Hi my lovely readers!
Most of you will have heard today’s quote before, but I am going to share it with you (again) anyways as it is a very important quote that applies to all travellers, well everyone in the world actually.
“Take only memories, leave only footprints.”
– Chief Seattle
If you are unsure what this quote exactly means, here is my take on it. It means being respectful to the environment and also the people living in it. It means being as disruptive as possible and to leave people, a destination, an environment as you found it.
Related Post: Sustainable Tourism – How To Be A Good Tourist
I experienced this quote first hand in 2019 when I visited Svalbard during my Expedition Cruise. You are not allowed to remove anything from the landing sites such as rocks, stones, any seeds, wood etc.
The environment is fragile so should not be altered. Furthermore, removing any material can actually lead to contamination.
For example, if you take a rock with some plant seeds sticking to it, you might drop those seeds somewhere in your home when you get back to your house. These can then be transported through the air and self-seed in your garden. Now you have a foreign plant in your garden, which might destroy your other plants, kill insects and ultimately destroy a full ecosystem.
Hence, “Take only memories, leave only footprints!”