CPAWS website. Lend your voice to campaigns at the national level or through your regional CPAWS chapter, such as supporting the Pessamit First Nation to protect the Pipmuakan in Quebec, defending the Great Bear Sea in BC, and protecting the Seal River Watershed in Manitoba.

Keep an eye out for more sustainable materials

Earth Month is a great time to learn about what goes into materials. Check out a few highlights of more sustainable materials landing at MEC this season. Remember: if you’re buying new gear, make sure it’s built to last.

More warmth, less waste

The MEC Mountain Blanket is made with leftover fabric from sleeping bag production to squeeze everything we can out of giant fabric rolls.


Not just one, but three ways to improve materials: the MEC Boundary Light Down Jacket has bluesign®-approved fabric, recycled content, and certified responsible down.

Made from leftover backpack fabric

The MEC Waste-Less Tote Bag is made with fabric salvaged from MEC backpacks to keep scraps out of the landfill and reduce our footprint. It’s incredibly durable too.

Keeps you rolling smoothly

MEC Bio-Cycle 1L Chain Cleaner is a water-soluble, biodegradable degreaser to clean gunk off your bike chain for smoother rides all year long.

Keep an eye for even more info about more sustainable choices in the world of outdoor gear – we’ve got a full guide coming soon for Earth Month.

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