Some people acknowledge the need to conserve and protect the environment, but do not know basic practices to support such principle while visiting a natural area or when preparing for such visit. Below you will find basic eco-friendly guidelines that you may apply in relation to your next visit to a natural area.
Basic Eco-Friendly Guidelines:
1) Bring Your Nondisposable Garbage Bag
Bring a small bag for solid waste disposal during your exploration in the natural area. Waste containers or recycling bins may not have been placed along the trails or paths in the natural area. In some instances, these containers or bins are located at the starting point of the path; however, you will need the small bag to dispose your garbage while you are discovering the area.
For the selection of the small bag, we suggest browsing among inexpensive and nondisposable bags you rarely use and designate one of these as your garbage-disposal bag. If you don’t have one at home, we suggest buying one rather than using a disposable bag every time you explore a natural area. Since you will not need to dispose your bag, you will contribute to minimize solid waste generation.
2) Do Your Bit to Keep a Clean Area
If you see solid waste on the ground, please put it in your own garbage-disposal bag or in nearby solid waste containers or recycling bins, as applicable. The garbage found might have been generated by other people, but the habitat is waiting for you to help keep it clean.
3) Respect the Natural Area’s Plants and Animal Life
Leave the flora and fauna in the natural area.
4) Use Reusable Water Bottles or a Water-Bag Backpack
The use of reusable water bottles minimizes garbage disposal and contributes to environmental conservation. Since it is important to stay hydrated during your exploration, we suggest packing a big water bottle, or more than one regular-size water bottles. If you don’t have water bottles, buy those made from recyclable material.
Depending on the outdoor recreation activity, a backpack with a water bag may be a better option. If you decide to buy this type of backpack, make sure it allows packing all the stuff you need for recreations, including the garbage-disposal bag that eventually may be stuffed.
5) Pack Your Food in a Reusable Food Storage Container
Use reusable food storage containers to pack your food. If you need to buy a food storage container, buy one made from recyclable material.
6) Foster Your Family and Friends to Apply the Basic Eco-Friendly Guidelines
Share in advance these basic eco-friendly guidelines with your family members and friends who will be accompanying you during the trip. Foster them to implement the eco-friendly guidelines.
If you plan to visit a natural area along with kids, let them know in advance the importance for everyone to contribute to the conservation of the natural area. Inform the kids that you will be implementing the eco-friendly guidelines described herein and that you expect them to comply those applicable to them as well as the rules that may be informed by the tour provider, if any. For instance, tell the kids the need to respect the habitat and its living organisms; and thus, leave the flora and fauna in the natural area discovered.
7) Exhort Other Visitors to Care for the Environment
If you see other visitors engaging in actions that may be harmful to the ecosystem, let them know that such actions do not help protect the natural area and the ecosystem, and kindly exhort them to stop the detrimental activity. Sometimes people do not know that a particular action may harm the environment.
The application of these basic eco-friendly guidelines is a start to become nature’s partner. Engaging in practices to maintain a natural area clean, to minimize waste generation and to respect the flora and fauna support keeping nature and its resources beautiful, radiant and alive. So, safeguarding nature benefits both the natural resources and visitors like you. All that is needed from you is a start and commitment.