Adventure and Activism For Free: That's Wend Magazine


All images from Wend Magazine Vol 5, Issue 1.

Before we launch into a review of the latest issue of Wend Magazine, we should allude to two events they are covering for the month of April. The first is Arbor Day on 30 April 2010. To promote this event Wend want your best tree photographs for their weekly Wood is Good theme. Winning photographers get showered with free outdoor gear. The other event is US National Park Week (17-25 April) when the parks waive entry fees.

That out of the way let's peek at the current edition of this outdoor-come-eco
journal:

Green Running
Wend calculates, in their Greenery section, that America might be awash in nearly 72 million pairs of running shoes. And thus take it upon themselves to showcase a crop of products that are more environmentally benign, for those runner needing to replacing worn out gear. They highlight Saucony's hemp-based vegan running shoe, as well as Kuru who donate a proportion of profits to environmental charities nominated by customers. For running clothing Wend single out ExOffico, U4E, and GoLite for their trail pounding threads crafted from various reclaimed fabrics with up to 88% recycled content.

The Gift of Trees
Mark Derowitsch is Arbor Day Foundation's public relations manager and with the big day due this month Wend magazine give him a full page in the Platform section to spruik his message (which obviously resonates with a site called TreeHugger.) Mark informs readers that the Foundation is the USA's largest non-profit dedicated to treeplanting. As proof of this claim he reckons they facilitated the planting of 41,000 trees last year. That's every day of 2009 (that's almost 15 million trees by the reckoning of this maths challenged correspondent.)

Why does Arbor Day matter? Well for starters, Mark reckons one tree produces enough oxygen for four people, all the while absorbing more than a ton of carbon dioxide.

Plastic Pigpen
Stiv Wilson was Wend's Managing Editor until he went on a sailing trip which confirmed the existence of the North Atlantic Garbage Patch. What he found would change his life, causing him to down his editorial keyboard at Wend, and take a yacht winch.

The North Atlantic Garbage Patch is a brother to the now infamous Pacific Gyre, that swirling mass of plastic waste, that were it gathered together is estimated to be bigger than the area of Texas. The 5 Gyres project, on which Stiv was a guest journalist, is setting out to investigate just how invasive these seaboard garbage patches are. Already they know that "plastic particles in the ocean have a million-times-higher concentration of POPs [persistent organic pollutants] than the ambient seawater surrounding them." Little fish mistake this toxic plastic for food, big fish eat the little 'uns and so on up the food chain, until us humans chow down on all those accumulated poisons.

Read Stiv's article and you soon get a sense why this issue has become his new passion. And why single use plastic products are a scourge on our planet. [Bottled water, I'm talking to you.]


Bike Hike
Leaving the oceans far behind, Wend finds itself navigating the Rocky Mountains, with a photo portfolio of the sport of bikepacking - a hybrid of backpacking and mountain biking. Contrary to what the above photo suggests the bikes are mostly ridden, not carried.

Three Poles
Eric Larsen describes the first leg of his Save The Poles expedition, the first time someone has attempted to reach the three 'Poles' of the Antarctic, Arctic and Everest in a single year. And all under the auspices of bringing attention to the effects climate change is having on these remote pinnacles of human endeavour.


Ranger Danger
Amongst all the other good stuff in this issue of Wend is the book review of Ranger Confidential, which notes that "To be a park ranger in the United States is to have one of the most dangerous jobs in the nation." For example, national park rangers are 12 times more likely to die on teh job than an FBI agent.

As we keep saying Wend is superb magazine that blends the adrenaline found in non-petroleum powered outdoor journeys, with an abiding love for the natural environment in which these pursuits take place.

And best of all, for the tech-savvy reader the online version is available completely free. Free Adventure and Activism. Who could want for more?

::Wend Magazine
More Wend magazine:
Wend Magazine: Paperless People-Powered Adventure
Save $1,400 a Year By Drinking Tap Water
Alastair Heseltine's Sculptures Capture the Nature in Materials
Will Wave Farms Attract Sharks? Wend Magazine Investigates
Wend Magazine Goes Into Bat for Bicycle Relief Fund
Wend Trades Bike Shoes and Bag for Your Bike Photos
Wend Trades Bike Shoes and Bag for Your Bike Photos
Save Kids. Take 250,000 Cars of US Roads: Wend Magazine Tells How
Wend Magazine's Digital Version Is Cut Free

Tags: Activism | Biking | Camping | Charities | United States