This Week, I got to get out and Explore in the Harz quite a bit. It really enjoyed it to spend some Time in Nature. Doing Photography there was also a lot of Fun.
I also, to my dismay, found some Trash again. Mind you, it was not as much as there was in the Past on some occasions, but in my Opinion any Piece of Garbage out in Nature is one too much.
Off Course everyone should be able to enjoy Nature, but it is easy to do so in a respectful, non-destructive Way.
Taking your Trash back out of the Woods with you should be a non-issue, but apparently it is. Glass Shards can cause Wildfires. Animals may see our Trash as convenient Sources of Food, and they might get sick.
All that Refuse somehow came into the Woods, and it should be normal behaviour for People to take everything they brought back with them and leave nothing behind. It really is that easy.
For any Wildlife, it is important to stay away from People in order to stay alive. Feeding them to get Fotos, or just because they are cute, should be considered Animal Cruelty in my Opinion.
Animals that get accustomed to getting Food from Humans tend to come to close for their good. That is especially true when they are fed out of Cars and unlearn to stay away from Traffic. That is how Bambi dies.
Also, most modern Food is full of Sugar and Chemicals that are definitely not good for Animals. They can get sick from what we eat every Day. Especially Chocolate is poison to them.
It is also very important to not destroy the local Plant Life where ever you should go to Explore Nature. Especially in National Parks, but also every else, it is definitely better to stick to the Trails. That also protects Animals who might be hiding out in the Undergrowth.
Where it is allowed, you can off Course forage for Mushrooms and Wild Herbs, but you should never take more than you need for yourself. Also, do not pick anything that grows in very little Numbers or that is endangered.
Always check out the local Regulations beforehand, as Mistakes can be harmful to Nature and also sometimes come with a hefty Fine.
There are many beautiful Things along Hiking Trails, and leaving those might actually lead you into Danger.
Here in the Harz for example, there are a lot of Abraumhalden and other Relics of the Mining History, as well as leftovers from the German Boarder and World War II.
There is also always the possibility of sudden Drops hidden in the Bushes, and no one wants to Fall down some whole in the ground.
Everyone has the Right to enjoy Nature. But for that to be possible, we all have to treat it with the necessary Consideration and Respect.
#LeaveNoTrace means exactly that. Leave Nature behind just as you found it, or even better without any the Trash that you come across.
It is easy to stick to official Paths, take your Trash with you and leave Flora and Fauna alone. Also, do not light any Fires where it is not explicitly allowed. Just assume that it is forbidden anywhere else. It usually is.
(I have no affiliation with the Leave No Trace Center for Outdoor Ethics. Learn more about their 7 Principles on lnt.org.)