This week I'm linking up with Running on Happy and Fairytales and Fitness for their Friday Five 2.0 Linkup. The topic this week is "pampering." I took it in a bit of a different direction and, in honor of Earth Day tomorrow, I'm talking about ways we can help our planet. It's the ultimate pampering, I suppose. It's our only home. Let's take care of it.
It's no secret I love the beach. And I love living in Charleston. Its gorgeous wetlands, waterways, and coastlines provide endless outdoor entertainment and it's home to many wildlife species. It's a wonderful place to call home and I'm so lucky to have landed here.
But Charleston also stands much to lose from climate change. Our city, its natural habitats, and everyone who lives here is threatened by rising ocean temperatures and increasingly volatile weather patterns spurred by climate change.
Charleston isn't alone in this. So many places on this planet and so many wonderful species of wildlife are highly threatened. Now more than ever, it's on us to do something, to be good stewards of this planet and of the people and animals who live here. We have no hope of going all Battlestar Galactica any time soon, so we need to take care of what we've got.
While we all can't always be out doing beach cleanups or volunteering at wildlife preserves, there are other things we can do, including donating to causes, purchasing from companies who give back and as runners, running races that support things we care about.
So for this week's Friday Five, in honor of Earth Day, I'm sharing some of my favorite causes (local and shopping), that help our planet.
1 - East Cooper Land Trust
This one is the closest to home for me. I live in the East Cooper area of a Charleston and we suffer from overdevelopment - too many cars and not enough ways to bike, walk or run to various destinations, and our overdevelopment encroaches on wetlands.
East Cooper Land Trust is a non-profit, community organization dedicated to conserving natural spaces in our area and improving the quality of life here. The organization also collaborates with the city and county to create more parks, trails, and gardens to support smart urban growth while preserving habitats for animals.
They're also leading the way for the East Cooper Trail Project, which would make our entire city bikeable. YESSSS! While we already have many trails (and I love using them), they aren't as interconnected as they should or could be.
Race for the cause: Race & Roast 5K Trail Run (March)
This race winds through historic Oakland Plantation and forest, and is followed by an oyster roast. Proceeds benefit the East Cooper Land Trust.
2 - South Carolina Aquarium
We have an annual membership here and I'll continue to purchase one year after year as long as we live in Charleston. My son loves it, they have lots of events, and it's a good cause. The big focus of the South Carolina Aquarium is sea turtle rescue and they're getting ready to expand their sea turtle area this May. I can't wait to see it!
The aquarium does so much good work to help our oceans and to save wildlife, plus they have fun events year-round. If you live in Charleston, a membership to the aquarium is totally worth it!
Race for the cause: South Carolina Turtle Trek 5K Sunset Beach Run (September)
Prior to the race, there's a beach clean-up. There's also a kids fun run, dogs and strollers are allowed, and the post-race party is on the beach at the Windjammer on Isle of Palms. Proceeds benefit the South Carolina Aquarium.
(I ran this last year, but haven't written a recap - it was the race that ended in an asthma attack so bad I needed medical help in the ambulance.)
Shop for the cause
I'm a jewelry junkie. I love it, I make it, I buy it. Here are three of my favorites that give back to our planet.
3 - 4Ocean
4Ocean conducts ocean and offshore cleanups. They also sell bracelets made of recycled material and for each bracelet purchase, 1 pound of trash is removed from the ocean. You can buy their regular ocean bracelet or their special edition green Earth Day bracelet (only available until April 23, 2017).
I recently became an ambassador for 4Ocean, which means I'll hopefully be working with a local business to organize a beach cleanup on Isle of Palms or Sullivan's Island soon (stay tuned for details coming on that). Note: although I'm an ambassador, I don't receive any payment if you purchase a bracelet. I'm just here for the beach cleanups.
4 - Lokai Bracelets
5 - Sand Cloud
Maker of cozy beach towels and blankets, Sand Cloud also has whale tail and sea turtle necklaces in sterling silver or rose gold. Like all of their other products, a portion of the sale goes back to preserving marine life.
I'm a Sand Cloud ambassador. Use the code ChristineE25 to get 25% off your purchase.
So happy Earth Day everyone! But really every day should be earth day, right? And we should do everything we can to take care of this wonderful, weird, beautiful planet we call home.