Leave No Trace are a set of guiding principles for outdoor ethics that has also become a non-profit organization to teach these principles. I recently have become certified as a “Leave No Trace Trainer” which means I am qualified to teach others these principles. I wanted to share with you simple ways that you can practice outdoor ethics whether you are in your backyard, local parks or backpacking your way through Europe. For more information on Leave No Trace click the link provided at the bottom!
Going somewhere new? Hit up the good ole world wide web to do some research to find out the details or ask some locals. When my friends and i just started school here in Boone we knew very little about local hiking spots or waterfalls. We didn’t know simple things such as…. Where are we going to park? How long is this hike going to take up? What should we bring with us? Luckily over time we have become quite knowledgeable but we definitely should have done some research before we set off on our adventures. We have probably parked on one to many private properties.
Stay on the sidewalk or the provided trail. You can bet that someone worked very hard to build the trails you are hiking on so stick to them! They are there for a reason so try to avoid the use of social trails or short cuts. I know…switchbacks are annoying and take quite a bit of time but, try to enjoy the hike for what it is and spend some much needed time outside.
I love pets and i strongly encourage taking your dog along with you on an adventure or a walk in the park but, make sure you are doing so responsibly. Pay attention to the dog regulations, keep them on a leash and scoop their poop. Nobody wants to step in dog poop, swim in it once it runs into a nearby stream.
Raise your hand if you have ever collected a seashell from the beach. My hand is raised! We all do it. They make for lovely decorations and a fun reminder of the beach but, we need to try and minimize our impacts on the natural environment. Next time you are on your favorite beach try and minimize the amount of shells you are taking. We want seashells to be there for generations to come and ultimately they aren’t ours to take. Take only photos and memories with you!
No littering! Luckily in many places there is a fine for littering but make sure you are recycling and throwing things away even when someone isn’t looking. Check out the timeline to see how long simple things take to decompose! I know i am guilty of spitting my gum out the window…that takes 5 years to decompose eeeepppp! Ain’t nobody got time for dat!
Be respectful of others in life and in the outdoors! Remember that they are there for an experience too! Offer to take a families picture or allow a smaller group to move ahead of you. The outdoors are ours to share.
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