Giving Back

Nature has provided us with refuge, rejuvenation and recreation, and especially in these challenging and uncertain times, we feel an urgency to do our part to ensure that our natural world and its inhabitants are safe and protected for future generations. As a mission-driven business, we have created our own water cleanup initiative to remove trash from the ocean beaches, rivers and lakes of our home state of Washington by kayak and on foot, and to donate a portion of our proceeds to conservation efforts in The Evergreen State. Watch this space (and this video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V6uetJ2RfiA) for more information!

LAKE WASHINGTON KAYAK CLEANUP, BELLEVUE, WA, JULY 2020

Barefoot Eco Outfitters Kayak Cleanup

Due to the pandemic, we’ve been doing cleanups closer to home, and this is a spot we identified as troublesome in the past. Trash tends to accumulate in the aquatic plants along the shoreline, which also happen to be home to a variety of wildlife, and it breaks our hearts to see the beavers, ducklings, herons, fish and more living in these waters. So we returned (and we will continue to return here) to keep removing as much garbage as possible at this location. The small bits of plastic are disheartening and very tedious and time-consuming to remove, but we see the other end of the spectrum also, like the full-size plastic garbage can we pulled out of the lake and hauled back to shore on the back of our kayak – no easy feat!

 

BEACH CLEANUP, EDMONDS, WASHINGTON, JUNE 2020

Barefoot Eco Outfitters Edmonds Beach Cleanup June 2020

 

We have cleaned this location before, and are happy to say that there was less food packaging collected this time around, although cigarette butts continue to be a problem. People assume that they biodegrade, but it’s far from the truth – they remain on the beaches leaching toxic chemicals. It’s painstaking work to pick them up, but we are committed to collecting every one we see!

 

BEAR CREEK CLEANUP REVISITED, REDMOND, WASHINGTON, MAY 2020

Skyler Bear Creek Cleanup Revisited May 2020

We noticed trash accumulating at this location again, so we returned to do another tidying up. the bad news is that there was more trash, but the good news is that there was less than before, and it seems to be bearing out a theory we have that the cleaner an area is kept, the less likely people are to perceive it as a trash dump, or to want to toss garbage there. We shall see!

 

FACE MASK SEWING PROJECT TO PROVIDE FREE MASKS TO OUR LOCAL COMMUNITY/APRIL 2020

Face Mask Sewing Project Barefoot Eco Outfitters

The need for face coverings during the current COVID19 pandemic escalated quickly, and with medical grade masks being needed for health care workers, homemade cloth masks have become an important precaution for the average citizen. We had materials on hand from a previous business venture that we were very excited to give new life to! We researched designs, did lots of research and began sewing face masks for local folks seeking this peace of mind for themselves and their families. We vowed to give the masks away for free and we sewed for 5-days straight until our materials ran out. We were very honored to provide these masks, and were touched and inspired by the wonderful community members we met through this project!

 

RETURN TO SAMMAMISH RIVER TRAIL – NEW EAGLE’S NEST! EARLY MARCH 2020

Sammamish River Trail Cleanup

 

Bald Eagle Sammamish River Trail

We recently discovered that a bald eagle pair have built a nest on the Sammamish River trail in an area we have cleaned before. This area offers a perfect view of the nest and is a popular spot to enjoy the river. Unfortunately, it also tends to accumulate a lot of trash. We removed 50 lbs of trash from this small area today, and we were glad to get to a lot of the trash that would otherwise be hidden when the leaves come back this spring. The bad news? Way more plastic bottles, cups and cans.The good news? Fewer cigarette butts!

 

WHIDBEY ISLAND BEACH CLEANUP, FEBRUARY 2020

Whidbey Island Beach Cleanup 2

Whidbey Island is a beautiful place, full of history, life and character, and a prime viewing spot for the whales in our Puget Sound waters. We finished off our day of hiking at the beach picking up trash, a juxtaposition of the wonder of the Pacific Northwest, and the impact of humans on these gorgeous natural places. These photos weren’t planned, but they illustrate the heartache of what we do.

 

BEAR CREEK CLEANUP  REDMOND, WASHINGTON  FEBRUARY 2020

 

Bear Creek Trash Cleanup

Wow, this was our toughest cleanup to date. We drive past this spot often, and we just couldn’t take it anymore. It’s proximity to Bear Creek (a salmon stream), which is swollen now due to heavy rains, made us feel a sense of urgency to get it cleaned up before all this trash got swept downstream. We removed 13 large bags (226.32 lbs) of garbage from this location, and it looks dramatically better. This was an example of intentional trash and it was very disheartening. Hopefully this will send a message that people are paying attention to this area and dumping garbage here is NOT a good idea!

 

SQUALICUM BEACH CLEANUP  BELLINGHAM, WASHINGTON  JANUARY 2020

Squalicum Beach Cleanup Barefoot Eco Outfitters

Squalicum Beach Cleanup Barefoot Eco Outfitters

We were excited to organize our first group cleanup at Squalicum Beach in Bellingham, WA and it was a great success! As usual, cigarette butts were a big part of the trash collected, which is problematic as they do not biodegrade and leach many toxic chemicals. Other common trash offenders are styrofoam, plastic wrappers, lids and bottles, and this awesome group of volunteers climbed, dug and braved thorny bushes to get to the garbage that would have likely ended up in the Salish Sea. A day well spent! You can watch a little video of that cleanup here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z5q3xwb_2sk&t=5s

 

FALL/WINTER 2019 SHORELINE CLEANUPS AT LOCAL WATERWAYS

Sammamish River Cleanup

Barefoot Owner Tracy Strandness doing shoreline cleanup on the Sammamish River Trail

Sammamish River Cleanup

We have made a commitment to regularly venture out to do random trash cleanups at our state’s many waterways. During the spring and summer months, we head out by kayak and in the fall and winter months we walk the shorelines. We like to focus on an area and return to it several times, as we become invested in the health of our lakes, rivers and oceans, and become attached to the wildlife there. Going back to areas we’ve cleaned previously also allows us to gauge trash buildup, identify trends and hopefully brainstorm solutions.

 

WASHINGTON YOUTH CLIMATE STRIKE, SEPTEMBER 20, 2019, KIRKLAND, WA

Washington Youth Climate Strike

Washington Youth Climate Strike

We stand behind our youth in supporting the climate strike movement started by Swedish teen Greta Thunberg, and were proud to participate in the multi-generational global climate strike on September 20th in Kirkland, WA. We will continue to support this effort and the push for a Green New Deal as we fight for the survival of our planet.

 

BAREFOOT ECO OUTFITTERS INDEPENDENT WATER WARRIORS CLEANUP

Skyler Strandness Kayak Cleanup

It’s extremely important to us to be active participants in the protection and preservation of our wild places and waterways. One of the best ways to make an impact is to get hands-on in your own backyard! To that end, we have made it a commitment to regularly visit and clean the lakes, beaches and trails of Washington state, to rid them of trash and debris. We went out again to Lake Washington by kayak on August 14th to revisit an area frequented by wildlife that we have been focusing on, and to cruise the shoreline after the recent Seafair weekend. The bad news is that there was a lot of trash on our way to our focus location; the good news is that the area we have been working hard to clean is still looking good!

Lake Trash

We were grateful that the other debris hadn’t yet made its way to the aquatic plants that provide refuge for the ducklings, herons, beaver and other wildlife! We’ll keep you posted on our progress, so check back again soon!

 

VOLUNTEERING WITH SR3 SEALIFE RESPONSE + REHABILITATION + RESEARCH

Tracy Strandness Volunteering at SR3 Booth

We always consider it an honor to volunteer with our donation partner, SR3 Sealife Response + Rehabilitation + Research! On Saturday May 4th, we volunteered at the SR3 booth at the Penn Cove Water Festival on Whidbey Island, to share SR3’s mission. Alongside their core work of responding to injured or imperiled marine life, whale entanglements, and assisting in research, their current efforts are focused on building the region’s first dedicated marine wildlife hospital. You can volunteer too! Head to their website to find out how you can help support their efforts of advancing the health and welfare of marine life in the Pacific Northwest! www.sealifer3.org

 

EARTH DAY LOCAL LAKE CLEANUP

We ventured out to one of our local beaches on Earth Day 2019 to pick up trash and debris, collecting close to 20 pounds in two hours. Major offenders are consistently cigarette butts, plastic and candy wrappers, straws, lids and plastic bottles. We are committed to doing our part to help keep our waterways clean!

 

WELCOME THE WHALES BEACH CLEANUP/ LANGLEY, WHIDBEY ISLAND

Barefoot Eco Outfitters was happy to participate in the Welcome the Whales Beach Cleanup with the Orca Network at Langley on Whidbey Island on Sunday, May 21. We enjoyed our visit to the Langley Whale Center and connecting with the great volunteers who work to educate about our iconic orcas!

 

SR3 SEALIFE RESPONSE + REHAB + RESEARCH DONATION TEE COLLABORATION

We’ve designed this exclusive GOTS certified,100% organic cotton SR3 tee in partnership with SR3 Sealife Response + Rehab + Research, and 100% of the proceeds go to their work in promoting the health and welfare of marine wildlife in the Pacific Northwest.  You can order yours here: https://www.sealifer3.org/store. You can also find out more about their work at www.sealifer3.org.

 

SR3 SEALIFE RESPONSE + REHAB + RESEARCH PARTNERSHIP

Barefoot Eco Outfitters is excited to announce that we have designated a new donation partner for our Mighty Ocean Collection! SR3 is a sealife response, rehabilitation and research organization that seeks to advance the health and welfare of marine life in the Pacific Northwest. They are currently building Washington’s FIRST marine wildlife response/rehab facility in Seattle, WA. In addition to response and rehabilitation, they do important work “Building scientific understanding and training future generations to protect, restore and conserve our region’s unique ecosystems while improving human community health.” When you purchase any apparel from our Mighty Ocean Collection, $2 of your order goes to SR3! Find out how you can support them at sealifer3.org!

 

INTERNATIONAL COASTAL CLEANUP DAY 2018/ALKI BEACH, SEATTLE, WA

We were happy to join ocean lovers around the world to be a part of International Coastal Cleanup Day 2018. Cleanups are held all over the world, and we were excited to participate at Alki Beach in Seattle. This location was hosted by sealifer3.org, who works to advance the health and welfare of marine life In the Pacific Northwest, and it was heartening to see the many volunteers and groups who showed up! We can no longer deny that our oceans are in peril, and it’s efforts like these that can make a big difference in protecting and preserving our vital waters!

 

SEATTLE COASTAL CODE CLEANUP

Barefoot Eco Outfitters participated in the Seattle Coastal CODE Cleanup on August 11, 2018 at the Edmonds/Kingston Ferry Terminal. This cleanup was sponsored by the Alaskan Brewing Company, Washington State Ferries and Puget Soundkeeper Alliance and had volunteers picking up trash from the beaches at three different ferry terminals in the greater Seattle area. We are passionate about protecting our Puget Sound waters and will keep working to be part of the solution!

 

PUGET SOUNDKEEPER ALLIANCE JULY 5TH KAYAK CLEANUP

July 5, 2018 marked the Puget Soundkeeper Alliance annual post-Fourth of July fireworks cleanup on Lake Union and yielded more trash than last year – 553 pounds collected! This effort is vital to help remove the many pounds of debris from fireworks and revelers after the pyrotechnics show at Seattle’s Gasworks Park. Puget Soundkeeper Alliance has many volunteer opportunities and no experience is needed! Free watercraft, as well as a lunch afterward and complementary t-shirt are provided! You can find out more at www.pugetsoundkeeper.org.

 

PUGET SOUNDKEEPER ALLIANCE SEATTLE SUMMER CLEANUP

What a great and rewarding day out on the water with Puget Soundkeeper Alliance on June 16, 2018 for the first in the series of their Seattle Summer Cleanup 2018! Volunteers went by kayak, canoe or on foot on the shoreline picking up trash and clearing the waterways of debris. Total collected in 2 hours? 656 pounds!

 

INTERNATIONAL COASTAL CLEANUP DAY, SEPTEMBER 16, 2017

As part of our ongoing efforts to volunteer our time to environmental conservation efforts, Barefoot Eco Outfitters acted as Beach Captains on behalf of Puget Soundkeeper Alliance at Manchester State Park on International Coastal Cleanup Day, September 16, 2017. Our duties were to supervise/participate in beach cleanup/cataloging efforts and to get a water sample to be analyzed for the presence of microplastics.

 

WASHINGTON WILD

Barefoot Eco Outfitters was proud to donate $2.00 of every purchase from our Mighty Mountain Collection to Washington Wild (www.wawild.org) in 2018. Their mission? “Since 1979, Washington Wild has played an invaluable role in permanently protecting nearly three million acres of Wilderness throughout Washington State. We bring people together in the vigorous defense of our remaining wild forests, waters, and wildlife.” Our public lands are under attack like never before. Washington is defined by the unique and natural beauty of our state, from the majestic peaks of Mount Rainier, to the lush temperate rain forest of the Olympic National Park, and the myriad waterways that offer both recreation and inspiration. This is a legacy worth preserving for our children, and our children’s children. There are many ways to help: make a donation, volunteer your time, attend an event, or simply spread the word!

 

PUGET SOUNDKEEPER ALLIANCE

Barefoot Eco Outfitters is excited to announce that we have designated the Puget Soundkeeper Alliance Marine Debris Program as the recipient of the donation proceeds from our Mighty Ocean Collection for 2018. What does that mean? Well, for every purchase you make from our Mighty Ocean Collection, $2 will go to this program to protect and preserve the waters of Puget Sound. We chose Puget Soundkeeper Alliance because of their tireless ongoing efforts at preserving these rich and important waterways, and because they make it easy for everyday people like us to be a part of the solution. For example, they have weekly kayak patrols that sweep the waters of Lake Union removing debris and identifying potential sources of pollution. No kayak? No problem! They’ll provide the craft and everything you need. They have other awesome programs too and welcome your participation! You can find out more at their website http://www.pugetsoundkeeper.org/. Together we can make a difference!

 

VOLUNTEER TRAIL MAINTENANCE/WASHINGTON TRAILS ASSOCIATION

We had a great time joining the Washington Trails Association to do trail maintenance at Soaring Eagle Regional Park. We had amazing leadership, a great crew and the satisfaction of a job well done. We’re looking forward to doing more to help preserve our natural spaces to keep them safe and accessible!

 

HIKER RALLY DAY/WASHINGTON TRAILS ASSOCIATION AT WASHINGTON STATE CAPITOL

Barefoot Eco Outfitters attended Hiker Rally Day in association with the Washington Trails Association on February 15, 2017 at the state capitol in Olympia. Without proper funding, many of the trails Washington hikers love could be closed or neglected. Our goal? To advocate for No Child Left Inside, a program that provides invaluable grants to Washington state outdoor education and recreation programs for youth, increased funding for trail preservation and support for our state parks. With a record turnout, it was an exciting day!

 

INTERNATIONAL COASTAL CLEANUP DAY, SEPTEMBER 17, 2016

We are committed to giving back both financially and with our time and talents. Barefoot was a proud participant in International Coastal Cleanup Day on September 17, 2016 and spent the day cleaning up the beach at Chance a la Mer on the Washington State coast. While rewarding, there is obviously still much to do, and we intend to continue to put our energies toward improving the health of our oceans.