Get Outside This Holiday Season: A Sustainable Guide To Enjoying The Great Outdoors
This post is in partnership with tentree, thank you for supporting the incredible companies who help make The Well Essentials possible each year
Here in Vermont it is quickly starting to feel like the holidays as the temperature drops, and the first snow of the season covers the ground — and yes that first snow was in October. Hello Winter!! While winter in Vermont is definitely not for the faint of heart, there is something really wonderful about getting outside this time of year when the leaf peeper tourists have gone home, and you can often have hiking trails all to yourself.
Growing up in New England I learned at a pretty young age that winter wasn’t an indoor season, it was just a bundling season. My parents believed in the incredible power nature had to increase happiness (and wear out little kids) so we would spend as much time as we could (especially during the holiday season) outside. It didn’t matter if it was cold, or snowing, it just mattered that we were out in nature — even if it was just one hour a day.
Today is no different, and as most people start to head inside for the holiday season of shopping, I head outside — seeking more time out in nature, more time away from crowded malls, more time pushing myself through cold-morning hikes, and more time reconnecting with the world around me.
I believe that this season, when we are surrounded by friends and family, is the perfect time of year to pursue a connection with nature and the great outdoors. So when tentree asked me if I would share how I prioritize enjoying nature during the busy holiday season I jumped at the chance with the hope that it will inspire you all to as well.
Pictured above: tentree cable beanie made of 50% sustainably sourced merino wool and 50% recycled polyester, which is sourced from recycled bottles and reduces the dependance on petroleum based products in the global sustainable clothing industry. Use the code THEWELLESSENTIALS20 for 20% your purchase at checkout.
Get Outside This Holiday Season: A Sustainable Guide To Enjoying The Great Outdoors
push past your comfort zone
So you have decided you want to spend more time outside this holiday season, but the temperature is cold, the sky is getting dark earlier, and your latest Netflix show at home is calling your name — it’s time you pushed past your comfort zone.
So much about enjoying nature in the colder months is getting in the habit of spending more time outside in the cold. Each day will get easier and easier, and with time you will start to feel pulled outside as those endorphins created from a mix of nature and activity take over your body and mind.
Some of my favorite cold-weather activities that get me outside and out of my pajamas on cold-winter mornings are:
Short Hikes With A Pretty Sunrise View
Snowshoeing After A Snowfall
Trail Run’s/Community Races With Friends
Fast Walks With Good Music
Enjoy The Outdoors Sustainably
When it comes to getting outside and enjoying the outdoors this holiday season it’s so important that we not only think about where we are choosing to spend our time, but how. This is another form of challenging our comfort zones because so often when enjoying nature we take more than we give, and it’s something we (aka anyone who wants to enjoy the environment) should think more about.
So the next time you head outside I want you to ask yourself a few questions:
What clothing and gear are you using to enjoy the outdoors? Was it made with practices that also supported the environment?
What water bottle are you carrying? Is it plastic free?
What snacks are you bringing with you? Were you cautious to leave no trace behind when you left your hike or run?
These are all questions we should be asking ourselves each and every time we choose to spend time out in nature. We get so much from the environment, and these are the small changes we can make to give back.
Pictured above: tentree cozy mittens made of 50% sustainably sourced merino wool and 50% recycled polyester, which is sourced from recycled bottles and reduces the dependance on petroleum based products in the global sustainable clothing industry. Use the code THEWELLESSENTIALS20 for 20% your purchase at checkout.*
invest in sustainable outdoor wear
If you are going to start spending more time outside this holiday season then you are going to need some sustainable outdoor wear to help keep you warm and out enjoying nature longer. When it comes to choosing outdoor wear the first thing’s I always look for are the fabrics and sourcing practices of the company I am considering purchasing from, and the social impact/mission the company has when it comes to environmental and consumer health.
Historically the textile industry has prioritized style and performance without always considering the impact manufactured textiles were having on the environment. For example, engineered textiles like polyester and nylon, two of the most widely used textiles in the clothing industry, are all derived from petroleum, and can take decades to hundreds of years to break down. While both of these textiles can be recycled and up-cycled into new clothing, very little is actually recycled due to poor consumer awareness.
Luckily, in large part to consumer demand, we are starting to seeing a movement in the clothing industry to create and invest in textiles that not only perform well, but are environmentally conscious. This can include up-cycling of recycled materials to reduce overall waste, sustainably sourcing organic textiles like cotton and wool, and innovations to develop new textiles that don’t compromise on style, performance, and environmental impact.
tentree is one of those companies that has chosen to not compromise the environment in the name of style, cost, and performance. Instead they have worked to create innovative methods for up-cycling recycled textiles and other materials to ensure that sustainability is woven quite literally into every aspect of their clothing. From investing in organic cotton and sustainably sourced wool, to up-cycling used coconut shells for buttons, tentree has figured out how to create beautiful items of clothing that support the environment, and our overall global health every step of the way.
Because if we’re going to enjoy the great outdoors we should be making sure that the clothing we are wearing also protects it.
Pictured above: tentree adventure hoodie made of 100% recycled polyester made from recycled bottles that is turned into useable polyester fibers. The use of recycled polyester reduces the need to rely on petroleum, which is a positive step forward for the sustainable textile and clothing industry. Use the code THEWELLESSENTIALS20 for 20% your purchase at checkout.
It’s the season of giving after all, and there are so many ways that you can give back this holiday season from the companies you support, to the non-profits you donate to, to the the time you give. Personally I love giving backing around the holidays by being extra conscious about the way I spend my money and my time. These are two areas of all of our lives that can make a real impact, and especially around the holidays when we are choosing to buy gifts for the ones we love I think it is especially important to vote with our dollar, and make purchasing that support the kind of world we wish to live in.
If you are looking to give back through your purchasing habits this holiday season tentree is an environmentally progressive lifestyle apparel brand that is working to combat deforestation issues around the world by planting 10 trees for every item sold.
tentree works together with various non-profits and environmental organizations around the world to ensure that their tree planting efforts make a sustainable, long-lasting impact. By involving community stakeholders they are following global health best practices, and are engaging marginalized local communities who have been the most impacted by deforestation. To date they have planted more than 24 million trees and are just getting started.
I also love giving back through outdoor community events like our family’s annual turkey trot. I guarantee that there is an outdoor related activity in your area that you can donate your time to, and it is a great way to spend quality time with your friends and family.
I hope that these tips to sustainably enjoying the great outdoors this holiday season inspire your own outdoor adventures. The more time we spend out in nature, the more of a connection we have with the world around us, and the better I know we all feel.
So get outside, and start planning that next adventure.