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Leave No Trace: One Company Promotes Importance of Protecting the Great Outdoors During Travel

by Aoife O'Riordan

Mar 13, 2024

© Leave No Trace

Sustainability

Travel often has consequences, ones we might not see immediately but ones our planet feels every day. Doing our duty to travel responsibly and mindfully is important. Even when you think you’re traveling in an environmentally friendly way, such as camping or by electric vehicle, there are still things we might not think of in keeping our trips low-impact.

 

Leave No Trace

© Leave No Trace

That’s where Leave No Trace comes in. This large organization harnesses the power of education, science and stewardship to ensure a more sustainable future for the outdoors and our planet. The organization is a force in the travel community, partnering with various brands and companies to further promote the vitalness of mindful and sustainable travel. Leave No Trace recently partnered with Arizona Office of Tourism, Visit New Hampshire, Visit North Carolina and North Carolina Outdoor Recreation Industry Office, Colorado Tourism Office, Destination Door County, and more.

 

Partnership with Leave No Trace allows for better conservation of our natural environment, protecting our outdoor experiences. These partnerships also develop initiatives to improve conditions of local and state land and water resources.

 

plastic waste

© Leave No Trace

Last year, some of Leave No Trace’s partners won national and regional awards for sustainable travel projects with a focus on Leave No Trace. Sonoma County Tourism received the Sustainability Advocate Award from CalTravel thanks to Its Leave No Trace Toolkit.

 

For travelers, embracing Leave No Trace’s seven principles ensures minimal impact practices when visiting the outdoors. Applicable anywhere from remote wilderness areas to local parks, following these is a step in the right direction:

 

  1. Plan Ahead and Prepare: Know the regulations and special concerns for the area you intend to visit, prepare for weather and hazards, repackage food to minimize waste, use a map and compass, and visit in small groups.
  2. Travel and Camp on Durable Surfaces: Durable surfaces include established trails, campsites, rock, grave, and dry grasses and snow. Protect riparian areas by camping at least 200 feet from lakes and streams.
  3. Dispose of Waste Properly: Pack it in, pack it out. Deposit solid human waste in catholes dug 6–8 inches deep at least 200 feet from water, camp and trails.
  4. Leave What You Find: Preserve the past. Leave rocks, plants and other natural objects as you find them. Avoid introducing or transporting non-native species and do not build structures, furniture or dig trenches.
  5. Minimize Campfire Impacts: Use a lightweight stove for cooking, established fire rings, pans or mound fires where fires are permitted. Keep fires small and burn all wood and coals to ash.
  6. Respect Wildfire: Observe wildlife from a distance, never feed animals, control pets at all times and avoid wildlife during sensitive times (mating, nesting, raising young, etc).
  7. Be Considerate of Others: Respect others and protect the quality of their experience, be courteous, and let nature’s sounds prevail. Take breaks and camp away from trails and others, and greet riders and ask which side of the trail to move to when encountering pack stock.

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