Whether you’re sojourning into the great frontier, having a bit of a glamping session, or just taking a quick stroll through the park, one thing is certain—nature is sweet. Unfortunately, us humans have done just about all we can do to ensure that the natural bounty of our land is either in trouble, or already gone.
Thankfully, though, the US has vast swaths of land protected by the federal government in the form of our National Parks. These parks, preserved and watched over by the National Park Service (a bureau of the U.S. Department of the Interior), are 423-strong, and located in each and every state—even extending into U.S. territories including Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands, American Samoa, and Guam. And, at the risk of being reductive, they’re really, really awesome.
But it’s imperative that we, as citizen-stewards of these beautiful areas, don’t rest on our laurels. “Our national parks are loved by millions, but they can’t be taken for granted,” states the Parks Project, an organization that has donated almost $1.5 million to help preserve parklands. “More visitors, less funding, and a changing climate mean that our wildlands are under pressure.” In addition to donations, the group is focused on education, advocacy, and volunteerism to protect and preserve parklands for generations to come.
They also have insanely cool merch for sale on their site, as well as on retailers including REI and Nordstrom, where a portion of the proceeds helps support the organization’s efforts to keep our parks safe and clean for all to enjoy.
So, peruse, nature and fashion lovers, and have fun supporting parks (while also stocking your closet).
You recently bought a coffee table
Do you already own every book from the Taschen sale, but also love nature? Well, my hopefully-not-too-niche friend, do we have the coffee table book for you. It’s called Art of the National Parks by Fifty-Nine Parks, and it features 176 pages of beautiful landscapes, with at least one picture of every National Park in the States—each with a wonderful write-up that includes interesting facts about the location. (There's also a great foreword by Theresa Pierno, president of The National Parks Conservation Association.) Plus, Fifty-Nine Parks partnered with Insight Editions to donate a percentage of each sale to institutions including The National Park Service.
Leave no trace
We mean it, people! Exploring the national parks and enjoying the beautiful natural landscapes our country has to offer is a unique privilege, and we should treat it as such. Before you pick up some of this dope Parks Project gear, make sure you’re practicing what your shirts, hats, and hoodies are preaching. This Parks Project DIY Park Cleanup Kit comes with everything you’ll need to make it seem like you were never there, including a pair of gloves, a trash bag, and a recycling bag.
Put a lid on it
Besides helping you see the trails, read what’s on tap behind the bar, and avoid a nasty sunburn on your forehead, these hats are also guaranteed to score you some style points. (PS: “Tree Hugger” is not an insult. Trees need hugs, too.)
T-shirt weather is nigh
Bare those arms, friend, and bare them proudly. (As long as you’re sunscreened-up, of course.) We can’t get enough of the soft colors and groovy fonts and graphics that adorn these tees and tanks. Plus, you’ll be able to tell all of your friends how much you care about the environment and how many trails you’ve cleaned up this year when you wear them—and hopefully inspire them to do the same.
Pride comes before it
We know it’s hard to believe right now, but the blazing heat of the summer will, in fact, end, and give way to the best season of the year: fall. (“Autumn” didn’t fit the lede there.) When the reprieve from scorching hot temperatures does come—at least for the northern hemisphere—you’ll want to swap out your tanks and tees for some long sleeves, hoodies, and sweatpants.
Spark candles, not forest fires
These candles aren’t from the Parks Project, but they’ll help bring the fresh smells of the parks into your home, ranging from Good + Well Supply Co.’s Zion National Park Candle, which evokes desert lavender, sage, and dried herbs; to D.S. & DURGA’s Big Sur After Rain candle with scents of magnolia, wet wood, and rain water in eucalyptus groves; to Paddywax’s Yosemite candle, which gives off notes of cottonwood and oak. (Paddywax has also helped the National Park Foundation protect more than 84 million acres of national parks through conservation and preservation.)
Now, who’s a happy camper?
The Rec Room staff independently selected all of the stuff featured in this story.