Today, Monday, is blog action day. Bloggers all over the country are blogging about the environment. I always prefer local flavor when I write posts, because I think that is why people read this blog. A few weeks ago I wrote about the Summit County ski areas using wind power to run ski lifts, and I had planned another during hiking season called “Leave no Trace.” I never did write it, so thought I would do it for blog action day. It ended up being a little different than what I had originally planned. Here it is:
In Summit County, Colorado we are very aware of our environment and how we might protect it. We have a wonderful recycling program in Summit County and most people are very conscious about disposing of their trash and recycling properly. So why do people (are they visitors or residents?) insist on throwing their cigarette butts out the car window when we have trees that are dry and flammable? Why do others dump their trash out the door of their trucks? Beer cans, McDonald’s cups and WalMart bags go flying in the wind. Some very dedicated people, including the Over the Hill Gang, a ski club at Copper Mountain, pick up trash a couple of times a year along I-70. Why should it even be necessary?
Leave no trace is a motto that has been used for years to encourage hikers and campers to pack out their trash and leave nothing but footprints behind. I hike frequently, and seldom see any trash once I am past the trailhead. Even people with dogs bring their “mutt mitts” with them and clean up after their pets. Those of us who enjoy the outdoors in the high country got the “leave no trace” message long ago and we are putting it into practice. Most are so aware of hiking etiquette that we walk single file so as not to make the trail wider than necessary and damage the fragile alpine tundra or the wildflowers.
Perhaps we should post “leave no trace” signs along the highway and at rest stops. Parking lots and pullover areas along our state and county roads could benefit from them. I would love to have a big “litterbug!” sign that I could wave from my car window as I drive in the lane next to the truck that has trash flying out of the back while they drive, oblivious, down the road. Of course, if they cared, they would cover the stuff in the back, so all the sign would do is make me feel better! What is your pet peeve when it comes to the environment, and what can we do it fix it?
Looking for other ways to improve the environment? Read another blog post, this one about new habits to start.