Leave More Trace
Keywords:Environmental education, education for sustainability, environmental citizenship
Outdoor educators are adapting practices to respond to the priorities of education for sustainability. New practices are emerging or adopted from elsewhere. In Europe, the American recreational movement of Leave No Trace (LNT) has influenced environmental education programs. LNT has been criticized for encouraging a reduction in environmental impact in wilderness areas while ignoring the more significant impacts of equipment purchase, travel, and modern lifestyles. This paper extends the critiques of LNT, suggesting that it encourages attitudes of a separation from nature. It suggests that the LNT concept is unrealistic and unhelpful in Europe, where most landscapes have experienced the impact of humans for millennia. Inspired by European approaches of human–nature relations, and at a time of need for significant environmental changes, I suggest that educational programs seeking to connect people with nature encourage people to “leave more trace” or, perhaps, to “consider their trace” instead.
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