My respect for the wild came pretty naturally; I don’t think I even gave it a lot of thought. I started hiking, I started seeing water bottles and other trash on trails, and I started bringing a plastic grocery bag along with me on hikes. I’m always perplexed by the trash I see… Why can someone carry in a sub sandwich, but not carry out the wrapper? How can someone handle the weight of a full bottle of gatorade, but not the nearly weightless empty bottle? The list goes on. But most of all, why would anyone who enjoys outdoor spaces want to see garbage scattered around them? I make a regular effort to join group cleanups, as well as making the effort to clean up the areas I explore on a regular basis. To me, nature is at its best when there is virtually no sign of our civilized world, save for the trails we follow.
This is why I do my best to not only leave no trace on my own behalf, but to help reduce the impact of fellow humans. Even if I know that area will likely get trashed again (think of any water recreation area you’ve been to recently—they are prime examples of that) I still want to make the effort to leave it better than I found it. I have had people tell me both in person or online that they are seeing what I’m doing, and it has inspired them to bring a bag of their on on their next hike, or join a cleanup themselves. It is such a simple act, but it makes a bigger impact as more people join in and do their part. We have so many unique and stunningly beautiful ecosystems across our country, and it is so important that we respect these lands so that we can enjoy them in their wild state as much as possible, allowing for future generations to share in these experiences as well.
Please help me pass this message along with the purchase of the State of LIVIN Respect Our Trails Collaboration.