Freedom's Frontier Heritage Traveler

Trash Your Trash

View of Westport Battlefield at Swope Park unspoiled by trash.

View of Westport Battlefield at Swope Park unspoiled by trash.

Don’t be a litter bug! Packing your trash out of a natural or historic area may be an inconvenience to you, but not doing it ruins the experience for someone else. The Leave No Trace Center for Outdoor Ethics makes the following recommendations for campers to dispose of waste properly:

  • Pack it in, pack it out. Inspect your campsite and rest areas for trash or spilled foods. Pack out all trash, leftover food and litter.
  • Deposit solid human waste in catholes dug 6 to 8 inches deep, at least 200 feet from water, camp and trails. Cover and disguise the cathole when finished.
  • Pack out toilet paper and hygiene products.
  • To wash yourself or your dishes, carry water 200 feet away from streams or lakes and use small amounts of biodegradable soap. Scatter strained dishwater.

Under normal circumstances, it takes two to four weeks for a paper towel to decompose, one to five years for a cigarette butt, ten to twenty years for a plastic bag and approximately five hundred years for a plastic soda bottle. With that kind of shelf-life on our garbage, imagine what the view would be like from a scenic overlook if no one trashed their trash!

As you’re visiting the heritage area, remember to properly dispose of your trash. You can even go one better by picking up and disposing of litter that you come across. When we all pitch in, we can ensure that everyone can enjoy the views for years to come.

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This entry was posted on August 28, 2015 by in 9 and 99.

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