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Leave No Trace x Kindhumans

Guest - October 14, 2019

By Mike Escamilla

A few years ago my now five-year-old daughter Luna woke up one day and said, “Dad, what’s a cave?” so I responded “I’ll show you.” Since then she often poses a curious question that has led us to an adventure. About a year ago, in pre-kindergarten, Luna learned about the negative impact that plastics and littering can have on the planet. Since then, every time we see litter Luna points it out and says “look at that trash Dad!” It was then I realized it was time to make sure she really understood how easy it is to be a good steward of the planet.

When I was a kid, my parents took me and my siblings to the beach every weekend and the first thing they made us do was pick up any trash on the beach. As a child, this task felt like a chore but eventually, it just became a habit. Now as a dad, when Luna and I are on our adventures I realize that this habit, or ethic, has not been instilled in everyone from such a young age. This really makes me worry that Luna won’t have the opportunity to experience the beauty of this planet in the same way that I did when I was a kid.

On all the adventures we take now, I make a point to explain to Luna that we must practice Leave No Trace, and then take it a step further, to ensure that we leave the place we visit even better than we found it. We also have been taking a more conscious approach when planning our trips: no more single-use plastic water bottles, utensils or snacks wrapped in plastic.

On one of our most recent trips, Luna skipped ahead to chase down a piece of trash blowing in the wind. She handed it to me, saying “hold this Dad,” I replied, “what am I supposed to do with it?” She responded “we need to find a trash can.” This made me so proud that at just five years old my daughter has started to make these decisions and incorporate this habit into her adventurous and curious spirit. Luna understands that the “small” things make a difference and that by leaving no trace, she can enjoy her days with Dad even more.

This article is by Mike Escamilla. Mike works with Kindhumans who support Leave No Trace as a corporate partner. For a chance to win a Kindhumans Starter Kit, head to

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