When we’re outdoors, we’re reminded of how incredible and kind the world around us is. It’s important that we’re kind back, and this means making simple choices not to disturb the environment we’re in. Here are four steps you can take to show your appreciation to nature:
- Properly discard food waste
Whether you’re camping or having a picnic or in your backyard, never leave food waste outside. When you’re packing a cooler, be mindful of what you include and the amount of waste it might produce. Cooler design has come a long way, and some manufacturers, like Coleman, have models that retain ice for up to three days, so you don’t need unnecessary packing materials. Always do your dishes right after meals and well away from waterways. Dirty dishwater should be dumped inside or in an outhouse toilet, if available. If not, you can dig a hole at least six to eight inches deep and far away from waterways.
- Be mindful of what you leave behind
Whenever you leave an outdoor area, do a thorough scan for anything left and make sure to leave things as you found them. Think about the products you’re using when you brush your teeth and wash your hair and body. Try to use products with natural ingredients and collect the soiled water you use instead of letting it seep into the environment.
- Set up without being disruptive
If you’re setting up a tent, picnic area or shelter, take the time to find a suitable, flat surface instead of altering the environment to make your own. Do so away from lakes and streams to help preserve shorelines. When you have a tent, avoid digging and building structures that change the environment. There are quality tents from companies like Coleman that provide plenty of protection from the elements without having to make any changes to your surroundings.
- Look, don’t touch
The world is home to many living things. Just as we hope others don’t disturb our homes, we should avoid disturbing theirs. What nature has to offer us is best experienced through our eyes. Rather than collecting plants or rocks as a souvenir or crushing plants for the perfect selfie spot, try taking some fun candid photographs as you go to remind you of the good times on your trip.