As US citizens weigh up the pros and cons of Trump and Clinton, US outdoor brand Patagonia is taking matters into its own hands and investing around US$1m in a campaign designed to push the environment as a top election issue and support get-out-the-vote organisations.

The California-based company last week launched 'Vote Our Planet', a national campaign urging Americans to vote "up and down the ballot" and elect officials who pledge to protect the planet's air, water and soil.

Patagonia is urging voters to support referendums that will defend the environment and protect the health and well-being of American families. According to the company, Vote Our Planet is designed to rally people in every corner of America to set aside their frustration with America's divisive political atmosphere and vote "purposefully", with the environment as their top issue when they head to the polls.

"We can't let the ugliness of our politics turn people away from voting when the future of our planet is at stake," explains Lisa Pike Sheehy, Patagonia's vice president of environmental activism. "We're giving voters resources that will inspire and empower them to take action and voice their support for a healthy planet – whether we're fighting to protect our own backyards or electing leaders who will fight for the future of our planet at the international level."

As part of its investment Patagonia has thrown a hefty $200,000 towards supporting partners like League of Conservation Voters and Headcount who support pro-environment candidates.

In the coming weeks, each of the company's 29 US retail stores will host two in-store Vote Our Planet events, providing voter guides outlining each region's candidates and ballot measures. The aim is to get people talking and unite around common values tied to local and regional elections.

"In the United States, only 60% of eligible citizens voted in the 2012 presidential election and of those, many voted only for president and left the rest of the ballot blank," says Yvon Chouinard, Patagonia founder and owner. "Many young voters feel disenfranchised and disillusioned by politics. But if they voted in full force, and voiced the urgency of the environmental crisis, politicians would have to take their issues seriously."

And the campaign is gathering speed, with Patagonia taking over the New York Times mobile website and the entire Tumblr website earlier this week, with two further dates set for 7 and 8 November.

"Voting is the simplest form of direct action – and now, more than ever, it's crucial that American citizens exercise their power to vote for leaders who are committed to reducing greenhouse gas emissions, defending clean water, and protecting our country's most precious natural resources," adds Sheehy.