I know what you may be thinking – but, no, the ‘garbage bag’ in this title is not a euphemism for a friend or family member who regularly hikes with me.
Recently, I’ve started to bring a bag with me when I go out hiking – filling it up during my wanderings with the discarded refuse left along the trail or road side. Although my conscious mind rebels at the act – I’m just moving trash from one part of the earth to another, and in a plastic bag, no less! – I want to beautify the natural landscapes that we all take pleasure in.
I had a great experience on my very first hike out with a garbage bag as my companion. I was hiking at rare Charitable Research Reserve on the south trails, closer to the Grand River. I had found quite a deposit of trash that had fallen down the hill and was along the banks of the River. Twice, I passed a young boy and his father, out for a hike with their dog. On our second passing, the father and I exchanged a few words.
“You’ve inspired my son to bring a garbage bag next time we’re out!” He told me with a smile.
I was floored. Just one outing with my trusty new companion and other people were already catching the excitement! Of course, children are very thoughtful and noble creatures. This young boy was exploring his own environmental consciousness. I was incredibly pleased.
I would encourage you to consider also bringing a garbage bag out with you during your hikes! It’s so easy, and can spread further the initiative in other people to do the same on their hikes.