Enviro Essay Archive

While we believe that actions usually speak louder than words, we also value the power of story telling and the clarity and intimacy that good environmental writing can bring to our community. Our environmental feature stories are such testaments, reflections, rants and raves. Colleagues, activists and friends are here, lending their voices to our stubborn and ongoing work for wilderness preservation.

Our Common Waters
Our Common Waters focused on the freshwater crisis facing the earth. The more water we use and waste, the harder it is for freshwater animals and plants to survive.

Early Fall 2013
Three Heroes Against Three Pipelines by Bill McKibben
Running out of North by Dylan Tomine

Summer 2013
Dyeing Rivers by Corinne Platt-Rikkers

Spring 2013
Downstream From Your Jeans by Corinne Platt-Rikkers

Fall 2011
Rios Libres by Craig Childs

Freedom to Roam
Freedom to Roam, a long-term initiative, is dedicated to establishing migration wildways for animals between protected areas. Patagonia’s partners in Freedom to Roam include other companies, conservation organizations and recreation groups.

Spring 2010
The One Thing Wolverines Can't Take On by Douglas H. Chadwick

Winter 2009
Coming Back by Rick Bass
Love Your Mother – Mother Nature – And All Her Creatures by Tom Brokaw

Holiday 2009
Coming Back by Kris Tompkins

Fall 2009
Walking with Pronghorn by Rick Ridgeway

Kids Fall 2009
Monarchs, Migration and Tiny Tags by Sue Halpern

Fall 2009
Walking with Pronghorn by Rick Ridgeway

Late Summer 2009
George Archibald: Dances with Cranes by Scott Weidensaul

Summer 2009
A Gray Whale Migration Story by Dick Russell

Winter 2008
Finding Space for Tule Elk by Michael Fay

Kids' Fall 2008
Escape to a Wilder Wild by Carin Knutson

Fall 2008
Hermits of the Big Wild by Karsten Heuer

Late Summer 2008
The Return of the Moose by Bill McKibben

Heart of Winter 2008
Paths to Survival by Rick Ridgeway
A Bear's Journey: Traveling 50 Miles Back Home by Patagonia with Doug and Andrea Peacock

Patagonia Exclusive
The Bear Who Crossed The Freeway by Doug and Andrea Peacock
Our Cause by Bill McKibben

Arctic National Wildlife Refuge
Patagonia’s Fall 2007 environmental campaign was focused on protecting the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. Our goal was, and still is, to help permanently protect the 1.5 million acre Coastal Plain of the Refuge by designating it as Wilderness. Learn more

Winter 2007
Caribou Camp by Karsten Heuer

Kids' Fall 2007
Muskoxen of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge by Jonathan Waterman

Fall 2007
Protecting the Arctic Refuge by Tom Udall
Saving the Sacred Place by Jonathan Waterman

Late Summer 2007
The Last Wild Food by Alice Waters

Winter 2002
The Last Wilderness by Kennan Ward
Mardy Murie: Mother of the American Conservation Movement


Creating the Future Patagonia National Park
Conservacion Patagonica, a non-profit organization dedicated to protection of wildland ecosystems and biodiversity in the Patagonia region of Chile and Argentina, is working towards the goal of creating Patagonia National Park, a world-class park similar in size to Yosemite National Park in California. Learn more

Holiday 2008
Becoming Wild by Rick Ridgeway
Ride for the Rivers by Jim Little

Holiday 2007
From Shepherd to Park Ranger in Patagonia by Daniel Velasquez
From Pulling Fence to Enlightenment by Rob Bon Durant

Holiday 2006
Wild Transformation by Kris Tompkins
A Letter from Chacabuco by Lisa Pike
Wild South by Rick Ridgeway


Oceans as Wilderness
The goal of our 2006-2007 Oceans as Wilderness campaign was to help us see what lives under the Earth's seas: how the vast schools of tuna are like those herds of buffalo; how bottom trawling is like clear-cutting an entire forest to get at a single tree. As we teach ourselves how close the connection is between the vitality of human life and the marine environment, we can all become better stewards of the ocean in our daily lives. Learn more

Summer 2007
Pirates by G. Bruce Knecht

Spring 2007
The Sockeye and Cyanide by Steve Maher
The Spark by Alexandra Morton

Heart of Winter 2007
Exploring the Wild Oceans by Sylvia A. Earle

Winter 2006
Toxic Soup by John Dutton

Fall 2006
The Whales Of Patagonia by Richard Ellis
Shifting Baselines - How Can We Protect The Future Of The Oceans

Kids' Fall 2006
Nature's Lessons by Chris Hearst

Summer 2006
Cruising Through the Waste Stream by Jim Little
To Trawl or Not to Trawl by Rod Fujita

Surf 2006
Pupukea Paumali by Jack Johnson

Spring 2006
The Eye of a Marlin by Dick Russell & Jessie Benton

Heart of Winter 2006
Comes a Turtle, Comes the World by Carl Safina


Getting Our House in Order
When played out on an industrial scale, environmental impacts are severe. At Patagonia, in an effort to lead an examined life, we've researched nearly all aspects of manufacturing Patagonia clothing and the environmental footprints of our offices and shipping center. We call it Getting Our House in Order or GOHO. Here you'll find examples of what we've done in this arena and our ongoing efforts.

Footprint Chronicles™
Visit our interactive mini-site that allows you to track the environmental impact of select Patagonia products from design through delivery.

Holiday 2005
Think Locally, Act Locally by Adam Chamberlain

Winter 2005
On Corporate Responsibility for Planet Earth by Yvon Chouinard

Late Fall 2005
Let My People Go Surfing by Yvon Chouinard

Fall 2005
Activist Athletes by Yvon Chouinard
The Second World by Ellen Meloy

Summer 2005
Patagonia's Green Shipping Center

Spring 2005
Patagonia and Organic Cotton: A Case Study


Getting Your House in Order
In the course of a day, every one of us does something that adversely affects the health of the planet. We don't decide to, we just don't give it a thought. Here are a collection of essays that speak to what individuals have done to correct bad habits and start new good ones.

Summer 2005
Heating With a Match by Sue Halpern

Late Summer 2005
Your Choices by Amory B. Lovins

Late Fall 2005
Hunger by Bill McKibben

Heart of Winter 2005
Sunpower by Denis Hayes

Holiday 2004
From Crisis to Opportunity by David Suzuki

Spring 2005
The Mirror of Our Fate by Jared Diamond

Winter 2004
A New American Dream by Betsy Taylor


Politics, Reality, Change
At various times, we address politics directly (usually in an important election year). It's part of our Vote the Environment campaign. Here you'll find a number of essays from different political points of view that all hold a single cause sacred: the health of the planet.

Winter 2005
Why Is Rural America At Loggerheads With The Environmental Movement? by Theodore Roosevelt IV
Environmental Movement Alive and Well ... but what about the media? by Robert F. Kennedy Jr.

Kids' Fall 2005
In Harm's Way by Sophie McKibben

Fall 2005
Sacred Cows by Jim Little

Fall 2004
Crimes Against Nature by Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. and John Moyers
High Stakes by Deb Callahan
Republicans and the Enviro by Russell E. Train


Wild Salmon
Wild Salmon are a keystone species crossing both land and water through their migrations. Salmon's role as an indicator of overall ecological health, reflects a complex web of relationships between fish and people. Our campaign places salmon in the larger context of what's happening to our natural landscapes. Read the essays below to learn more about the effects of industrial agriculture, genetic engineering, deforestation, dams and other environmental threats to the survival of wild salmon.

Late Summer 2004
Don't Buy This Shirt Unless You Need It by Yvon Chouinard & Nora Gallagher

Summer 2004
Life's Deep Kinship by Richard Manning

Spring 2004
Organic Farmers, Textile Mills and Patagonia by Jill Vlahos
Balancing Salmon and Power on the Penobscot by Bill Taylor

Heart of Winter 2004
Simple Customs of Salmon Nation by Liz Woody

Holiday 2003
Just Say No to Farmed Salmon by Russell Chatham

Winter 2003
The Gift: Salmon Recovered by Seth Zuckerman
Everything But Salmon by Ted Williams

Fall 2003
The Soul Who Swims by Dr. Carl Safina
A Natural History of Pacific Salmon by Jim Lichatowich


Big, Wild and Connected
Biologists have now broadened the scope of the conservation movement, identifying that corridors linking protected areas, as well as large tracts of wild space are essential for maintaining species diversity and healthy populations. Read the following stories and check out the archive, below, for updates on work our colleagues are doing to to keep wilderness Big, Wild and Connected.

Learn more about our current Environmental initiative, Freedom to Roam.

Summer 2003
A Case for Marine Reserves by John Dutton
A Wild Success: Patagonia Land Trust Report

Spring 2003
Wildlands Project by Michael Soulé
Y2Y by Douglas Chadwick

Fly Fishing 2003
Cutting the Noose From the Salmon's Neck by David James Duncan

Heart of Winter 2003
Stitching Pieces Together, One Wing at a Time by Scott Weidensaul

Holiday 2002
The Maine Woods by Bill McKibben

Winter 2002
The Art of Dirt by Amy Irvine
The Last Wilderness by Kennan Ward

Kids' Winter 2002
Making Buffalo Common by Sue Halpern

Fall 2002
Big, Wild and Connected
Wild Trouble in Patagonia by Kristine Tomkins

Summer 2002
Patagonia Land Trust: An opportunity we can't miss


Genetic Engineering
In 2001, we began a campaign to explore and confront the dangers of genetically modified organisms (GMOs). by manipulating life forms and using the natural world as a petri dish, some scientists and the agricultural industry are threatening global biological diversity. Read the following stories for more information on the problems with genetic engineering (GE), reactions from our peers and direction for speaking up.

Spring 2002
Running the Gauntlet by Sue Halpern
At What Risk? A Summary of Thoughts on Genetic Engineering

Heart of Winter 2002
What Does a Clothing Company Know About Genetic Engineering? by Yvon Chouinard
Ecological Risk and Surprise on the GMO Roller Coaster by Ed Grumbine

Winter 2001
Biodiversity, Biotechnology and Biopiracy by Vandana Shiva
Europe Rejects GE Food by Gill Lacroix

Women's Fall 2001
The Science of Wisdom by Martha Herbert

Kids' Fall 2001
Growing a Son by Michael Ableman

Fall 2001
Magic Door by Bill McKibben
The Wisdom of Waiting by Jil Zilligen

Summer 2001
Death of a Butterfly by Mark Ritchie

Spring 2001
Coyote's Fleas by Freeman House
Behind that Farmed Salmon Steak by Seth Zuckerman

Women's Spring 2001
Unnatural Selection by Chris Desser

Men's Spring 2001
Frankenforests by Jack Turner

Early Spring 2001
Why Patagonia? Why Now? by John Sterling
The Essence of the Wild by Jack Turner