How do you feel after hiking the entire Appalachian Trail, trekking 7,800 miles across the Andes Mountains, and being named National Geographic Adventurer of the Year? Like you really ought to be doing more. At least that’s how Gregg Treinish felt, and he suspected hundreds of thousands of other adventurers might have the same itch to make more of a difference as they explored. “While being able to live my double passion for the outdoors and biology was fulfilling, I also felt a desire and obligation to have an even greater impact on the world and give back to the places I’m lucky enough to explore. I launched our international nonprofit Adventure Scientists to empower others to do the same.”
The organization solves a critical need for scientists and researchers who are desperate for crucial data and samples yet unable to collect them from the world’s hard-to-reach corners. Outdoor enthusiasts traveling to those remote realms provide much-needed legwork and come away not only with another adventure but the knowledge that they helped advance conservation. In 2016 they contributed more than 28,000 days in the field collecting data for projects.
“So much of my own sustainability awareness has come from our fieldwork,” notes Treinish. Samples collected by Adventure Scientists volunteers across the globe create data pools that can help curb a wide range of threats to the planet. “Our data really drives home to me how essential it is for all of us to reduce our impact in every way we can.”
“One of the main ways I try to minimize my own impact is by consistently doing my best to avoid disposables, especially single serving ones,” explains Treinish. “It’s become a personal quest for me. If I’m not going to use something for a year, I'll rarely accept it. When I travel, I carry a mug and spoon. I bring my own bags to the store and wash and reuse ones that are shipped to me. I avoid beverages in plastic bottles and meals that are packaged in plastics or anything that isn't compostable. I ask for meals ‘for here’ even when they are ‘to go’ since less packaging is often used that way. I also grow much of my own food, buy in bulk when I shop, and use cloth diapers and glass bottles for our son.”
“The entire Adventure Scientists team knows and shares our core value of stewardship. Even in the most far-flung regions, we work hard to minimize our waste and impact through buying organic or local foods and whenever possible reusable supplies.”
After data from any project is collected, Adventure Scientists makes it available open source to NGO’s, governments, businesses, universities, and researchers so they can access it, benefit from the findings, and use them to leverage positive change. “In many cases, when corporations and governments are exposed to sustainability challenges through our data collection, they change their habits and products and choose to make a difference,” reports Treinish.
“The issues we face today often seem overwhelming, but humankind has confronted incredibly difficult problems since the beginning of time,” observes Treinish. “When I look at the technologies that are being created and the people focused on solving these problems, I’m confident that working together with creativity, ingenuity, optimism, and commitment we can overcome any challenge. As a species we just don’t have a choice. Humans will come up with great solutions but it takes everyone. A more sustainable future depends on each individual who prizes and champions a greener planet every day.”
Heroes of sustainability like Gregg Treinish inspire all of us at Coors Light to continue our climb to create a more sustainable world. Learn more about our efforts and see how you can make a difference through our EveryOneCan recycling program at www.coorslight.com/article/sustainability-is-in-our-dna