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Be an Outdoor Steward on Earth Day and Every Day with the 11th Essential

Happy Earth Day SheJumps stewards, I’m Britany (she/her) and I am the founder of 11th Essential, an outdoor stewardship initiative. Earth Day is a great day for awareness, advocacy, action and education. Earth Day was created to bring awareness to the climate crisis and what is considered the modern environmental movement. That was in 1970.

On the 51st anniversary of Earth Day, the message is simple - Earth Day Every Day.

When we treat every day like Earth Day, we become better stewards of our world. The 11th Essential exists to show people stewardship can be easy. That even the smallest actions, like just being prepared to pick up trash, can cause big impacts. Oftentimes we hear the word ‘stewardship’ and it sounds daunting. It conjures up an assumption that stewardship is hard labor and large, organized cleanups. But stewardship can be so much more.

Our mission is to show people that stewardship is as easy as taking a trash bag on your already planned adventure. Even in its simplicity, this action can create a big impact, and we believe that stewardship is contagious, making an exponential impact.

Stewardship can also take place in the form of education and advocacy. By helping to bridge the gaps to both access and education, we can help pass on a culture of stewardship by educating our youth and all who recreate. Education on basic outdoor skills and Leave No Trace principles can help build that bridge.

Every time we head out on an adventure, we have the chance to make a difference with the smallest act. Pick up a piece of trash here, a bag of trash there, educate someone on Leave No Trace principles. There are so many great ways to make a positive impact on the places we love for years to come.

Let’s all do our part to respect the places we love. Next time you’re on the trail or whatever outdoor activity you enjoy, pack your 11th Essential and let it help you start conversations with others about the importance of stewardship and protecting our wild places.

But we can't stop there.

Through every adventure, with every bag, with every person we start a conversation with – we can make a difference and spark change.

Earth Day, Every Day.

About the 11th Essential

The 11th Essential is an initiative that encourages all who adventure – hike, bike, paddle, climb- to pack a trash bag on all their adventures. Now, with a trash bag ready, you can leave the places you love better than you found them.

The 11th Essential is an outdoor stewardship initiative dedicated to the preservation of our natural places. A play off of the basic 10 essentials, the 11th Essential encourages adding a trash bag to your essential items for any and every adventure. No special planning needed. The simple act of adding an extra bag allows all adventurers to be prepared to leave it better than they found it every time they hit the trail, crag, or waterways!

The 11th Essential is a Leave No Trace Community Partner and is dedicated to helping bridge the gap in outdoor recreation education.

Follow the 11th Essential on Instagram and Facebook.

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