Leave Only Footprints

Ginnie Littrell - July 19, 2016

Have you seen those little signs that say leave only footprints? Hopefully you have, because they are everywhere. What is this? “I don’t leave anything behind,” or “I’ll be back in the morning and get it.” These are the common phrases we tell ourselves when we read these signs. Did you know that even a little trash on the beach is harmful to our environment?

We all do it. Go down to the beach, maybe bring a cooler and some food or drinks. Maybe you forget your trash bag, beach toys, an umbrella breaks or something falls out. That something that falls out or left behind can cause significant damage in the long run. They wash into the Gulf or get buried in the sand and forgotten, but the wildlife finds them and something happens. They ingest something they aren’t supposed to, or that sand bucket stops a sea turtle from making it to the ocean. No one wants to harm our ecosystem and this always slips our minds.

“I’ll come back for it in the morning.” You have a large tent and so much to carry back to the condo. “I’m coming back, it’ll still be there,” sometimes that’s right, but it’s always wrong. Leaving even the skeleton of a tent is dangerous. The wind blows and takes it away, it lands in the Gulf and gone forever. You lost an expensive tent and now it’s rusting at the bottom of the ocean. You forget and decide it’ll be a shopping day and leave with it on the beach and head for home. This not only disrupts the beauty of the beach, but it takes up space for other people and can disorient wildlife that keeps are beaches pretty.

We all love a beach day and it makes life beautiful, leave only footprints is just a reminder that we are visitors in their house and at the end of the day we want to leave the way we came and make sure that the beaches stay beautiful for generations to come and we are there to #createhappymemories but you can #leaveonlyfootprints too.