The North Face launches petition to make Earth Day a national holiday

By Sophie Lewis

/ CBS News

Earth Matters: Stories from every continent

The North Face wants to make Earth Day a national holiday — and thousands of people have joined the effort. The outdoor lifestyle company launched a petition Tuesday to give people a designated day to explore nature, and it has since garnered over 44,000 signatures.

"When people take time to appreciate Earth, they feel more connected to it and are more likely to protect it," the description for the petition reads. "That's why we are taking a stand and committing that on Earth Day we will explore and connect with our surroundings."

The petition is directed at government leaders around the world in the hopes they will allow people to spend more time outside and less time in front of screens. Other eco-conscious brands, including Clif Bar, Altra, S'well and National Geographic have signed on as co-sponsors.

EXPLORE MODE by The North Face on YouTube

"Love for our planet comes from having the freedom to explore it and we hope that our Change.org petition will bring more attention and awareness to Earth Day and encourage people globally to unplug and explore," Tim Bantle, global general manager of Lifestyle at The North Face, told CBS News Thursday.

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The petition isn't the only way The North Face is highlighting the importance of Earth Day. It's closing 113 of its stores in the U.S. and Canada on April 22 for the first time in the brand's history, to honor the planet and let its employees spend the day outside.

The store closures are part of a week-long "Explore Mode" initiative, encouraging people to connect with nature through events in cities around the world, including New York, London, Munich and Paris. The brand is partnering with musicians, artists and culinary influencers to promote a global digital detox.

On Monday, April 22, 2019, "CBS This Morning" will bring viewers stories from every corner of the globe as part of CBS News' division-wide coverage for Earth Day. The broadcast will feature eye-opening reports on our changing planet, the fight to save it, and its impact on humanity.

First published on April 18, 2019 / 3:52 PM

© 2019 CBS Interactive Inc. All Rights Reserved.

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