Summer is finally here, and we’re stoked for the many adventures, festive holidays, outdoor festivals and family outings on tap for the warm weather months. With all of the outdoor fun to be had in the next few months, now is as good of time as any for a little reminder and refresh on some Leave No Trace skills, so as not to negatively impact our environment while enjoying our surroundings! The Subaru/Leave No Trace Traveling Trainers offer programs to the general public, volunteers, youth, nonprofit organizations, governmental agencies, and more on Leave No Trace skills and techniques intended to reduce the impact of outdoor activities in communities around the United States. The Traveling Trainers do all of this while traveling and living out of their Subaru, camping over 250 nights a year.
Here are five tips from the trainers on how to “Leave No Trace” during your next park visit, camp outing or picnic to easily implement and protect the great outdoors for years to come.
1. Trash Your Trash
Sounds simple, right? But even crumbs, peels of fruit and cores can damage the environment. Put litter in garbage bags and carry it home (pack it out!) or throw it in trash receptacles. Did you know that it takes up to two years for orange or banana peels to decompose in nature, more than 10 years for plastic bags, and more than 80 years for aluminum cans…
2. Dog Dogma
Use a plastic bag to pack out your dog’s poop to a garbage can. Dog waste can be harmful to the natural environment and can cause the spread of invasive species.
3. Take Only Pictures. Leave Only Footprints
According to U.S. State and National Park Services, Americans logged 1.6 billion visits to national and state park lands last year. If we all took a memento from nature during those visits, the landscape would change. Fill the memory cards from your cameras and on your phones, rather than your pockets, and leave nature as you found it.
4. Rule of Thumb
Extend your arm and thumb in front of you and close one eye. As you view wildlife- deer, wild turkeys, a rabbit- you should be able to fully cover the animals image with your thumb. If you can still see it, you are too close!
5. Don’t Feed the Natives
Human food is unhealthy for all wildlife and feeding them can have unfortunate consequences such as drawing them to people and roads and making them sick.
The Leave No Trace for Outdoor Ethics website provides even more education about enjoying the outdoors responsibly. You can find a course near you, the Traveling Trainers current schedule of events, volunteer opportunities and a FREE Online Awareness Course, complete with a certificate. Let’s all work towards leaving only footprints for our future generations to enjoy our favorite outdoor spaces for years to come.
Christmas is apart of True Subaru Couple, an organization dedicated to exploring, finding new adventures, and inspiring others to do the same. Christmas and her fiancee, Randy, travel the world and share their stories along the way. You can find weekly adventures with them on their social media pages at www.facebook.com/TrueSubaruCouple or on Instagram as @TrueSubaruCouple.