Keep Close to Nature’s Heart and Don’t Litter!

It’s always disappointing to come across litter on my weekly Saturday morning hike. Things like beer and soda cans, candy wrappers, energy bar and supplement wrappers, plastic water bottles, fast food wrappers, etc. Sometimes when I see litter I try to put myself in the litterbug’s place by asking myself, “What was he thinking?” Or, “What might have caused her to litter?” Rarely do I come up with a good answer.

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I have been a strong advocate of respecting the outdoors since I was young, thanks in large part to my dad. He grew up in San Francisco and as a young man loved hiking in Muir Woods and other nearby areas. Later, after relocating to Southern California, he established a weekly routine by taking my brother and me on long hikes in the Santa Monica Mountains. If there was anything he drilled into our heads about the outdoors, it was this: enjoy it, love it, and respect it. By respect he meant leaving wherever you tread just the way you found it—and don’t litter! That also translated to leaving your campsite cleaner than the way you found it.

Fortunately, there are many other individuals and groups who feel the same way. In fact, EMC is one of them. I am grateful that EMC is committed to protecting the planet’s ecosystems and addressing the impact our business has on the environment, with a focus on energy and climate change, material use, and waste reduction. For example:

A few weeks ago on my Saturday hike I came across a pile of litter at the overlook and half-way point. A short distance from the overlook a group (I assume it was a group based on the amount of litter) had built a fire the previous night and had some kind of party. Strewn about were uneaten and half-eaten graham crackers, red licorice, chocolate bars, candy wrappers, and marshmallows. There were also a half-dozen empty plastic liter bottles of soda in and near the fire pit. What would cause people to leave behind so much uneaten or half-eaten food and soda, I wondered. The answer probably had something to do with the empty bottle of 190-proof grain alcohol near the plastic soda bottles.

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I wanted to clean up the area but didn’t have a bag large enough to pack it all out. I picked up what I could, shoved it in my pack, and carried it back to the trail head and eventually to my garbage can at home.

John Muir, the great naturalist for whom Muir Woods was named, was fond of saying “In every walk with nature one receives far more than he seeks.” I am not so prosaic. Here’s what I say: Please, don’t litter! I am proud to work for a company that is doing its part toward sustainability and minimizing its impact on the environment as it continues to be at the forefront of enabling businesses to protect and analyze their information in the most cost-efficient ways.

About the Author: Brian Heckert