The excellent outside. There is a motive they call it that. Industry experts concur that time expended alfresco—soaking up the sun, breathing in the refreshing air, and communing with nature—is effective for the two your actual physical and psychological well being. It can decreased your blood force, lower panic, raise your immune program, contribute to your coronary heart overall health, increase brain development, and elevate your spirits.

And right after getting been caught inside of for most of the past yr thanks to Covid-19, the have to have to go outside of our 4 partitions and investigate nearby parks and other eco-friendly spaces is even far more important. Actions this kind of as walking the pet, likely for a jog, using your bike, or even just location up a tent and camping in your yard are good means to remain lively although nonetheless staying properly socially distanced.

No just one knows the worth of the wonderful outdoor superior than the individuals at REI. The nationwide retailer, boasting five spots in Atlanta on your own, has been promoting outdoor items because 1938, regardless of whether it be climbing poles for trekking up Stone Mountain, electrical bikes for cruising all around Piedmont Park, or kayaks for paddling along the Chattahoochee. But REI is not your regular retail retailer. It’s an immersive working experience into the world of out of doors journey, which include not only shelves stocked with equipment to assist you get exterior, but also tools rental and repair service and organized outings. They completely embody the life-style, as exemplified by firm initiatives these types of as #OptOutside, in which on Black Friday, the busiest retail day of the 12 months, they shut all of their merchants, urging staff members and the basic general public alike to skip the mall and expend time outdoor. And #OptOutside doesn’t finish on Black Friday—it’s a determination REI sticks to all yr very long.

The Benefits of Being a Co-op

What started 83 a long time back with a single shelf at the Puget Audio Cooperative Store around Pike Area Industry in Seattle has considering the fact that grow to be the greatest purchaser co-op in the nation, giving 1000’s of products and products of apparel at additional than 160 areas throughout the U.S., like 5 in the metro Atlanta area. The business has no shareholders, as an alternative next a member-owned company product that focuses on “shared values, not share value.”

A life time REI co-op membership charges just $20 and entitles associates to minimized class and tools rental expenses discounts on shipping expenses the likelihood to buy returned, utilized, or broken goods at deep reductions via associates-only garage sales and yearly dividends if they devote at least $10 on merchandise in a specified calendar 12 months. These benefits, accurate to REI’s eyesight, are intended to endorse a lifelong appreciate of the wonderful outdoor. It has been encouraging Atlantans specifically do just that for extra than 30 yrs, simply because REI thinks that a life outdoor is a lifetime effectively-lived.

Companions Make Excellent

REI doesn’t go it by itself. By means of its grant program, REI tends to make domestically pertinent and impactful community investments with the intention of even more inspiring and enabling men and women to lead balanced, energetic life. Grants are centered on locations this kind of as rewilding towns and towns and connecting underrepresented groups to the outside.

The company’s Atlanta-place grants currently incorporate stewardship projects benefiting community greenways such as the Path400 and Peachtree Creek Greenway. Its gift of grants to the Adopt-the-Atlanta-BeltLine system, for example, served offer a cleaner, safer atmosphere for the far more than 1 million residents and website visitors who take edge of the BeltLine every single yr. Other donations from REI’s grant method went to The Belief for Public Land to assist its Riverlands challenge and create campsites along the Chattahoochee River. Joint operate with the Chattahoochee National Park Conservancy served make advancements to the 6.7 miles of trails in the Sope Creek and Columns Travel spots of the Chattahoochee River National Recreation Region. REI’s motivation to preserving leisure spots has resulted in thousands and thousands of dollars in donations to community Atlanta nonprofits.


Time expended outside has generally been important, but probably under no circumstances far more so now as we offer with the exhaustion, solitude, and claustrophobia that arrive from battling a world wide pandemic. To #OptOutside and be amongst nature can reinvigorate your body and soul.

REI has instituted numerous applications to aid motivate Atlantans to incorporate the outside into their standard routines. It launched, for instance, OutFIT with REI, which took position January 17 as a result of March 14. The eight-7 days instruction software experienced individuals heading to spots like Arabia Mountain and the Chattahoochee River All-natural Recreation Place to be part of physical fitness trainer Rod Gillis and yoga instructor Francine Labiran for workouts that not only took benefit of the neighborhood landscapes, but complemented plan functions like working, hiking, and cycling as well. There will be future out of doors health courses of this nature, starting off with the summer season session which kicks off July 11.

The pretty much-yearlong Hikes for Well being problem, which is co-sponsored by Kaiser-Permanente, kicked off previous August and operates via June 30 this year. By means of this obstacle, REI encourages residents to hike, walk, or run 10 trails in 10 green areas above a period of 10 months. The green areas are conveniently found all through the metro Atlanta location: Blue Heron Character Protect, Chastain Park Conservancy, Chattahoochee National Park Conservancy, Chattahoochee Character Centre, Dunwoody Mother nature Heart, Buddies of Missing Corner, Livable Buckhead, Parks Cobb County, Peachtree Creek Greenway, and Sandy Springs Conservancy. Prizes are awarded through the challenge, and contributors are encouraged to submit on social media working with the hashtag #HikesForHealthREI.

REI’s huge variety of initial-fee equipment, alongside with its overall determination to the belief that it is in the wild, untamed, and pure spaces that we obtain our very best selves, would make it easy for everybody to #OptOutside.