Eco-trekking: Treading lightly.

By: Tiya

Imagine, if in the course of a trek in a pristine part of the country, you dropped two toffee wrappers, your partner left a bit of toilet paper on the trail, your guide set up a campfire each night and your kids collected a small fossil or rock each. Suppose that particular trail attracts a hundred small groups every year, which behaved in exactly the same manner as your group. Now, suppose you returned after ten years, would you find the environs as pristine? Before you grumble to your friends abort the devastation, remember two of the two thousand toffee wrappers littered on the track were yours. No matter how small the offence seems it all adds up. Remember to leave nothing but your footprints.

• Travel in groups of not more than four. Larger groups make a larger mess. If in a large group, walk in a single file on the track rather than abreast to avoid trampling on flowers and ferns.
• Don’t make a noise. The Great Indian Holiday often means a blaring tape player and lots of screaming and shouting. Remember, you left the city to experience something different. Listen to the wind and the rustling of leaves instead. Other on the trail will thank you.
• Respect wildlife. View birds and animals from a distance. Animals find quick movements and loud noise stressful. If you scare them by making a noise, they will tend to avoid that area, spoiling it for animal lovers.
Leave areas as you found them. Camp, wherever possible, at campsites used by others instead of trying to clear the ground for a new campsite.

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