Written by Faren Rajkumar
Calling on Intentional & Responsible travelers!
Most travelers find ourselves on land that is not our original home. This is all Native Land, and the precious opportunity to explore and recreate on this land is a debt that must be repaid. Reparations and land acknowledgements are examples, but you can also do your part in a hands-on way. Participating in our #NoTrashLeftBehind campaign during Earth Month, and anytime you find yourself outside, is how you can begin to repay that land debt everyday.
When in-person cleanups were impossible in the middle of the pandemic, our community hosted our first #NoTrashLeftBehind campaign. This campaign is a collective effort to get all travelers, adventurers, and lovers of the outdoors to go outside, roll up their sleeves, and start cleaning up. We’re calling on every community member, regardless of whether you live in a rig or are stationary, to participate.
April is Earth Month, which is a perfect opportunity to begin instilling conscious habits that start as small as picking up litter in your area, but remember that this campaign and our efforts to clean up do not end in April. Our commitment to honoring and paying respect to the stolen land that we recreate on is ongoing.
How To Participate
- Take a photo or video while picking up trash anywhere outside (Boomerangs, reels, before/after pics, or whatever speaks to you!)
- Learn about the Indigenous history of the land you’re cleaning up, and geotag appropriately. Learn how to do that here: https://diversifyvanlife.com/land-acknowledgments/
- Share on your IG story with #NoTrashLeftBehind & tag @diversify.vanlife
- Tag at least 3 friends & challenge them to join the #NoTrashLeftBehind movement
- We will reshare your efforts with the community!
Be Responsible This Earth Month
Challenge your friends throughout the month and get outside as often as you can this month. By re-sharing everyone’s efforts, we will be expanding the conversation surrounding nomadic responsibility and land stewardship. Just because we don’t inhabit a single piece of land doesn’t mean we aren’t held responsible for our actions in the outdoors.
By pledging to clean up after others, we are unlearning the conventional principles of being totally unseen & unheard in the outdoors. We are acknowledging that humans can’t help but leave a trace when we explore, and so, we are choosing to make that impact a beautiful one.
As a community, our collective action has a substantial impact. So for our second #NoTrashLeftBehind campaign, we are aiming to have at least 300 community-wide participants! We also encourage all participants to reshare the campaign and share their progress. We look forward to watching our amazing community show up and show out!
Clean up Tips
- Vanlifers – Keep a few trash bags and reusable gloves handy in your vehicle
- City dwellers – Grab a bag, gloves, and visit your nearest public park or beach
- Be careful when handling broken glass, metal, or hazardous materials
- Read all recycle symbols on plastics & metals, and appropriately dispose of recyclable items
- Bring a buddy (or five!)
- Take photos and videos to share with your community, especially Diversify Vanlife!
- Always complete the additional responsibility of educating yourself & community on Indigenous land history and geotag/acknowledge Indigenous land names
- Consult these resources for more tips, true history, and info on how to navigate Indigenous land or nature “conservation” activities with respect: