This self intervention really had me focusing on the little things. Like the actual tiny pieces of micro-trash that I accumulate on a daily basis. I am a trip leader with Poly Escapes and we are trained in and emphasize a philosophy called “Leave No Trace.” This is basically a set of seven principles that we are encouraged to live by as we experience and exist in the backcountry. These are:
- Plan Ahead and Prepare
- Travel and Camp on Durable Surfaces
- Dispose of Waste Properly
- Leave What You Find
- Minimize Campfire Impacts
- Respect Wildlife
- Be Respectful of Other Visitors.
On my most recent trip to Sequoia with a group of first time backpackers, I found myself leading our daily “camp sweep” where we ensure that we are not leaving any trash behind in our campsite. As everyone put their tiny pieces of microtrash in the communal trash bag, I began thinking of this self intervention. Even though we were physically leaving the area where we had just slept clean, all of those granola bar wrappers had to eventually go somewhere and all the preparation and packaged foods that went into this trip likely accumulated more waste than if we had just stayed home. In my life I think about these things a lot, and feel like biking to get around and not eating animal products makes a big difference on a personal level, I would like to inspire more of my co-workers and fellow outdoor enthusiasts to buy in bulk for these trips and not sacrifice the environment for convenience sake.