If you are spending time in the great outdoors, it can have a big impact on the surrounding environment. With billions of people roaming the planet each day, it is vital that we engage in our activities responsibility and ensure we “leave no trace” of our adventures behind. This is especially important when camping and visiting natural cultural heritage listed areas such as national parks.
Keeping our forests green and our oceans clean is at the core of what we do, and believe in at Pure Planet. We also have a passion for exploring what mother nature has to offer and taking the time to truly appreciate her beauty. It’s heart-breaking to go camping or on a hike far away from civilisation and to find traces of waste left behind. It’s important that we work together to keep our environment clean and minimise our impact.
If you are someone who has spent a lot of time outside exploring, it is likely that you have heard of the term “leave no trace” before. Basically, it is the global recommended practice to minimise our footprint and ensure human behaviour does not negatively impact our natural habitats. Leaving no trace comes with a certain set of guidelines that you can undertake, to ensure you are being an eco-warrior and behaving ethically in your travels.
The Seven Leave No Trace Principles
1. Plan ahead and prepare
The more prepared you go into a situation, the less likely you are to run into problems. Ensure you have a map and any information needed for the place you will be visiting such as rules and regulations. Bring along any emergency gear such as a first-aid kit, torch, a light weight shelter and blanket.
2. Travel and camp on durable surfaces
This is an important one for the environment. Keep to walking on designated tracks where possible and camp out in designated areas if they are provided. This will help to ensure the surroundings are kept pristine.
3. Dispose of waste properly
Take every item back with you. Dispose of rubbish responsibly. Do not hide, bury or burn waste. Ensure all human waste is disposed of properly. If you must make the outdoors your bathroom, dig a hole away from water sources, campsites and trails at least 20cm deep to avoid contamination. Cover the hole properly. Take toilet paper with you and do not bury it in the hole. Use only biodegradable soaps for washing up and scatter at least 50 meters away from water sources. Don’t forget to take any other rubbish you find with you.
5. Minimise campfire impacts
Everybody loves a campfire when camping. The feeling of the natural warmth, the atmosphere it creates, the ability to cook on the natural flames. It’s important to be careful when creating a campfire, they create a risk for bushfires and can damage the surroundings. Only light fires in permitted areas and be sure to take note of any fire bans. If there are already fire pits available, use them. Where possible use a camp stove or lantern instead.
6. Respect wildlife
This should go without saying, but have the utmost respect for all wildlife you encounter. Don’t come too close and scare them out of their habitat. Don’t touch or feed them. The incorrect food can make them sick, so it’s also important to store your own food safely so they cannot reach it. Bringing along binoculars is a great way to observe wildlife from a safe distance.
7. Be considerate of other visitors
Sharing is caring. Nature belongs to us all. Other humans and wildlife need to share the space with you. It’s important to respect your surroundings but also respect others. Keep your bright lights and music to a considerate level for your neighbours who are also wanting to enjoy the peace and serenity of the outdoors. Bright lights can also affect animal’s night time experience. Limit the use of generators at night and early in the morning.
There are the 7 key principles to leaving no trace. Be considerate and mindful in your travels. This will leave the natural space in pristine condition for years to come.