Follow by Email

Wednesday, April 25, 2018

If You Pick It Up - Then Put It Back - Did You Litter?

Here is a topic I have fun with that is actually serious.  I think of my friend Roxy “A Nomad For Nature” when I think of our environment and how we interact with it.  She often blogs on how people trash areas where she lookscto camp. 

Above, I am walking the dunes at Assateague Mational Seashore in Maryland and there is a crushed aluminum can that it appears others had left and yet others passed by.

I was hiking with a friend a few years ago and I fostered a debate about seeing something and if you pick it up and look at it and then put it back would that be littering?

It brings up some interesting questions about beliefs.  I guess when we walk by what is obvious trash, we are complacent. If we touch it, kick it, or otherwise move it do we take on greater responsibility to do something about it.

I only bring up this issue because I hike a lot and play disc golf a lot too.  I run across discarded items all the time.  A recent hike with a friend in Utah we came across a 1950’s car hood.  Certainly not something I’m going to carry out of the wash and deal with.

There is usually room in my backpack and as such I pick up trash when I can.  Since I don’t trash the environment all I can do is leave my hike or round of disc golf cleaner than the way I found it.

You have the same choice too.  Will you be part of the solution and pick up a few things when your out in nature like I and my friends do?

Go ahead and touch it, and once you do, putting it down will having you think of this blog and carry it back and put it in the trash.

I know we didn’t create the trash, but we can be part of the solution. Carry a trash bag with you.



  1. I think that the second we touch a piece of trash, we become the new owners, and it becomes our responsibility. Same goes for campsites. When we move in, and there is trash, it becomes our responsibility (within reason). If we don't pick up what we can, and then leave, we are the ones that have left a trashed campsite behind.

    1. Roxy,

      Your right. We all need to develop that philosophy.

      We just all need to jump in and just do it.

      A plastic bag blew across the field where we had a recent gathering. The trees on the side of the field caught it. I didn’t know who’s it was but I walked over and retrieved it.

      The wildlife management folks are nice enough to let us use the site free of charge so I often pick up trash from fishermen that frequent there.

      I want to preserve our future ability to gather there. It’s kind of protecting our interest.