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Going Green in the Great Outdoors

Every year national park visitors generate 100 million pounds of garbage in the United States alone. From food wrappers to single-use plastic water bottles, nature is facing a problem and it’s up to us to fix it!

Keep hiking trails and camping grounds clean is pretty simple, but we have a few tips that will make your next outing as green as can be!

Stay on designated paths and camping grounds

While you may feel a little more inclined to explore once in the great outdoors, it’s important to respect posted signs and out-of-bound areas. These are often set for your and the land’s wellbeing and safety and keep wildlife from harm.

Say NO to Single-Use Plastic

At, we’re fans of reusable water bottles, coffee mugs, plates, straws, snack bags … the list goes on! We believe single-use plastics are a thing of the past and encourage packing your essentials in reusable containers.

[Related: Eco-friendly Habits to Start this Week]

Opt for biodegradable items

Though we encourage reusable items, sometimes, it’s not feasible or it’s a last-minute buy—it happens! For these occasions, go with biodegradable items that will cause as little impact on the environment as possible, such as biodegradable soap, plates & utensils, or DEET-free bug spray.

Take It Home

Always pack a container for trash and at the end of your trip, be sure to pack it up and throw it away in a designated location.

Hiking trash out of Deep Creek Hot Springs. (Forest Service photo by Edgar Garcia)

“The actions we take now, whether it’s drinking from reusable water bottles instead of buying plastic ones or taking out what you take into the park, will make an impact for generations to come,” says Theresa Pierno, president and CEO of National Parks Conservation Association.’s Project Peril and Madrean Discovery Expeditions works with partners around the globe to ensure we protect the world’s habitats and the wildlife that lives within them. In fact, thanks to your support we’ve been able to clean coral reefs, transform waste into resource on the Tohono O’odham Nation, and record new findings in the Madrean Archipelago.

Explore the outdoors, be one with nature, but leave as if you’d never even been there.

[Related: Celebrating Earth Day Every Day]