When we hike, we often bring along a trash bag to pick-up the debris left behind from others.
I wish everyone followed Leave No Trace (LNT) principles. Yesterday, we found three grocery bags, a juice box straw, four cigarette butts, and a red balloon.
Imagine if everyone who visited a park followed LNT and packed out their trash.
Parks spend millions of dollars a year on manpower and equipment for trash removal. Wouldn’t it be better if parks could use that manpower on habitat improvement and the money on land acquisition?
What about the carbon emissions from the trash removal vehicles that often need to collect trash several times within a week during the peak season? Or the carbon emissions from the maintenance trucks the maintenance crews use to check the trash bins to see if the trash needs to be collected?
The solution is simple
Do your part in helping parks and ultimately the Earth by promoting and following Leave No Trace principles. Pack out all of your trash even when you picnic and politely encourage your friends and family to do so as well.
To get you started here is an online LNT class for kids: PEAK Online | Leave No Trace
In addition to following LNT here are a few simple things that could have prevented trash on the trail:
- Reusable cotton shopping bags instead of plastic shopping bags
- Reusable Nalgene bottles (Made in the USA and BPA free) for drinks
- Not smoking or stubbing the cigarette out and packing it back into the pack for proper disposal later
- Not releasing balloons at celebrations like birthday parties and weddings