If you’ve heard about the “Leave No Trace Seven Principles,” you might think that this set of rules is only practiced by avid campers and outdoor enthusiasts.
Yes, these principles focus on environmental conservation by promoting responsible camping and traveling practices. But they aren’t limited to the great outdoors.
In fact, you can and should incorporate Leave No Trace not just into your camping mindset–but also into your everyday life.
But why should you practice these principles anywhere, anytime? And how can you start doing that?
In this post, we’ll explain what these principles are exactly and how you can practice them wherever you go.
7 Leave No Trace Principles
Minimizing our negative impact on ecosystems, and even on other people, starts with ourselves. When spending time outdoors, in particular, following the principles of Leave No Trace is a great way to respect our green spaces and everything on them.
So whether you’re hiking, camping, or just walking in the park, be sure to keep these principles in mind:
- Plan ahead and prepare - Facing the unexpected? Proper planning can provide you with better, safer solutions.
- Travel and camp on durable surfaces - Stick to the trails and place your campsite on rock, sand, or dry grass. Avoid trampling on vegetation at all costs.
- Dispose of waste properly - Toss your trash into designated waste bins. If there aren’t any trash cans, gather up your garbage or keep it in your pocket until you find one. Also, do your “business” away from water sources and paths.
- Leave what you find - Found an exotic-looking flower? Or a cool artifact? Taking a photo should suffice. Leave everything as you find it.
- Minimize campfire impacts - If setting up campfires isn’t allowed, use a candle lantern and stove instead. If it is allowed, try to keep your campfire small and put it out properly once you’re done.
- Respect wildlife - As tempting as it might be, you should never feed wild animals. View them from a distance, and don’t go near them.
- Be considerate of other visitors - Keep the noise down. A little consideration makes all the difference.
Importance of Practicing Leave No Trace
When we talk about Leave No Trace, we often think of nature as an external element to our lives. It is, however, everywhere–be it your neighbor’s backyard or a nearby park.
And as was mentioned, the principles of Leave No Trace aren’t bound to the great outdoors. You can practice some of them at work, as you go to a friend’s house, and virtually everywhere you go.
So they aren’t only about our respect for the Earth, but also for everything on it.
- Visiting a place of worship that’s also a tourist attraction? Do your research first about what to wear (plan ahead and prepare).
- Walking your dog? Be sure to bring a poop bag with you, pick up your pet’s waste, and dispose of it properly. Your neighbors will surely appreciate it (dispose of waste properly).
- Going to your friend’s apartment? Try to avoid the impulse of touching their things (leave what you find).
- Buying new cosmetics? See if they’re responsibly made and if they involved any sort of animal testing (respect wildlife).
- Having a small gathering at home? Lower down the volume so that your neighbors can rest easy (be considerate of others).
By incorporating these principles into your everyday life, you can foster good relationships with others and help the environment–even if you’re not camping.
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