Climbers Cutting Carbon


"I used to consider humanitarian work more noble than environmental. Now I see them as one and the same. We need a healthy planet to thrive and right now our home is undeniably sick."

Tommy Caldwell, American climber

We’re building a roadmap to help the climbing community cut its carbon footprint in half by 2030.

Below are 10 tips to help guide us on our individual routes toward becoming sustainable climbers.

1. Commit Politically!

Show up, Speak up, and Vote

The greatest impact we can have is to vote for politicians who lead toward a cooler future! Increase the impact by letting others know of your choices. For example,

  • Tommy Caldwell and Angela Hawse wrote, “climbers are really good at being uncomfortable, and this is a very uncomfortable situation. We have to push ourselves to speak up and have a voice to put that passion into purpose.”

  • Sasha DiGiulian wrote, “I have … over half a million people following me on my social media accounts. When I realized that people who I’d never met were paying attention to my life…, I knew that I could use this platform to affect change beyond my niche sport.” You can, too!

  • None of our individual lifestyle changes will have nearly the effect of good legislation that yields government-level policy changes, so vote as if your planet depends on it!

2. Forgive Yourself

We’re all imperfect, but we can still do our part

Stay informed. Knowledge alone won't solve problems, but it does lead to wiser decision-making.

3. Map Your Route

Use a carbon calculator to measure your progress

  • CoolClimate Carbon Calculator from the University of California at Berkeley because it offers the best easy-to-use calculator that you can use on your phone or computer. Start with their “Simple” mode, then try “Advanced”--which is still easy and is great for learning. (Best for the USA).

  • OneSmallStep Carbon Calculator is fun to use and includes great lessons on how to reduce your impact. It’s exclusive to mobile phones. (Best for USA and Australia).

  • TNF / Protect Our Winter’s Cost of Carbon calculator focuses specifically on travel, was developed by The North Face and POW specifically for athlete expeditions.

4. Conserve Energy

Make the most of fewer trips

5. Team Up

Carpool, drive an electric car, take a train, fly less

  • Use public transportation. Buses, trains, free city transportation.

  • Drive an electric car. They’re not perfect, but they’re much cleaner than gas!

  • Carpool. Drive fewer cars to the crag and climbing gym.

  • Avoid flying. Reduce your total number of flights.

  • Choose environmentally conscious airlines. The greenest airlines available.

6. Go Green

Switch to green energy, either your own or from the grid

7. Chow Down

Consume more vegetables and less red meat; compost all waste

Eat less beef: Try meatless Mondays or move even towards a more plant-based diet. More info:

8. Buy Bravely

Support businesses who show they care about the planet

Use your gear longer.

Shop + donate consignment for outdoor apparel and soft goods. Check out Geartrade!

A Complete Guide to Used Outdoor Gear Stores in the U.S.

Repurpose old climbing gear. Make a rope rug!

Read this article in Climbing Magazine about Tommy Caldwell’s approach to greening his gear.

9. Invest Consciously

Switch to socially conscious (ESG) banking and investing

  • Banks: It makes a huge difference if your money supports ESG companies–those that recognize their responsibility to the environment, society, and good governance. Choose banks and investments that have signed up for the United Nation’s Net-Zero Banking Alliance.

  • Join a credit union instead of your bank. Here’s why.

  • Take the banking pledge on This could be a game changer!

10. Rope up!

Join us! Become a “climber cutting carbon”

Take the Climbers Cutting Carbon Pledge! Or...

Need to see other climbers as role models cutting back their footprints?

Learn about our founders!


Contact Us!

Want to take action right now?

Pledge to vote next time you can!

Calculate your carbon footprint.

Watch An Imperfect Advocate.

Share this website on your social media!

Why Climbers?

For over a century climbers have been frontline witnesses to big changes in high places. Now climate change is the greatest threat to our home planet, including the people and places we love. Climbers have been among the early documentors of the accelerating changes in the water towers of our world. We've also contributed more than our share toward creating the problem, mostly through our passion for flying to exotic locales.

Climbers are a tiny minority of the world population, but as a community we wield outsize influence. Leaders and legislators listen to us. Let’s be the change we want to see and show the world the power of high goals.

The Sustainable Summits Initiative

We’re building a toolkit to help the climbing community cut its carbon footprint in half by 2030–a big and necessary step on our way to a zero-carbon future. Join the journey on or Learn more about the Sustainable Summits Initiative here.