Every Day is Earth Day
Here at Ignik, sustainability isn’t just a trend. It’s our business model. You may have heard our story, but it bears repeating as we celebrate Earth Day. For us, it all started on a sailboat in the Arctic. Our founder, Graeme Esarey, was attempting to sail the Northwest Passage with his wife and two young daughters—a journey inspired by a love of adventure, but also a deep-seated curiosity.
For most of Graeme’s life (and human history, really), the NW Passage was blocked to non-icebreaking boats. At the turn of the 21st century, that changed because of a warming climate, meaning regular cruising boats can now navigate the formerly frozen Arctic at certain times of the year. Graeme wanted to explore what that means for the people, animals, and marine mammals of the region, along with the physical environment: the glaciers, tundra, and oceans. As he and his family navigated the Passage over Alaska and Canada, the effects of climate change were unmistakable: no ice where there was supposed to be ice, salmon where there weren’t supposed to be salmon, and so much garbage…floating islands of manmade debris in the middle of the sea, hundreds of miles from the nearest human.
As he headed home to the Pacific Northwest, Graeme knew what he wanted to do. To “be the change” he wanted to see in the world, he would start a company focused on creating high-quality, environmentally thoughtful products that offered people a sustainable way to get outside earlier and stay outside longer. These ideals not only drive every product we make at Ignik, but also inspire our adventures and partnerships.
You don’t have to sail to the Arctic to care about climate change, and sometimes small steps (even just a couple of clicks on the internet) can make a big difference. With that in mind, we want to highlight some organizations working on the front lines of climate change and share simple ways that you can pitch in right now. Whether you’re motivated by Earth Day or an ongoing drive to combat climate change, here are some great places to lend your support:
Alaska Wilderness League works to protect Alaska’s wild spaces for future generations through a combination of advocacy and lobbying in Congress, collaborating with key partners, and meaningful relationships with the state’s native and indigenous people. The national organization includes a strong focus on justice, equity, diversity, and inclusion, and works to reduce oil and gas dependency in Alaska by exploring new energy options.
Act Now: Pledge your support for the Arctic Refuge Protection Act, a bipartisan bill that will repeal the Trump-era oil leasing mandate for the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge and protect its coastal plain; or donate anytime.
The Arctic Ice Project is a science- and research-based organization working on innovative solutions to restore the Arctic’s natural heat shield in order to mitigate the impact of global warming. Their focus is on developing open-source, stop-gap technologies to slow the melting of Arctic ice to buy more time for decarbonization efforts. This includes testing novel materials, such as a thin layer of small hollow glass microspheres, which could potentially be distributed across targeted regions of the Arctic to improve the reflectivity of sea ice and slow the melt.
The Northern Alaska Environmental Center is dedicated to protecting the land, waters, and wildlife of interior and Arctic Alaska. With an emphasis on grassroots activism, legislative advocacy, legal intervention, and public education, the Northern Center seeks a more responsible and sustainable approach to resource development on subarctic and arctic wildlands and seas, while addressing environmental issues that affect Alaskans’ quality of life.
Protect Our Winters turns outdoor people into passionate activists committed to protecting the places and lifestyles they love from climate change. POW’s overarching goal is to achieve climate neutrality by 2050 through a combination of renewable energy, electric transportation, carbon pricing policies, and preventing fossil fuel extraction from public lands. The organization’s three core tactics are 1) turning outdoor lovers into advocates, 2) providing opportunities for advocacy, and 3) building a movement to shift cultural norms.
Act Now: Reach out to your local members of Congress to let them know you support the United States’ renewed commitment to the Paris Agreement, volunteer with POW’s regional opportunities, or donate anytime.
Citizens’ Climate Lobby is a nonprofit, nonpartisan, grassroots advocacy organization focused on national policies to address climate change. Through its nonpartisan network of volunteers across hundreds of local chapters, CCL builds relationships with community leaders and federal policymakers alike to generate support for climate action.
Polar Bears International is an organization dedicated solely to the conservation of wild polar bears and the sea ice they depend on. Made up of passionate conservationists, scientists, and volunteers, PBI exists to help secure a strong future for polar bears across the Arctic through media, science, education, and advocacy.