“An arrow may fly through the air and leave no trace; but an ill thought leaves a trail like a serpent” – Charles Mackay
You’ve likely heard of the ‘Leave No Trace’ mentality – but for those who don’t know, it’s an idea that you should leave things in nature the way you found them. Lovers of the outdoors take this mentality in stride, ensuring that we do not pollute natural environments with human generated waste. As humans have changed the landscape of the world greatly, so too must we make every attempt possible to preserve what remains, so that it may be enjoyed for generations to come.
This goes a bit above making sure you clean up after yourself, bringing your trash with you for proper disposal. While you should always make sure that you leave the environment as undisturbed as you found it, let’s discuss the items we use to help us enjoy the outdoors, and how switching to more sustainable options will benefit our ecosystems.
Anytime I go hiking or camping, I generally pack several of the same items. My pack always has some basic tools, as well as things like flashlights, lanterns, and at least two ways to start a fire. I always like to have some ‘worst case scenario’ tools on me, as you never know what can happen. If you’ve ever been deep in a forest in the middle of the night without a light, the absolute darkness can be truly terrifying, coupled with sounds that have no visible source, your psyche can quickly deteriorate. I like to always carry one or two flashlights on me personally, but there was always the issue of batteries.
Batteries have a shelf life and can’t really be stored for long periods of time. Anything you pack away for later may likely have decayed by the time you may need it, and there’s nothing worse than finding out you just packed dead weight. The obvious choice is to use items with rechargeable battery options. This also usually results in a better product overall, as those batteries can output more power than traditional alkaline batteries you would buy in bulk packs.
Fortunately with all the different devices that people may use these days, the common denominator amongst them is that they need to be recharged. Switching to rechargeable batteries is a big step towards reducing your carbon footprint, and that’s really how the ‘Leave No Trace’ mentality should be translated towards what you’re packing for your trip.
Considering how the products you use effect ecosystems, both directly and indirectly, is something that needs to be discussed more. Toxic landfills increase in size every day, causing adverse effects to the creatures and plant life that make up the ecosystems we love to enjoy.
That’s why I joined Point Below and switched entirely to rechargeable and solar equipment. Sure, the items still need to be manufactured the same as everything else, but the reusability and sustainability provided greatly reduces your personal carbon footprint.
Now I have heard a lot of complaints that one individuals carbon footprint has a miniscule effect on the overall results, and this is true. But as they say, Rome wasn’t built in a day – and I’ll add that it also wasn’t built by one person. If all of us who love the experiences the outdoors provides took these small steps, we can ensure that these environments remain so that they can be enjoyed, and reveled in, by future generations.
Check out our solar options here.
No matter how you enjoy the outdoors, keep this in mind:
“Take only memories, leave only footprints.”