Environmental Conservation Starts With You

Humans have long been the greatest threat to this planet’s biodiversity. That is why we are said to be living in the Anthropocene – the years wherein the Earth’s atmosphere, geology, biosphere, and ecosystems have been most greatly impacted by the presence of Homo sapiens.

In addressing our destructive capacity, though, we neglect humanity’s ability to aid Nature in its healing process. South Africa, for example, has already reduced its paper waste by 70% – three years ahead of schedule. When you visit any of our camps, you, too, can take steps towards preserving the ecosystems that you step into. All you have to do is try.

Do Not Litter

At an EcoTraining camp, you will be reunited with the natural world around you. You will be encouraged to forge strong bonds with the ecology around you – but it’s also essential that you leave no trace of yourself behind on the land you visit. Littering – the careless leaving of trash, recyclables, cigarette butts, or other materials on the side of the road or in any natural ecosystem – introduces unfamiliar materials to environments that do not naturally include said materials. When you disrupt an environment like this with cans or something similar, not only do you compromise the beauty of the space you’re in, you threaten the local wildlife and flora. Plastic waste, for example, takes a thousand years to decompose, meaning that it will be an unnatural inclusion in any environment it is left in for quite some time. As a protector of the environment, you must lead by example.

Seek Out the Sustainable

A protector of the environment will not only reduce the amount of waste she rids herself of on a daily basis, she will seek out goods that she can reuse. When you come to an EcoTraining camp, bring the sustainable with you. Single-use plastic bags, for example, can be replaced by resin substitutes, because resin is considered a viable bioplastic. By reducing the number of plastic bags in circulation, not only do you reduce the amount of litter likely to end up on the side of the road, but you encourage a sustainable trend that can be seized upon by a broader consumer community.

Reach Out to Your Community

Finally, understand that to combat the Anthropocene and its effects, we must work together. You come to an EcoTraining camp not only to improve yourself but to learn how to serve as a guide for others. You do so, too, among a community of people. Work with the peers in your courses in order to brainstorm responses to the contamination of groundwater or the persistent poaching of our wildlife. Seek out those connections that are most important to you, and you’ll be able to work with similarly-minded people to achieve your sustainable goals.

Litter picked up along the Luvuvhu river during a morning walk (c) Jasper Visser

EcoTraining encourages you and those you go on to teach how to maintain our way of life and preserve a relationship with the environment that is mutually beneficial. Take into account your own behaviour, though, before you begin teaching others. Change must start with you. From there, it can move through generations.