Spending time outdoors is great for both your mental and physical health, and it’s a lot of fun. But even with all that nature offers us, it’s important to recognize our own impact on the environment and spaces we enjoy when heading outdoors—and do our best to minimize it. For nearly 150 years, AMC…

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  Health and safety go hand in hand with humans’ environmental impact. By planning a trip ahead of time, you consider all the factors that go into its success and identify ways to lessen your impact on the areas you plan to visit. “The impacts of poor planning can be significant,” says Alex Delucia, Leave…

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  When spending time outdoors, it’s important to minimize your impacts on the fragile ecosystem you are visiting. Take the Alpine Garden just below Mount Washington’s summit: among the boulders grow Alpine azaleas and Lapland rosebay, small but essential plants that may withstand the mountain’s famously strong winds, but not the tread of hiking boots….

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  Released from factories, powerplants, and vehicles, toxic particles and chemicals can have detrimental effects on both human health and the environment—yet it wasn’t until 1970 that the United States started regulating how much of these pollutants can be emitted into the atmosphere. Today, scientists are still learning about the long-term effects of air pollution,…

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  According to Leave No Trace principles, anything that does not belong in nature in the first place should be carried out. This “pack in, pack out” philosophy applies to trash and food waste, human and domesticated animal waste, soaps, lotions, and other products. “Human waste is a hazard to public health and also attracts…

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  Eileen Yin spent most of her spring online with AMC. A long-time volunteer with the organization’s New York–North Jersey Chapter, Yin has dedicated much of her free time to planning and leading trips for her chapter, providing a space for members to socialize, try new activities, or just be outdoors. “AMC made a big…

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Most birds start singing just before sunrise, and in June, that means 4 a.m. Dave Cowan had already cleaned up his campsite and was close to the summit of Maine’s Baker Mountain when he heard a flute-like “shreee.” “It was a Bicknell’s thrush,” Cowan, a longtime volunteer for the Vermont Center for Ecostudies Mountain Birdwatch…

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  Measuring a person’s carbon footprint includes a number of factors. Choices we make, from the food we eat, to the products we use and industries we support, to the distances we travel, play into the amount of greenhouse gases we add into the atmosphere. These greenhouse gases, including carbon dioxide, methane, and nitrous oxide,…

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One of every three bites of food we eat comes from a plant that was pollinated by something. Despite their size, pollinators—those tiny bees, birds, bats, and insects that aid in the reproduction of plants by carrying pollen from one flower to another—are vital to the success of a healthy ecosystem. “We’ve come to a…

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  Every day, the average American family uses 300 gallons of drinking water, for consumption, bathing, cooking, laundry, and other household chores, according to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Where that water originates and how it is cleaned are questions we rarely consider, though, and we forget that much of the process starts at the…

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