Pollution — defined as the introduction of something harmful or poisonous to the environment — comes in many forms. From the garbage we discard to air, noise and even light pollution, please be aware of your impact on Yosemite Mariposa County’s iconic flora & fauna, not to mention how it affects the experience of your fellow visitors. Adopt a Leave No Trace philosophy, which means travel lightly so no one will ever know you were there.

Pine Cone Environment Logo

Pack It In, Pack It Out. An oldie but goodie, this mantra is simple. You bring something into Nature, you pack it out.  Never leave anything that was not created there.

Small Garbage, Big Problem. Small pieces of “micro-trash” are often dropped on our trails or left behind in campsites. Train your eye to spot these little buggers and commit to picking up 10 pieces when hiking.  You’ll be surprised how many you’ll find.

Clean Camp, Happy Camp. Go the extra mile and leave all campsites & trails cleaner than when you found them. This means picking up trash, properly putting out campfires, wiping down picnic tables and wiping out food/bear lockers.  The next visitor will thank you!

Spray Safe. Use eco-friendly bug spray, sunblock and lotions whenever possible. The chemicals in many brands are toxic to our crystal clear waters, harming the plants and animals residing there. Or make a trout’s day and cover your skin instead of using sprays.

Dish Wisely. Washing dishes at campsites doesn’t sound like a big deal, but food particles, toxic soap and grease can cause lasting damage to plants and wildlife. Whenever possible scrape food particles into the trash, and dump dishwater into a designated sink or toilet area.

Idle Engines Are… Okay, maybe not the devil’s workshop but they are the source of air pollution.  Shut off your engine when waiting for road work, or in traffic lines as you enter/leave our Parks.

Let Someone Else Drive. Traffic jams in Yosemite National Park can put a damper on the festivities. Use YARTS/public transportation, one of many private tour companies or if you must drive plan your trip to avoid peak hours.

Recycle, Reduce, Reuse. Recycling, reusing containers and reducing our trash output must be a conscious decision. Stick with it, and don’t let a potato chip bag be how we’re remembered by future generations.

Bottle Shock. One of the planet’s biggest trash problems — as evidenced by the massing floating garbage island in the Pacific Ocean — is single-use beverage bottles. Go back to the old ways with a canteen. reusable beverage bottles for both home and recreational use. Many parks have filtered refilling stations or water fountains, making it both cheaper and easier on the environment.

All’s Quiet On The Mariposa Front. Sure we enjoy socializing and listening to music, but there’s a time and place.  Noise pollution is a common annoyance in campgrounds, so please keep all sound within your own personal space and allow the songs of nature to come through.

Let The Stars Shine On. One of the most impressive sights when visiting Yosemite Mariposa is the night sky.  Don’t let light pollution from flashlights or car headlights ruin the show.  With nature open 24-7, keep the night skies dark and enjoy your constellations! Interesting fact: it takes 20 minutes for the human eye to adjust to darkness.