Trash Free Trails are asking the outdoor community to #LeaveAPositiveTrace with the people and places they pass through, whilst developing a feeling of kinship with the world around them this summer.
The #LeaveAPositiveTrace activation is a response to ‘Nature Deficit Disorder’ – a term developed to describe the effects of disconnection from nature. Trash Free Trails believe that this ‘disconnection’ may be one of the key drivers of environmentally damaging behaviour and mental health issues as the latest studies by National Trust show shocking results:
- Less than 10% of children regularly play outdoors in green spaces (National Trust., 2012)
- Less than 20% display a sense of connection to nature (National Trust.’, 2012).
- More than 30% of adults are unaware of what the term ‘biodiversity’ means (EEA., 2021)
- Instances of littering on the UK’s parks, beaches, trails and wild places are rising (Birch et al., 2020).
Addressing behaviour such as littering and encouraging reconnection with the environment in early childhood is a core element of Trash Free Trails’ mission. They believe that the side effects of disconnection from nature are that common mental health disorders such as anxiety, depression and mental disorder ADHD have risen by 13% globally in a decade. This is exactly where the #LeaveAPositiveTrace activation aims to build a bridge between the cause and the solution.
“Reconnecting with nature will help the community to realise their impact and responsibility for the great outdoors. We believe that beyond that there is also a gap for more research, which we’re trying to close with our State of Trails report and activations, like Purposeful Adventures, ” says Dom Ferris, Trash Free Trails activist and Managing Director.
In order to react and inspire the community to spend more time in nature, Trash Free Trails will tell stories of adventures great and small on digital platforms, in an effort to inspire and encourage real world interaction, supported by Buff UK, Go Ape, Sidetracked, Exhale Coffee, Tempest Brewing Co, Ultimate Direction and Bikmo. As well as their strategic partners; Trek, The North Face x EOCA, Bosch eBike Systems, komoot, Red Bull and Bangor University.
The online Purposeful Adventure Guide will encourage individuals to put down their phones, step away from the TV and get outside to see how they might be able to connect with the people and places close (or far away).
Alongside a comprehensive digital campaign, local organisations are invited to become Purposeful Adventure Friendly, with bike shops, outdoor stores, village halls and more receiving infographic signage and the Purposeful Adventure loyalty card, all in an effort to promote leaving a positive trace, and connecting to the communities our trails and wild places lead us to and from.
Trash Free Trails doesn’t pretend to be able to know or do it all. So, as part of the campaign, Trash Free Trails will direct their followers and communities through comprehensive and meaningful signposting to other organisations that they might feel aligned to, such as the Right to Roam Campaign and Surfers Against Sewage’ – Speak up for our Rivers campaign. That way, the impact of a Purposeful Adventure could go much further than anything TFT could do alone. They intend to foster strength in diversity, and what better way to achieve a mission than to bring as many people and organisations together as possible.
The activation culminates in a flagship Purposeful Adventure led by Trash Free Trails, find more information at trashfreetrails.org.