In this month's Industry Interview we are pleased to chat to Igor Bratnikov, one of the initiators and founders behind GreenXC – an organisation of people trying to raise awareness and raise money for national parks and forests. He's also a seasoned travel photographer and journalist who shares his experiences through his photo blog.
Igor with fellow GreenXC founder Polina Raygorodskaya
What is GreenXC and who's involved?
GreenXC is an organisation of young professionals determined to make an impact on the preservation of National Parks and Forests. At the end of July, we are setting out on a three-week mission to get cross country using only ride-shares and conducting a national outreach and awareness campaign for parks and forests with the help of the USDA Forest Service. Stopping at various destinations along the way, we will be documenting our travels and bringing our followers along for our journey through our site. Follow us along our journey!
We are a collaboration of enthusiasts with seasoned experience in the fields of public relations, marketing, business, law, journalism and photography who share the common goal of enriching young minds to encourage the future generation to take action to protect our national parks and forests and create an eco-sustainable nation.
You can view a photo story of the trip that started GreenXC here.
Why is it important to protect national parks and forests?
America's National Forests and Parks, since the days of President Theodore Roosevelt, have been serving the nation's interests in protecting the pristine beauty of nature and preserving eco-environments across the country. Thanks to this rich heritage, today we can all visit places like Old Faithful in Yellowstone and Half Dome in Yosemite. Visitors can be awed by the majestic hush of giant trees in our National Forests, and enjoy the rushing waters of the Deschutes, tumbling falls of the Cascades, magnificent mountaintops of the Rockies, and the colorful forests of the Appalachians. Whether you enjoy these special places for the hot springs or cool rivers, craggy peaks or verdant valleys, they are places to enjoy, and places to protect. We are raising awareness for them to ensure that these special places and the unforgettable experiences they provide will sustain us for generations to come.
Is the initiative based in the US only?
Currently the initiative is focused on the US but we focus on spreading environmental awareness across the world and plan to do campaigns in other countries in the future. Also, many of our readers come from all over the world and we hope to bring everyone that comes on our website along our journey to visit the national parks and forests together.
What are some of your favourite outdoor and nature spots around the globe?
We recently took a trip to Costa Rica and Nicaragua where we hiked volcanoes and visited various beautiful villages. Nicaragua was one of our favourite places that we visited together. Both of us have travelled all over the world separately as well. Polina loved hiking in New Zealand and the beautiful forests there. Igor loved hiking in Colco Canyon in Peru and rice terraces in Batad, Philippines. And of course we love the nature that surrounds us here in the US that we endear so much.
You're using Travellerspoint to map your trip – what do you like about our service?
We LOVE Travellerspoint map for many reasons. We first tried using Google Maps to map our journey but found it very difficult to work with and nearly impossible to change and add points. We love that Travellerspoint map allows you to easily add points and move the sequence around without messing anything up. We also LOVE that each point has a great explanation of the locations that we will be visiting, many of the facts we did not previously know.
You can view GreenXC's Travel Map here.
What advice do you have for people wanting to travel green?
There are many ways to travel green really it is all about desire, little steps or big ones they all count in the end. Understanding that you can add green elements to your travels without having to change your entire routine. Also, try out ride sharing! It is fun, you meet interesting people and save money on gas and protect your environment! Also, you get to exactly where you want to go and don't have to sit in a cramped bus or train. And as far as safety goes, it is a far more safe form of transportation than many others. Make sure to get references and background information on the people you are getting in a car with. And stay-tuned, GreenXC is working on a platform for people to connect for ride-shares, to make it a safe, convenient and practical way to travel very soon! Would love to integrate some of the fantastic Travellerspoint's travel resources with what we are working on.
Disclaimer: Travellerspoint is supporting GreenXC as an early-stage partner.
Check out our other posts in the Industry Interview series: