Here at Pure Ex, we believe in sustainability, conservation, and caring for our environment both on our programs and right here at home in Queenstown.
We love the wild places we're so fortunate to play in, but making sure they stick around for generations to come takes hard work and sensibility now.
Check out some of the ways we try to tread lightly, learn some new ways to do the same, or send us a message with ways we can improve our practices!
The backcountry is home to incredibly delicate environments, many of which have become home to flora and fauna found nowhere else on earth. New Zealand's isolation from other landmasses has resulted in the creation of a biodiversity hotspot, meaning "more than 80% of our vascular plants and 90% of our insects are endemic, along with all of our reptiles, a quarter of our birds, and our only terrestrial mammals" (DOC). Everything we do while in these pristine environments has a lasting impact, so we're careful to leave nothing but footprints and take nothing but photos.
While we're out there, we
- Buy our food in bulk to create less waste from packaging
- Use reusable water bottles, utensils, containers, etc.
- Travel in smaller groups to reduce impacts
- Practice the seven Leave No Trace Principles
- 1: Plan Ahead and Prepare
Behaving sustainably in the outdoors begins before boots even hit the track. Researching the area, ensuring all necessary equipment and first aid supplies are accounted for, and confirming the team has all needed technical skills is imperative.
- 2: Travel and Camp on Durable Ground
Environments experience varying levels of impacts from use, some of which can take generations to repair. Stay on track whenever possible, camp on sites where impacts have already occurred, and do your best to avoid fragile areas.
- 3: Dispose of Waste Properly
"Pack it in, pack it out!" Rubbish and leftover food should never be left behind. Catholes can only be dug in certain areas, so be prepared by doing your research and carrying it out when necessary.
- 4: Leave What You Find
The rocks and shells that make a site interesting and beautiful to you also make it interesting and beautiful to the next person to visit. Stacking rocks in cairns, while aesthetically pleasing, indicate that many others have experienced this wild place before. As they say, take only photos, leave only footprints.
- 5: Minimise the Effects of Fire
Research the area restrictions to make sure fires are permitted, as well as is the collection of firewood. Countless hectares of land have been destroyed by the carelessness of uninformed campers, so knowing the proper techniques for starting and maintaining safe fires is critical in behaving sustainably in the outdoors.
- 6: Respect Wildlife and Farm Animals
It's important to remember that the wild places we love so much were loved first by the animals who call them home. If their normal behavior is being altered, we are venturing too close. Never feed wildlife and be careful to collect all rubbish and food scraps during your time in the outdoors.
- 7: Be Considerate of Others
Everyone has different motivations for spending time in the outdoors, all of which should be respected and encouraged. Share the places you love and leave them better than you found them so we can all continue to enjoy them.
pure ex hq
New Zealand, and Queenstown in particular, are pretty great at protecting the environment and encouraging sustainability as a way of life. With steep fines for littering, informative signage about waste and recycling, and a general atmosphere of earth-loving, Queenstown residents are helping ensure this outdoor-adventure mecca stays beautiful and healthy for years to come.
While in town, we're sure to
- Hang dry our clothes
- Eat locally produced food
- Walk most places or ride-share
- Use dual-flush toilets
- Bring our reusable bags to the supermarket
- Bundle up, use blankets, and cuddle! to avoid using heaters in the winter
- Open up the curtains to use natural sunlight instead of indoor lighting