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Outside Business Journal

This New Tool Helps Creatives Make Outdoor Content More Responsibly

The Recreate Responsibly Coalition is asking artists to put greater emphasis on responsible media creation in the outdoors

man holding a phone camera among trees
Jiakai Chang headshot

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Recreate Responsibly Coalition, an activist group made up of more than 1,600 businesses, agencies, and nonprofits, today announced the launch of its #CreateResponsibly initiative, which asks media creators and artists to increase their awareness of responsible outdoor habits in order to produce content with less harm to the environment.

The coalition worked with the film industry, social media influencers, the Forest Service, and other government agencies to create a set of guidelines for promoting responsible media creation in the outdoors. Simple and easy-to-follow, the guidelines apply to all content creators, from social media influencers to film studios.

By signing the pledge, creators will receive a badge from the Recreate Responsibly Coalition to include in their content, websites, portfolios, end credits, and promotional materials. (Photo: Courtesy)

By signing a pledge to follow the guidelines, creators can lend their voices to a community of industry leaders with a shared vision for how media can be a catalyst for change. With many outdoor brands harnessing different media avenues for their own company images, this initiative represents a new opportunity for companies to put an even greater emphasis on environmental protection.

“So many brands have outdoor ambassadors,” Eugenie Bostrom, coalition and campaign coordinator of RRC, told Outside Business Journal. “By empowering their ambassadors with these guidelines, to become advocates for this ethos, that’s a very simple win. Alternatively, many outdoor brands, like Patagonia, REI, and Merrell are getting into the film space themselves. The merging of the outdoor and film industries is another clear space for brands to be implementing responsible recreation messaging.”

Below are the full campaign guidelines.

Know Before You Go

  • Research and contact the location well in advance
  • Permits may be required and take time to process
  • Check for weather and hazards prior to arrival
  • Talk to land managers and local film/tourism commissions
  • Consider “under-visited” locations to limit your impact

Plan and Prepare

  • The outdoors can be a high-risk environment with conditions that quickly change
  • Consider terrain and arrange adequate transportation
  • Know and understand drone “no fly zones”
  • Try to film near your vehicle(s)
  • Bring plenty of water and safety equipment

Respect Others 

  • Minimize impact to other users
  • Avoid blocking trails, vistas or byways
  • Give space to people recreating or working
  • Think about how your presence impacts the space
  • Try to blend in with the landscape if possible

Leave No Trace

  • Respect the land, water, wildlife, and Native and local communities
  • Follow the seven Leave No Trace principles
  • Always avoid sensitive habitats
  • Consider the impact of disclosing specific locations
  • Use your art to educate; showcase responsible use

Build an Inclusive Outdoors

  • Inspire others to see themselves in that space. Historically, access to the outdoors has been inequitable—we can change that
  • Consider the historic inhabitants of the land
  • Showcase all backgrounds and abilities
  • Embrace different meanings of “outdoors” 
  • Celebrate the many ways people connect with nature

Make It Better

  • Inspire respect & caring for outdoor spaces
  • Depict responsible recreation in action
  • Provide characters with attributes that tie work, play or culture to the outdoors
  • Create behind the scenes content to celebrate your backdrop
  • Utilize sustainable practices

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