Washington (GGM) Analysis | July 22, 2021 by Sarah J. Kings
You are trying your best to head an eco-friendly family. You are recycling and upcycling like a champ, you’re careful not to waste water or gas, and maybe you’ve even incorporated Meatless Mondays into your routine. With all the planet conscious talk around your house, your kids are probably starting to show a little love for Mother Nature too.
Inviting your children to the conservation will inevitably lead to more time spent outdoors. When you and your loved ones ‘get out’ and try to make the most out of summer, it is essential to remember: Leave No Trace. Leave No Trace is an outdoor ethics initiative that has helped people preserve and protect the environment for over 25 years.
The 7 Principles of Leave No Trace
- Plan ahead & prepare
- Travel & camp on durable surfaces
- Dispose of waste properly
- Leave what you find
- Minimize campfire impacts
- Respect wildlife
- Be considerate of other visitors
As a parent, it is important to take these principals with you when venturing into parks or woods with your kids. Even if you are only going for the day and won’t be camping- you can still make sure to Leave No Trace.
Before your outing, be sure to bring water and snacks in reusable containers. It is also a good idea to bring a small satchel with you to collect any waste. You may find that other people have left behind water bottles or wrappers— help out by getting it out of the woods. Instead of bringing home trinkets like rocks, flowers, or bugs, bring a camera. Encourage your children to photograph what they see, so as not to disrupt the natural ecosystem. Make sure that you and your family members stay on the trails so that growing plants and small wildlife are not disturbed. Also, be sure that no one in your group breaks branches or carves initials into tree trunks.
There are so many ways you can teach your children to respect Mother Nature while giving her a visit. The most important thing you can do is talk about it. Tell your children about Leave No Trace. Doing so will open up an avenue for their own personal interest in conservation to thrive.
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