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The Conscious Dirtbag

WHAT IS A CONSCIOUS DIRTBAG?!

Y’all are probably wondering, “who in the heck are these ‘Conscious Dirtbags’? And what exactly is the point?! Sounds pretentious if you ask me.” Fair-fair-fair. But before y’all skip on ahead, lets - Break. It. Down.

  • Conscious [kon-shuhs] adjective aware of what one is doing; deliberate, intentional; acutely aware of or concerned about
  • Dirtbag [durt bag] noun a person who is committed to a lifestyle, perhaps to the extreme, that they are willing to abandon many social norms in the pursuit of said lifestyle 

For us dirtbags, our lifestyle necessitates intentionality. How we engage with whatever environment we happen to be in today or the next has an impact on how others get to exist in that same environment now and in the future. That requires us to be conscious of our decisions, even the smallest ones, and the owning of the ramifications of them being put into motion.

And this is definitely not limited to just the dirtbags among us! YOU. Yes, YOU, also have a role to play in being conscious of how you engage with your environment, whether that be at your favorite crag, thru-hiking a classic trail, on a leisurely tubing excursion down a local river, traveling to a new country, sending at your local gym (find us @ ASCEND!) and even walking through your neighborhood; YOU have the power to engage with the environment around you in a way that benefits the land, the wildlife and the people, by being aware, deliberate and intentional in the choices you make.

So what are these ‘Conscious Dirtbags’ all about? Well, we’re definitely not experts, but we hope to share stories and resources with you, our beautiful readers, so that we can learn and grow together and become a bit more aware of how we can engage with our environment to support a healthier planet and community in whatever small (or BIG) way that we are able! We are in this together, after all, and together, we can hold each other accountable. Please, SEND US A MESSAGE and follow us on INSTAGRAM!

ORIGINAL ARTICLES

ADDITIONAL RESOURCES

WHO ARE THE CONSCIOUS DIRTBAGS?

Rachel

Hey everyone! If a dirtbag is defined as one who defies social norms, then my parents would lead you to believe I’ve been doing that my whole life. The budding of a conscious dirtbag is when one sees the cracks in the system, andis left with no choice but to educate and act from a place of compassion. My own personal budding has been years in the making — from my childhood in white suburbia to my current and very trendy living situation, #vanlife. My slowand humble awakening began when learning about our food systems. The ideas of ‘voting with your dollar’ and ‘buying local’ opened my eyes to the detrimental impacts we can have on our communities, while it is so easily overlooked. An important moment for mein co-creating this project is recognizing the falsehood that lies in the stereotype of an ‘eco-friendly outdoorswoman.’ My goal is to bring more awareness to what I love to do— climb, slackline, teach acroyoga, and hike with my fur baby. And through my roles at ASCEND, I hope we can learn some new things together.  

Coleman

Hey y’all! I’ve been practicing my own dirtbag lifestyle after leaving corporate America back in August of 2018. I was a R&D chemist for six years working on novel polymers and formulations for all sorts of coating applications (ask me about it next time you see me in the gym!), but struggled with the underlying knowledge of how deeply tied the chemical industry was to Big Oil and very troubling environmental issues. After taking a two week sabbatical to work in Puerto Rico on a project aiming to build resilient and sustainable housing and education centers, I could no longer sit with myself while maintaining my employment with the chemical industry. So I left that old world behind intent on living an engaged lifestyle that puts people and the planet at the vanguard. I’ve worked on a number of environmental building projects, some small urban farming projects, I wound up acquiring and building out a simple van living space and I got a position with ASCEND so that I can also share my passion for being active and engaged with outdoor spaces. I’m still learning what it means to live an engaged life within my privilege, but I think knowing that I have so much more to learn in life is the first step in creating the space for the changes I hope to make. At any rate, after embarking on this adventure, I haven’t looked back since.