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Growing up in the mountains and spending the majority of my time outdoors, my happy place is out on the trails. Hiking can help you reconnect with nature and give you a sense of peace that’s hard to find in the city. Over time, we’ve been able to spread our love of the mountains with not only our friends and family, but a wider audience through channels like Instagram and our blog. \
Although I’m extremely glad that more people are beginning to discover the healing power of the outdoors, the rise in popularity of natural places has also had some devastating side effects. One of the main issues that arises is that more people = more waste. Plastic bags, cutlery, straws, etc. end up littering camping areas and trails as people bring their lunches in and forget or refuse to pack it out again.
“Leave No Trace” principles are so essential to maintaining the health of the outdoors. When waste is left behind, it not only affects the natural environment but the wildlife that live in the ecosystem. Animals who get a taste for human food will often return to look for it and forget how to hunt or forage for themselves, which can often have deadly consequences for them.
Ways You Can Help
While all of this is extremely upsetting, there are ways to help educate and inform and reduce this growing problem:
1. Pick up
Lead by example and pick up after yourself, your friends and for others. I often pick up and carry out as much trash as I can when I am out hiking.
It’s important to educate those who may not be familiar with “Leave No Trace” and why it’s good practice. Some people genuinely believe that just like going to an amusement park, someone will be there to clean up after them. Others think that leaving behind apple cores or banana peels is fine because they are biodegradable. All of these behaviours are a product of improper education and should be addressed when observed.
It can be as simple as saying: “Let me pack that out for you. It’s important to leave this place just as we found it.”
3. Support Companies Making a Change
One of the coolest new apps we’ve discovered recently is COIN, an investment platform geared at making an impact. Your money literally goes towards funding the companies that are making a difference on our planet. For an avid outdoor lover like myself, seeing that they are associated with brands who address climate action and reducing waste was a game changer.
Check out investwithcoin.com or download the COIN app to make a difference today!