It’s likely that if you’ve ever visited a local or state park, you’ve been aware that there is a common “pack in, pack out” rule. That means, anything, including waste, that you bring into a park, you must also remove from the park when you leave. Smaller community parks often offer trash bins and recycling containers for your waste. Conserving the natural habitat through personal responsibility in and outside parks is crucial. You can practice park conservation from your home, as well as while you’re visiting the pristine landscape of a national, state, or local park. Here are some ways you can help to do your part in conserving our parks.
Leave No Trace
When you visit a park, make sure you take anything you’ve brought with you when you leave. Trash and litter left behind can harm wildlife and the natural environment of the parks, so picking up after yourself is critical to conservation. Additionally, if you see debris and trash during your next visit, do your part and pick it up.
Donate or Fundraise
Fundraising and donations can help sustain and promote the conservation of parks all across the country. Donations fund projects and sustainability initiatives at local, state, and national levels. Funding can help facilitate programs in the community, rehab or add playgrounds to parks, and simply help to maintain the grounds.
Reduce Your Footprint
The idea of “saving the environment” can be overwhelming. People often think they need to do all or nothing in their commitment to helping the environment, but then get frustrated by the challenge. However, simple, small changes can also make a big difference in your environmental footprint. Some easy changes that help our parks are:
- Invest in some reusable items like bottles, bags, and utensils.
- Use fewer straws or invest in a reusable straw that you can carry with you.
- Use the air dryer in a restroom instead of paper towels.
- Compost and recycle.
- Switch to bar toiletries like soap and shampoo instead of options that come in plastic containers.
Conserving our parks goes beyond simply visiting and promoting these essential natural environments. You can do your part in and outside the parks all year round!