News & Updates

Social Media Guidance

Leave No Trace - September 8, 2020

Updated September 2020

Leave No Trace is Not Anti-Geotagging – Posting a photo that specifies your location along with appropriate Leave No Trace information can be a great way for others to learn about your favorite place and invite people into the outdoors. It can also empower people to research safety measures, learn about the location’s history and culture, and find out what to expect when visiting. Remember that people viewing your photo may not be familiar with the importance of planning ahead, so it’s always a great idea to include Leave No Trace information and encourage further learning in your caption.

Consider What Your Images Portray – Give some thought to what your images may encourage others to do. Images that demonstrate Leave No Trace practices and stewardship, as well as following legal regulations, can lead others to copy these actions. Consider the platform you have and the people you reach when posting and commenting about the outdoors.

Encourage and Inspire Leave No Trace in Social Media Posts – Given the millions of social media users in the world, think of the incredible potential that social media has to provide critical Leave No Trace education and information to people getting outside to care for the natural world. Invite people into the conversation, welcome them to the outdoors, and try not to make assumptions about their background or intentions.

Shaming Is Not the Answer – Remember that everyone’s experience in the outdoors is unique and personal. Online shaming and bullying in the name of ‘Leave No Trace’ is never endorsed by the Leave No Trace Center for Outdoor Ethics nor is it an effective, long-term tool to influence choices in the outdoors. Instead, spread Leave No Trace awareness by engaging in respectful and meaningful conversations on and offline about protecting the outdoors.

Give Back to Places You Love – Invest your time into the outdoor spaces and places you care about. Learn about volunteer stewardship opportunities and get involved in the protection of our shared lands.

As we contemplate the intersection of social media and the outdoors, we wonder what the future will bring in terms of technology, communication, and outdoor recreation. Will posting pictures to social media be a thing of the past in five years? None of us know. Social media, if used with consideration, is a powerful tool that can motivate a nation of outdoor advocates to enthusiastically and collectively take care of the places we share and cherish.

Enjoy Your World. Leave No Trace!

Let’s protect and enjoy our natural world together

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