Responsible travel doesn’t stop with just looking both ways before crossing the street or obeying traffic laws when getting to your destination. It is a far larger picture, one many do not regard when thinking of responsible camping.
It never fails; I go on a trip and find ruminants of another camper, which had been there before me. They did not remember the golden rule of camping “trash in trash out”. In other words, if you bring it there you need to take it away in all regards, being not only your supplies but also your trash. Typical campgrounds and recreational sites always have proper waste areas for discarding items safely, however some people would rather leave something 2 feet out of reach from a trash can than merely bend over and pick it up.
If you are camping, it is your responsibility to not only enjoy your trip but also enjoy to make sure others can enjoy it for years to come. But it isn’t just about the people that come after you, it is about the land itself and the animals that call it home.
A simple piece of trash left behind from a piece of gum to a plastic wrapper can impact an entire community of animals. From poisoning water sources to choking animals the impact shockwave could vary from the very minimal to the absolute devastation.
Local beaches are littered with waste dropped from not only beach goers but also ships that dispose of items which later get caught in the tide and wash ashore. Animals are littered on coasts from contaminants or attempting to eat items which are not in fact food sources but trash left behind by tourists not wanting to account for their responsibilities.
Forests are not impervious to the backlash either as birds get caught in plastics and are rendered unable to fly, large animals consume items while forging that choke them and lead to pain and suffering and vegetation is killed by those choosing to not dispose of items correctly.
When planning a trip of any kind, always remember if you take it in to take it out, leave the environment around you as it was when you arrived and be mindful that you are a guest in someone else’s home, though it might not be a person, without the animals and vegetation around us we do not have the ecosystem which supports us on a daily basis.