Leave No Trace e-News                          January 2009
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Every January, I am amazed by how fast the previous year seemed to pass. What happened to all that time I was going to spend exercising? Volunteering? Getting organized? Did I follow through on any of the resolutions that I made?

I'm finally realizing that change most often happens when I take small, manageable steps towards a goal that is important to me.

As you look forward to the coming year and your own goals, consider the small steps that you can take to promote the mission of Leave No Trace. Spend an hour with a child on an outdoor adventure. Pick up trash while you are out on the trail or at your local park. Tell three friends why to you are a member of Leave No Trace. While these things might not seem life-changing, together they add up to make a big difference and a real, lasting impact.

In the words of anthropologist Margaret Mead, "Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it's the only thing that ever has."

Have a happy and healthy 2009!

Katie Jones
Information Coordinator
eNews You Can Use

Welcome to 2009! Last year, the Education Department received numerous questions and comments that enhanced our level of communication of the Leave No Trace philosophy, scientific framework and practice to all of you. We look forward to another year of your insightful feedback and begin with our first question of the year.

Stay tuned for more as the year progresses!

Dear Education Department:

I am a student majoring in Outdoor Recreation and Sustainable Business. I work in my university's Outdoor Recreation Program, where I learned about the educational nonprofit Leave No Trace Center for Outdoor Ethics.

I'm contacting you in conjunction with a research paper I'm composing about environmental organizations. The goal of the paper is to build a comprehensive overview of all organizations involved with the great outdoors, from gear retailers to conservation and education groups, trip-leading programs, university affiliated programs, etc.

My question for you is this: How does Leave No Trace fit into this puzzle?  I would deeply appreciate any information or insight you could provide me.

Inquisitive Student

Dear Inquisitive Student,

Thanks for your interest in Leave No Trace. While your question encompasses a lot, we'll do our best to answer it for you:

The Leave No Trace concept is one that crosses all boundaries of the recreation spectrum and is applicable for anyone who enjoys spending time in the out of doors. The idea is simple - leave the places you enjoy as good or better than you found them.
There are both skills and ethics involved as well as good decision-making. We believe that if people do something, even something simple, to help take care of the recreational resources they cherish, we will all benefit. Cleaner water, fewer campfire impacts, fewer negative encounters with wildlife, and less damage/loss of cultural and historic artifacts are just a few of the benefits of adhering to Leave No Trace.

Leave No Trace is a universal philosophy that can easily be made part of any outdoor experience. The very nature of Leave No Trace lends itself to fostering a cooperative spirit of stewardship. From federal land management agencies to outdoor equipment manufacturers to NGO's to outfitter and guide services to local governments to individuals, Leave No Trace is the common denominator that leads us all towards the goal of enjoying the outdoors responsibly.

If you have more specific questions we'd be happy to assist you. Good luck with your research paper!

The Education Department

Leave No Trace Giving Guide

storeNew PEAK and TEEN Activity Modules have arrived! 

These new modules are sure to add a little variety to your teaching presentations this year.  Both English and Spanish versions are available. See below for a coupon good in the month of January: 20% off retail in our online store.

New PEAK Modules
Leave No Trace Relay Race
This module allows participants to practice putting Leave No Trace into action! Teams complete an obstacle course of stations representing the seven principles.

Trek and Tracks' Great Adventure
This module introduces participants to the Leave No Trace principles through an interactive story for younger audiences.  Trek and Track go on an adventure to Misty Mountain where they encounter various friends (PEAK characters) along the way who help them to Leave No Trace.

New Teen Modules
Team Challenge: Surface Hopscotch
This module introduces participants to the principle Choose the Right Path. Teams have to travel from Start to Finish on a "trail" of cards presenting them with various Leave No Trace scenarios. Teams have to make decisions to Choose the Right Path to continue on the trail.

Quiet on the Set
This module helps participants understand the different ways that we can affect another visitor's experience while outdoors, whether on a hiking trail or in a park. Participants are creating a "movie" about Leave No Trace and several participants serve as actors and film editors.

Save 20%

New PEAK and TEEN Activity Modules are here!  For the Month of January, you can purchase them for 20% off retail in our online store. Both English and Spanish versions are available.

Get yours today at the Leave No Trace online store!

Offer Expires: February 1st, 2009.

Road Wisdom
Contributed by JD Tanner & Emily Ressler
Subaru/Leave No Trace Traveling Trainers

How Long Does It LastWe recently wrapped up our off-season break and jumped into the Subaru to head back to work.  During our drive back to the office in Boulder, we noticed all the litter that had been discarded along the interstate.  This reminded us of one of our favorite activities that we play with children and adults.  "How Long Does It Last", featured below, is a great way to start out the 2009 Road Wisdom season.  So here it goes...

If the following items are discarded outside (some environments like deserts will see different decomposition rates) and not picked up by anyone, about how long will it take for them to decompose?

1. About how long will it take for a plastic water bottle to decompose?
    A.    20 years
    B.    50 years
    C.    250 years
    D.    500 years

2. About how long will it take for a glass bottle to decompose?
    A.    5 years
    B.    50 years
    C.    500 years
    D.    Never

3. About how long will it take for an aluminum can to decompose?
    A.    8 years
    B.    75 years
    C.    120 years
    D.    500 years

Answers: 1. D, 2. D, 3. C

Follow JD & Emily as they begin their third season
as Subaru/Leave No Trace Traveling Trainer Season!

My Backyard

As the New Year unfolds, many of us enjoy the time of new beginnings and renewal.  Maybe you've already crafted your list of New Years resolutions, and even better, maybe you've already started cracking away at them. 

It's not too late to incorporate Leave No Trace in your year's plan!  I encourage you all to devote an hour, a day, a weekend or maybe more to Leave No Trace this year.  Here are some ways you can bring Leave No Trace into your life:
  • Share Leave No Trace with a neighbor or family member.
  • Attend an Awareness Workshop, and check for other events in your area by visiting your state on our Community page.
  • Become a member.
  • Apply for an educational grant.
  • Share your stories of Leave No Trace with the Center. Send us pictures, poems, stories and trip reports, and we'll post them on the Community blog highlighting your year's successes. 
For even more ideas, visit our website or contact your local State Advocate.  We can't wait to hear how you get connected and get involved.  Happy New Year from Leave No Trace!
Membership Benefit Highlight
Subaru The Deal Just Got Sweeter: VIP Partners Program through Subaru

Did you know that members (for a minimum of six months) of Leave No Trace Center for Outdoor Ethics can save up to $3,300 on the purchase or lease of a new Subaru with the VIP Partners Program?

Not only is this a great deal for you, it also provides valuable support for Leave No Trace Center for Outdoor Ethics. For every Leave No Trace member who purchases a Subaru vehicle, Subaru will donate $100 to support the Center's work promoting responsible outdoor recreation!

Please contact the Leave No Trace Center for Outdoor Ethics office for program details, (800) 332-4100, BEFORE visiting your local Subaru dealer.

Take Advantage of your Membership! For more on this benefit and others, please visit our Membership Page.

Moved? Moving?
Changing things up?

Please keep your email and mailing addresses current!

is another step the Center is making toward a more consistent online communication for our community, in an effort to conserve resources and our planet!  Please help us by e-mailing info@LNT.org to update your records.