A Different Way to Give This Season

In a season of giving, we can all learn how to make a difference and support the people fighting for our environment.

By: Greg Balkin
November 23, 2016

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If you haven't heard the news, Patagonia recently announced that they'll be donating 100% of sales on Black Friday to grassroots organizations who support our environment. This may not seem like a big deal to some of you, but I see it as a tremendous step forward and I hope more companies follow in their footsteps. Black Friday is one of America's largest shopping days of the year, but what if we redirect that time, money, and energy into supporting our planet? What if we reinvent a new standard of giving during a time that's normally spent waiting in line or buying appliances? 

As an outdoor and adventure photographer and videographer, I've been pretty lucky to travel throughout the Western US and experience the raw beauty. From falling asleep in the mountains of Washington to the desert sunrises in Utah, I've been able to connect with our land and the more I'm out there, the more I want to fight for it. These places are important - they bring us rest, safety, nourishment, and life. We need to fight to take care of them, for ourselves and the next generations. 

Fortunately there's a lot of wonderful grassroots organizations throughout Washington (and the country) who are fighting for our planet. But at the same time, it can also be pretty overwhelming to read through all the options and see who aligns with you the best. I reached out to 1% For The Planet and asked for recommendations on organizations supporting education, renewable energy, and land conservation. They provided a small list of organizations who support those topics and made it much easier to find someone to partner with. 

Modeling Patagonia's 100% For The Planet, I decided to setup a print shop on my website and donate 100% of profits this weekend to organizations fighting to protect our land. The collection of photos I'm offering up for donation are from the places that are important to me. Whether they're local in Washington or down in New Zealand, these are places that left me quietly saying "wow, wow, wow" over and over in my head. My hope is to share them and encourage people to support organizations like the one I've chosen. 

It may feel like a small step towards giving back and fighting for our planet, but if you're a photographer or have a collection of photos from travels, I encourage you to try something similar. By taking action on a local level, you're inspiring the people around you to get involved and learn more about what needs a voice. Let's create a new standard of giving where we're fully committed and fight for what we believe in. 

If you'd like to take a look at my print shop and support the cause, visit www.gregbalkin.com/prints

Please respect the places you find on The Outbound.

Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures. Be aware of local regulations and don't damage these amazing places for the sake of a photograph.