Leave No Trace in Daily Life Challenge

Suggested Leave No Trace in Daily Life Practices

Take The Challenge!

Leave No Trace introduces Leave No Trace in Daily Life! These everyday practices give us all the tools and knowledge necessary to to Leave No Trace in our daily life. From shopping local to taking public transportation, our actions have the potential to create change. Pledge to take the challenge and upload a photo of yourself doing one of the suggested Leave No Trace in Daily life practices with the Hashtag #LeaveNoTraceinDailyLife. 50 lucky winners will win a free Leave No Trace membership!



Properly Dispose of Household Waste:

  • Learn about how waste is handled in your community so that you can have a better understanding of what you can do to minimize what you send to the landfill.
  • Be sure you’re recycling right!
    • Opportunities for recycling are common today, but that does not mean every community functions the same way. Find out what kinds of materials—particularly plastics —are accepted at your recycling center if you have one.
  • Consider composting organic waste.
    • The decomposition of organic waste in landfills emits tons of greenhouse gasses each year – composting is a way to minimize this environmental impact.

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Minimize Single Use Items:

  • Take a look at your plastic use and identify ways you can reduce your impact.
    • Make a list of the types of plastic you currently have at home.
    • Go down the list identifying ways you can either purchase non-plastic alternatives next time, reuse the item, or recycle the waste.
  • Be proud of the progress you make.
    • Reducing plastic use is not easy, especially because our consumerist society is built around using single-use plastics.
    • Small changes add up in the long run so don’t feel like you have to quit single-use plastics in one day.
    • Completely eliminating single-use plastics may not be attainable for everyone, and that is okay.

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Start With Your Park:

  • Make your personal green space as sustainable as possible.
    • Replace your lawn with low input alternatives like ground-cover plants native to your region.
    • Plant native flowers and other plants to support your local pollinators and other wildlife.
  • Do your part to keep your local parks clean and green.
  • Protect your local wildlife by not feeding them and observing from a distance.
  • Lead by example, and remember that your actions have an impact! Good ethics are infectious.

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Groups of people sitting socially distanced in a city park

Reuse Before Recycling:

To extend the life and usability of a product, consider reusing items before recycling them. This can be as simple as the repair of household items, mending old clothes, reusing food containers, and finding new uses for items beyond their intended purpose. 

  • Use torn fabric and clothes as patches to mend other clothes, or cutting them into smaller pieces to use as cleaning rags. 
  • Old toothbrushes can be used as scrubbers for hard to reach places. 
  • Glass jars containing pasta sauce can be washed out and used for further storage, water cups, lunch containers, or even a portable place to put dog poop bags. 
  • Single-use plastics are almost never truly single-use, and can be repurposed with a little bit of creativity.

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Consider Using Alternative Transportation:

  • Learn about your local public transit.
  • Talk to your neighbors about setting up a carpool for routine drives like going to work or getting to school if it is feasible. 
  • Before leaving on a trip, consider your transportation options.
  • If your community does not have walking paths, bike routes or public transportation options, contact your local government to recommend changes.

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Minimize Energy Consumption:

  • Make small changes to your laundry routine, thermostat settings, and appliance choices.
  • For laundry:
    • Wash your clothes in cold water
    • Hang your clothes up to dry instead of using your dryer
    • Avoid overuse of your appliances by only washing full loads of laundry
  • For thermostats:
    • Set air conditioning and heating units to a few degrees higher or lower, respectively.
  • For appliances: 
    • Try to purchase energy efficient and environmentally friendly appliances when you can
    • LED lights are more efficient than fluorescent bulbs
  • Ensure that all your electronics are turned off and unplugged before you leave the house or go to bed

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Support Local Businesses and Farmers Markets When Available:

  • Keep your food shopping local whenever possible. Visit your local farmers market or farmstand if you have one to find fresh, in season local produce grown by a farmer in your community.
  • Join a Farm Share (also known as CSA: Community Supported Agriculture) if one is available in your area; this is maybe the best way to directly support local farmers and receive lots of fresh, seasonal produce.
    • -Eat seasonally
    • -Eat sustainably 
    • -Shop locally

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Use Social Media to Educate Not Degrade:

  1. Assess – What does my post not-explicitly convey? Is there a chance that others could misinterpret my images/language, and how does my online presence play a role in promoting stewardship practices?
  2. Educate – Is there a chance to include helpful tips and information around stewardship practices that is both accessible and encouraging to a wider audience in my post?
  3. Acknowledge – Should my post include an indigenous land acknowledgement? If so, use this formatting:
    • Include a “pin” symbol on all posts. Write “Traditional lands of ______ (and in parentheses put the current location name)” when the location of the image is known.


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Educate With Kindness:

  • Prioritize kindness and compassion
    • -People who find value in the outdoors are more likely to protect it, so treat all humans with kindness and respect so they too can become environmental stewards.
  • Give others the benefit of the doubt
    • -Avoid being judgmental of someone who isn’t caring for the environment the same way you would. Instead, this might be an opportunity to teach them something or for you to learn something new.
  • Carry these ideas into your daily life
    • -Environmental stewardship is a 24/7 job! Remember these points when you’re at work, at the grocery store, on vacation, or at your local park. We have the opportunity to teach others everyday so make it count.

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Let’s protect and enjoy our natural world together

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