It is tough to have a zero-carbon footprint nowadays. Everything we eat, the products we use and throw it negatively affects the planets. This doesn’t mean, however, that we can’t strive to do our best as environmentally friendly people.
Hiking is one of the eco-friendliest activities we can do. But even then, the environment can be damaged. Here are six things to do to be environmentally friendly while hiking.
Do not deviate from the trail path
On these hikes, there will be a marked trail. Stay on the trail as much as you can. There are many reasons for this. The first reason is safety. You are out in nature, and with erosion, there can be unstable areas and drop-offs. You can also get lost if you are not careful. One misstep, and you can be injured or worse.
From an environmentally friendly standpoint, the biggest reason is to respect nature. Moss is best if it is untouched. All it sometimes takes is one step to kill the moss. Every step disrupts the natural ecosystem in the area. The picture you are going to take is not worth it, unfortunately.
This one is obvious. The sad reality is there is litter on so many hiking trails. People bring plastic bottles and snacks with them to keep their energy up during a hike. But instead of putting the garbage into their backpack, they throw it on the ground. Be careful with cigarette butt as the ash could spark a fire.
Be responsible when lighting fires
Sometimes it is necessary to make a campfire. If you are spending the night, and it is cold, or you need to cook food using it, you will need to make a campfire. It is also a great feeling sitting in front of a campfire in nature. However, it is crucial to take care of the fire that you make.
Wendel Abraham, a travel blogger for Essayroo and Australian Help, offers a tip. “If there is a fire ban or warning, please abide by it. There may be times in the year where fires are not allowed because of how dry the area is. If you can make a fire, then create a proper pit and keep the size of the flame to a minimum.”
Be mindful with water consumption
If you are feeling a little tired from your hike, it is natural to guzzle water. The problem with that is you may go through your water supply quickly. If you bring bottled water with you, then you will end up using a lot of them. The more bottled water, the bigger the carbon footprint.
A fantastic purchase to make is a refillable water bottle and a filter. There are some high-quality UV filters out there that will take contaminates out of natural water you find. By getting this, you will save money in the long run and also be more environmentally conscious.
Brianne Jules, a lifestyle writer for Paper Fellows and State of Writing, says, “you can use a water bottle and filter at home as well. Drinking tap water after filtering it is as sustainable as it gets in everyday life.”
Understand your limits
Hiking is a great sport because it allows all levels of athletes. There are hiking routes for all ages and abilities. It is essential to know where you fall on the spectrum. The worst-case scenario is having to call emergency services to rescue you because you went on an adventure that was way over your head. If you end up doing this, it will have a substantial monetary and environmental cost.
Respect the wildlife
It is exciting to spot a deer or maybe something more exotic. It is essential to respect wildlife and their boundaries. Do not chase after an animal to take a picture or, worse, pet it. They are in their natural habitat, and minimal human interaction is the best. You may scare the animal to the point where they do something erratic. Every unconventional move from wildlife can hurt the environment. It may pull up plants, break parts of a tree, or, worse, injure itself.
Follow this guide about being environmentally conscious when hiking. Enjoy hiking outdoors and keeping your environmental impact to a minimum.
A lifestyle and travel writer for Academized and UK Writings, Ellie Coverdale creates a lot of content. She has experienced a lot in her travels and enjoys sharing her learned lessons in her writing. The central theme she writes about is harnessing adventure in your everyday life. In her available time, she is a writer and teacher for Boom Essays.