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?

Saving species by getting tattooed
Tattoo artists and tattoo lovers are finding creative ways to make their mark on environmental issues.