Recently having a connection to our environment has become increasingly popular. This stems from the disconnect we have with the environment on a day to day basis when we are all plugged into various devices, updating our statuses on social media and watching the all-important hilarious cat videos on YouTube. The need we feel to unplug ourselves from our computers, phones and social media has fuelled the need we feel to go ‘off grid’, have a ‘digital detox and simply just get outside. So the necessity to protect our environment is more important than ever.
EOCA uses the mantra ‘Leave only footprints, take only photographs, keep only memories’. EOCA’s mantra reminds us that the future enjoyment of our environment is down to us, ultimately if we want to continue to play in nature’s playground then we must take steps to protect it.
For those of you who don’t know who the European Outdoor Conservation Association (EOCA) are or what they do, EOCA is a group of businesses in the European outdoor industry who raise money to put into conservation projects worldwide, giving back to the great outdoors and helping towards the protection of our environment. In their first 12 years of existence, they supported 100 projects raising over £2.1 million.
The steps that we take to protect our environment can be just that ‘steps’, no matter how big or small we can all definitely do more. EOCA has some basic advice that we can all follow when you are tuning out and enjoying the great outdoors:
- Keep safe – plan ahead and be prepared.
- Be mindful of locals – park thoughtfully, and keep dogs under close control.
- Co-operate with farmers and other landowners and managers.
- Respect and leave undisturbed the natural habitats and wildlife you come across.
- Preserve the past – do not remove or tamper with historical structures.
- Respect and be courteous to other outdoor users. Minimise your impact on their ‘natural experience’.
- Take home your litter and waste or dispose of it responsibly.
- Check and follow the laws and codes of conduct established in your country for the activity you are planning to undertake.