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Help Show Kids How Cool Environmentalism Can Be

Reinventing the Outdoors contest: ASEC is teaching kids who care about skateboarding and biking to also care about the planet.

UPDATED! Launched on Monday April 4, GOOD and the 2011 Ford Explorer will be devoting six weeks to the Reinventing the Outdoors Contest, which showcases amazing organizations like this one that are redefining the way we live, work, and play outside. Check in every day for a new story about the people, celebrities, and programs behind each organization. Help your favorite group win the $50,000 grand prize by voting for them starting Monday, May 16 through Friday, May 20.

Take your love for action sports—be it as an observer or a frequent participant—one step further by helping preserve the outdoors so that it’s a pleasure to ride/skate/roll now and in the future. Because really, who wants to ride through trash on biking trails or jump through garbage on a skateboard? The Action Sports Environmental Coalition (ASEC) can always use hands-on help at its many events, so go online, check out its website, and sign on to volunteer. People are needed to staff booths and spread the ASEC word about having fun while being green, and you’ll probably meet pro action sports stars in the process. You can even help from home to strengthen the network; they're always in need of writers, videographers, and web help.

ASEC has also just started a membership program, so pay your $20 and sign up. Or take your dedication one step further and start a local ASEC chapter in your own school or community. And money, of course, says Frank Scura, founder of ASEC, is always appreciated and used to host events, take programs into schools, and help people get excited about earth-friendly ideals.

And of course, the most basic and perhaps one of the most important ways of helping is to make green living a priority in your own life. “Be aware of water conservation, recycle, and clean up the spots where you like to ride or surf,” Scura says. “Support organic companies. But most of all, buy local.” Ask at your favorite sports shop for green products or see what companies have sustainable action sports products at websites like The Greener Blue.

“We’re all about getting people to understand that individually, we can’t stop global warming,” says Scura. “But if everyone does a little, big changes can happen.”

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