The Fourth of July has arrived, which means it’s time for fireworks, barbecues and great fun.
According to a recent survey, more than 160 million Americans plan to barbecue or picnic this weekend, as well as watch fireworks.
However, one group is working to remind Americans how important it is to protect the landscape around them while celebrating.
The four Subaru/Leave No Trace Traveling Trainers Teams are educators that travel throughout the country in their Subarus, teaching people how to protect and enjoy the outdoors responsibly.
They reach millions of people each year, conducting hands-on educational workshops and trainings educating the public about Leave No Trace principles while promoting stewardship of the outdoors, protection and preservation of our public lands and support of outdoor recreational activities.
These five tips from the Subaru/Leave No Trace Traveling Trainers about how to ‘Leave No Trace’ to help preserve and protect the outdoors.
1. Trash your trash
Put litter — even crumbs, peels and cores — in garbage bags and carry it home or throw it in trash receptacles. Extra food, even apple cores and banana peels can do great damage to wildlife. Did you know it takes up to two years for orange or banana peels to decompose in nature; more than 10 years for plastic bags and more than 80 years for aluminum cans to decompose?
2. Dog dogma
Use a plastic bag to pack out your dog’s waste to a garbage can. Dog waste can be harmful to the natural environment and can cause the spread of invasive species.
3. Take only pictures. Leave only footprints.
According to U.S. state and national park services, Americans logged 1.6 billion visits to national and state park lands last year. If we all took a memento from nature during those visits, the landscape would change. Fill the memory card on your camera rather than your pockets and leave nature as you found it for others to enjoy.
4. Keep wildlife wild
Human food is unhealthy for all wildlife and feeding them can have unfortunate consequences such as drawing them to people and roads and making them sick.
5. Refuse the makeover
No need for a major remodel of nature. Bring your own lightweight camp or picnic furniture and conveniences such as camp gas stoves, sleeping pads, chairs and lanterns. When you leave, it should look as though you were never there.