“We are living on this planet as if we had another one to go to.” – Terri Swearingen
There’s a lot to notice outside—trees, plants, rocks, the sweet serenading of birds, just to name a few of nature’s gifts. While I certainly pay attention to and marvel at these marks of nature, unfortunately, something else is catching my eye—and it’s driving me crazy! Trail Trash.
I pick up and pack out what I see and for the last year or so, I’ve been documenting my trail trash and have ranted about it in several blog posts—Running Through a Mountain of Trash and A Gel Top Manifesto are two recent examples.
We all play a role in keeping our wildplaces beautiful. Let’s make a pact to pick up at least one piece of litter during our runs, hikes, adventures, and other activities. If someone spots you doing it they will be more likely to do it too.
I experienced this firsthand when visiting my cousin in Palm Springs recently. We went on a trail hike and I picked every piece of litter I came across; a few days later after returning home, I got a text from her with a picture of the trash she had picked up on her hike with the message, “you got me on a mission.”
I’ve posted my trail trash pictures in a gallery on my website to bring more awareness to the litter that pollutes our trails, but now I need your help to clean up our trails—join me as a trail trash ambassador by:
- Picking up any litter you see on the trails and packing it out with whatever you bring in
- Taking pictures of your trail trash and uploading them to the gallery via Instagram using the hashtag #makeapactpackitout (if you don’t have an Instagram account, send your pics to me and I’ll add them)
- Familiarizing yourself with the principles of Leave No Trace
- Sharing this blog post with your family and friends
My short term goal is to create a network of ambassadors who are dedicated to cleaning up our trails; my long term plan is to put more structure around the initiative. Stay tuned.
Make a Pact, Pack it Out!