photo: Dax Justin

Earth Day is every day, and it ain’t political. Those are the facts. Conservation is about saving the wild places, but it’s also about saving ourselves. Nature has had trillions of years to figure things out, and it’s time we humble ourselves and take note of ancient systems of sustainability, coexistence, and survival. Because the Earth will survive even if we don’t.

But it doesn’t have to be as somber as all that. While activism and marches are imperative to keeping the country country and the wild wild, there’s another thing you can do: Get outside. Enjoy the wild places and leave no trace. Share your stoke. Show your unenlightened friend how good s/he will feel after a day spent yondering. The more you get out there, the less abstract nature becomes, and conservation will come as easily as breathing.

Here’s a look at some of our Contributors seeking sustainable practices and having fun doing it!

Dax Justin – Camera Crusader

“Yo! When I first started exploring and taking photos I had no idea what was possible. I sure didn’t plan on creating a career forged in the vitality of adventure. I never, ever took photos. Never recorded life’s moments. Didn’t care, I was too distracted with sports cars and $400 jeans. Basic AF!

“Fast forward 4 years and it all started with me randomly stumbling into the woods and seeing sides of nature I never knew existed. I began taking photos on my smartphone and shared them across my online communities and since then I’ve felt in touch, and that I was born for this. I didn’t just see nature that day, I FELT it. It was electric. I was ALIVE (for the first time in my life). That initial experience significantly changed my outlook on our existence and purpose on this planet. If you take one thing away from me today: Who you become in life is the sum of all your experiences – not the sum of all your things. Ask yourself what you care about and relentlessly pursue it. Your HEART detects frequencies and picks up on things before your brain does…follow that more.”

Dax is currently offering a rad workshop called Smartphone PRO Photo Workshop wherein he teaches you how to capture amazing images with your phone. Of course, the guy knows his way around f-stops and aperatures, but it’s pretty cool when a professional photographer not only realizes the capabilities of smartphone photos, but wants to share his secrets with the world. Way to pay it forward, Dax!

Jeff McElroy – Patagonia/EcoFarm Adventure

EDGEtv Contributor and Senior Staff Writer, Jeff McElroy, was recently hired by Patagonia to cover the 38th Annual Ecological Farming Association (EcoFarm) Conference in Asilomar, California. As the main sponsor of the event, Patagonia set up a booth to promote their new Workwear Line and Patagona Provisions. Jeff’s job was to cover the three-day event for Patagonia’s social channels, and he learned heaps about regenerative farming in the process.

“I went to EcoFarm not knowing much about sustainable farming, and I came away with a wealth of knowledge. I love how the workshops and seminars transcended politics; the approaches to farming they talked about simply made sense, ethically and economically. 

“EcoFarm opened my eyes to the destructive practices of commercial farming and how they can be amended. The number one issue seems to come down to soil health. Over the past trillion years, nature has perfected ways of keeping soil in place. Take a hike in the mountains and dig a hole – the soil and loam is rich and rooted. Now go to a large-scale farm and notice how tilling and overplanting has degraded the soil, stripping the nutrients and making it more susceptible to washing away in big rain storms.

“At EcoFarm, I learned how farmers can grow cover crops to keep the soil healthy and in place. Everywhere I looked, folks were wearing t-shirts and pins saying, “No Till!” Again, we don’t see tilling occuring in nature. It’s something that (wo)mankind has introduced and it’s destroying our soil.”

“Big thanks to Patagonia and all the wonderful folk I met at EcoFarm. This is the future of farming!”

Mary Osborne – Yogi Surfer

Surfing and yoga go together like wine and chocolate. EDGEtv Contributor, Mary Osborne, figured this out a long time ago and is stoked to share it with the world. Her latest retreat is at Rancho Santanta, Nicaragua. This retreat invites guests to Breath, Inspire, Enlighten, Explore, and Indulge. Which translates to two daily surf sessions with Mary, two daily yoga sessions with Rob Hess, and ah-mazing farm-to-table cuisine all set in a tropical paradise.

Check out Mary’s website for upcoming retreats!

In the spirit of Earth Day, check out this documentary about the plastic patch in the Pacific Ocean and what scientists are to doing to fight it. Rad appearances by Mary!

Edward Abbey Says…

No Earth Day would be complete without mentioning Edward Abbey. If you’ve never read his work, do so now (we recommend Desert Solitaire and The Monkeywrench Gang). Here are three quotes to get you all amped up about Earth Day!

“Wilderness is not a luxury, but a necessity of the human spirit.”

“May your trails be crooked, winding, lonesome, leading to the most amazing view. May your mountains rise into and above the clouds.”

“The idea of wilderness needs no defense, it only needs defenders.”

Happy Earth Day!

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About The Author
- Jeff McElroy is a Ventura and Mammoth Lakes-based writer. His surf/coast-inspired short story collections, CALIFORNIOS and CALIFORNIOS 2 have received awards and accolades within the boardsport and literary communities. He writes about adventure athletes and the wild places for EDGEtv Network. When he's not writing, he's surfing, backpacking, snowboarding, and trail-running with his wife and Jack Russell Terrier.

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