5 Ways to Incorporate Leave No Trace into Your Every Day Life

Susy Alkaitis - February 18, 2020

While the call for Leave No Trace curriculum originated in the backcountry, The 7 Principles are guidelines that are utilized just as effectively in the front country. The front country is anywhere you can access in a vehicle and in a day or less—that means that the majority of people living in the US spend their daily lives in the front country! Use these helpful tips to Leave No Trace every day.


1. Plan Ahead & Prepare the items that will help you minimize your impacts all day

Do you tend to drink water out of a single use water bottle? Try packing a reusable water bottle with you, so that you’re always ready to refill where facilities exist. Do you pack a lunch with items that are in single-use packaging? Try buying in bulk, and using reusable receptacles such as an insulated container or silicone bags. Going grocery shopping? Bring reusable grocery bags and reusable veggie bags—you can even stash them at work, in your backpack, or car—whatever is your go to place so that you are always prepared!2. Consider how you dispose of waste in your everyday life

How much trash do you produce each week? Do you have access to recycling or composting facilities? What types of items does your local recycler accept? Join the Subaru/Leave No Trace Zero Landfill Initiative and work to…

REDUCE all consumables, especially single use items.

REUSE everything you possibly can.

RECYCLE as a last resort.3. Treat living plants with respect

Whether it’s a flower in your local park or a tree growing through a hole in the sidewalk, all flora that exists is intrinsically a part of the natural world (as are we!) Picking or cutting into plants can lead to infections and death, which can lead to a decline in overall ecosystem health. Instead of carving your initials or name into a tree or plant, take a picture and share it with someone!4. Have a dog or other pet? Pick up their poop!

Dog poop is a non-point source pollutant—a single gram of dog doo doo can hold millions of fecal coliform bacteria that can get into natural waterways and cause a variety of illnesses and infections to humans and wildlife. By disposing of your pets’ waste properly, you can ensure the health and safety of local wildlife, while also being considerate to your neighbors.5. Give others the benefit of the doubt

See somebody doing something not so Leave No Trace such as carving their initials into a tree or leaving their dog poop behind? There is a good chance that they don’t realize the impact that they are making. The key to implementing and encouraging successful, long term change is through education. Next time you see someone do something that creates a negative impact on the natural environment, consider kindly and respectfully explaining to them how their actions affect the ecosystem around them to help them understand why it matters. Remember—it’s not just you, or me, it’s all of us that rely on natural resources to survive. Just imagine what our world would look like if we all practiced Leave No Trace.Leave No Trace’s Monika Baumgart and David LeMay are part of the 2020 Subaru/Leave No Trace Traveling Trainer Program that provides free, mobile education to communities across the country. Proud partners of this program include Subaru of AmericaREIEagles Nest Outfitters, Deuter, ThuleFjällräven and Klean Kanteen.

Let’s protect and enjoy our natural world together

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