Take a kid on a hike. It's good for him or her, you, and the future of outdoor recreation and conservation.
Thursday, April 22, is the 40th anniversary of Earth Day. Here are a few simple tips for what we each can do as backcountry enthusiasts to limit our impact on and help protect the places we know and love.
- Leave No Trace. This includes your most personal waste.
- Take a kid outside. Children need a personal connection to nature, for their own physical and mental health, and for the future of wild places. Start them young and keep it up.
- Volunteer. The National Park Service and the Forest Service offer volunteer opportunities. Or find local opportunities to protect and preserve. Contact your local trail organization or conservation group.
- Speak up. Be an informed citizen on conservation and outdoor recreation decisions and legislation. Contact your reps. Get involved.
- Donate. Whether through time, expertise, or money, support environmental non-profits you believe in. One Percent for the Planet, of which Trailspace is a member, has a searchable database of more than 1,500 environmental non-profits doing work around the world.
I realize that we, and our Earth, face a lot of serious challenges, challenges that won't be fixed by a few token gestures once a year. We all need to be informed and act on ways we can reduce our consumption and impact, in the backcountry and at home.
The bright spot is that, as fans of wilderness places, we already know their intrinsic value and can use that personal passion and connection to stand up for them.
So, what's your big (or little) idea to help save the world, or at least your favorite parts? Share it below.