Research & Education

Zero Landfill Initiative Team Wraps Up Outreach at Three National Parks

Susy Alkaitis - October 11, 2018

The National Park Service was founded over a century ago to preserve and share with future generations our historic, cultural, natural and scenic treasures that embody our American legacy. As national parks continue into their second century, Leave No Trace partnered with Subaru of America, The North Face, and the National Parks Conservation Association to significantly reduce visitor-generated waste at our national parks – starting with three pilot parks: Denali, Grand Teton and Yosemite.

Collectively, these three iconic parks welcomed nearly 8.3 million visitors in 2017, who left behind nearly 9 million pounds of waste that could otherwise be recycled or composted. Together, we are working to better educate and engage visitors about the amount of waste in our national parks and what they can do to help. 

Our team finished up last month at Yosemite Facelift with over 4,000 volunteers and over 10,000lbs of waste collected and diverted from local landfills. It’s a great start to have made in these three national parks and we’re excited to take the Zero Landfill message further. Check out this infographic:

So what are some things you can do? Park visitors can play a big role in reducing park waste and should follow these simple steps when planning your park trip. Know before you go and:

  1. Plan Ahead and Prepare – think about what you bring into the parks. Check to see if it can be recycled or composted in the park you are visiting.
  2. Opt for Online when/where you can —try smartphone apps to help navigate your way around the park, when/where access is available.
  3. Mug for the Parks – bring a reusable coffee mug or buy one from the souvenir shop to help reduce waste at parks.
  4. Bring Your Own Water Bottle – bring a refillable water bottle or buy one at the souvenir shop while taking advantage of convenient water refilling stations located around the parks.
  5. Choose Reusable Bags — bring your own reusable bag or tote for your supplies and souvenir items to help eliminate plastic bag waste.

Let’s protect and enjoy our natural world together

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