Tattoos aren’t the first things that come to mind when I think of environmental activism, but green-minded tattoo fans from San Francisco to Melbourne are linking the two activities together with creative events. 

First, there’s TATZOO, an eco-contest that promises free tattoos in exchange for help protecting endangered species! Fifteen finalists were selected on Aug. 5 based on their ideas for raising awareness about the leatherback turtle, California condor, or other endangered species local to the Bay area. Those tattoo-loving finalists now need to engage at least 100 people with their idea — for which they’ll be rewarded with a free tattoo of their endangered species, inked by locally famous tattoo artists.

And farther away in Melbourne, a three-day tattoo convention called Rites of Passage Festival calls all tattoo-loving environmentalists to enjoy art and music along with environmental education (via The Green Life). According to the website, the festival will showcase eco-friendly tattoo supplies — and raise funds for rain forests:

It’s our firm belief that it’s possible to tread lightly without missing out on any of the indulgences we’ve come to depend on in our lives — and it’s for this reason that 100% of the profits made from the festival will go towards buying agricultural land, which will be replanted with native rain forest.
Sounds like a great green vacation destination (aside from the travel carbon footprint) for tattoo lovers eager to visit Australia; the Rites of Passage Festival happens Jan. 28 – 30, 2011.

I’m not a tattoo fan myself. I have nothing against them, but I don’t like needles — or pain. What about you? Would you get inked for the environment? Do you already bear the image of your favorite species on your skin?