Jennifer Anderson, online merchandising manager at Gear Coop, made a promise to herself for 2019: that she'd be more mindful of her plastic waste. She started by seeking reusable plastic shampoo and soap bottles and now she's learning to make bread to avoid the plastic bags that wrap loaves.
That mindset inspired her at work too. Just this week, Anderson signed on to the Plastic Impact Promise and recruited the Costa Mesa, California, retailer to join the Alliance.
"We’re a climbing community and we want to help the environment so we still have a place to enjoy our sport, not only as a company for our customers, but for all our employees," Anderson said.
At Outdoor Retailer in June, Anderson and other Gear Coop employees will tote around bags of trash as a form of accountability and awareness. Starting when they arrive at the Denver International Airport and ending when they board their plane home, they'll collect most of their trash—excluding food waste and other icky trash—to really grasp how much they use. The Gear Coop team will be using #gctrashwise throughout their challenge.
"I'm also hoping that we can grow this into something much larger within our company and continue making an impact," Anderson said.
Being part of the Alliance is another step toward zero waste for Gear Coop, which did away with solo cups at its Beer & Bouldering events earlier this year.
As of today, 182 brands have joined the Alliance. The short-term goal is to see our industry reject and remove single-use plastic bottles at Outdoor Retailer Summer Market. The long-term goal is to establish Outdoor Retailer as the first trade show in the U.S. to ban single-use plastic and move to zero waste.
Members thus far include:
Here's how to join:
1. Sign our Plastic Impact Promise and share it with your employees and personal network. By signing, you promise to bring your personal drinking vessel to the show and reject single-use plastic. More names = more power to effect change.
2. If you are an exhibitor, host a water station at your booth. Do not bring in plastic bottles.
3. If you are a PR company or media company, write about the Alliance and help us promote the cause and the Promise.
4. Provide reusable bottles/cups at any beverage-related events at your booth.
5. Allow us to use your logo in the marketing and education of this initiative.
6. Access our member toolkit for more resources and information.
This is an inclusive collaboration and we invite every outdoor brand to join The Alliance. If you support this mission and want to join The Alliance or have any questions, please let us know at firstname.lastname@example.org.