Leave No Trace in Daily Life

Erin & Brice - May 4, 2022

Leave No Trace is for more than just camping trips and distant outdoor spaces! We can use Leave No Trace education to minimize our impacts in our everyday lives in order to protect our planet in big and small ways. While not everything will be accessible to everyone, doing what we can when we can adds up to big change.

Here’s how you can use Leave No Trace’s 7 principles in your daily life: 

1. Plan (Your Meals) Ahead 

According to the FDA, 30–40 percent of the food supply in the US ends up as food waste. Planning meals ahead of time can help us reduce our food waste, and thinking about how we eat and shop can provide more options for practicing sustainability. Shopping at local farmers markets, eating less meat, buying in bulk to reduce packaging, and composting our leftovers are all great options to have more earth conscious eating habits. 

2. Travel Consciously

Carpooling to the trailhead, taking the bus to work, or riding a bike to the store can all reduce our emissions. These changes don’t need to happen 100% of the time, but even adjusting one trip a week can add up. 

3. Reduce Waste

When possible, we can reduce waste by switching to reusable options. How about starting with plastic bottles? In the US alone, 60 million plastic bottles are thrown away each day. Switching to a reusable option might be a simple step. 

4. Leave What You Find (At the Store)

According to NPR, we are returning 95% more products than we did 5 years ago, and many of those returned products are thrown away. To reduce this waste we can be more intentional with our shopping, and consider the lifecycle of the products we buy. 

5. Minimize Energy Use

Turning off our lights, switching to LEDs, and unplugging vampire electronics, or devices that still draw power even when they are off, can all reduce our energy use at home. According to Harvard, the power used by idle electronics in the US equals the annual output to 12 power plants! Small switches make all the difference.

6. Conserve Wildlife

Habitat restoration and conservation is an important piece of protecting wildlife. Maybe you have a yard of your own and can build a bat box, plant a habitat garden, or leave a dead tree to provide shelter. Or maybe you volunteer with a local restoration group to do this same work in community parks and open spaces. Either way, the wildlife will thank you. 

7. Be Kind 

Protecting our planet takes all of us. Remember that not everything is accessible to everyone, and we are all doing the best we can. Share these tips with others, and work together to make Earth month every month. 

By the Subaru/Leave No Trace Teams. For over 20 years these teams have provided tangible solutions to serious issues facing our outside space and reach over 15 million people every year. Learn more about the important work of our mobile education teams.  Proud partners of this program include Subaru of AmericaREIEagles Nest Outfitters, ThuleFjällrävenThe Coleman Company and Klean Kanteen.

Related Blog Posts

Let’s protect and enjoy our natural world together

Get the latest in Leave No Trace eNews in your inbox so you can stay informed and involved.