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People Picking up trash

Home Trash / April 20, 2019

It's real easy to like something on Facebook or Twitter, but Boulder-based open space advocacy group Leave No Trace Center for Outdoor Ethics wants to encourage people to move past that kind of "slacktivism" and do something for the environment during Earth Week.

And to encourage a younger demographic, they are doing it via Instagram, a social media site dedicated to posting photographs.

Earth Week begins on Monday, and Leave No Trace is asking people to pick up a piece of trash on public open space, photograph themselves with it, tag @LeaveNoTraceCenter and use the hashtag #LeaveNoTrash.

"My hope, from a personal point of view, is more people around my age will be aware of what Leave No Trace is, " said Ailsa Walsh, development and membership coordinator for Leave No Trace.

"If you take a photo, you are at the very least thinking, why am I taking a photo?" Walsh said. "Why am I using the hashtag? It may mean they are a little more aware and a little more engaged."

Walsh said her organization has about 15, 000 followers on Instagram, and she hopes to see that increase by the end of the week.

Earth Week culminates in Earth Day on April 22, during which Earth Day March for Science events are planned throughout the country as a rebuke against the environmental policies of President Donald Trump's Administration.

Leave No Trace is a national organization based in Boulder that devotes itself to educating people across the country on how to responsibly use public lands that are primarily used for recreational activities.

Ben Lawhon, education director at Leave No Trace, said that most of the littering and other abuse of public lands doesn't begin in any malicious way. He added that the point of his organization isn't to make anything about right and wrong but to educate people to be good stewards of public lands.

"Most people don't wake up and say, 'How can I hurt the environment today?'" Lawhon said. "We are trying to generate awareness. If you leave your dog's bag of poop, it's not going to go away."