The problem with litter is so overwhelming because it is entirely pervasive. No matter how far away from human civilization you try to go, litter will always find you.
Even with the push from motivated campaign groups and legislation change like the Single-Use Bottle Deposit Return Scheme coming into force in Scotland later this year, it is going to take a mass effort to truly reduce the amount of terrestrial pollution to be found in parks, trails, and wild places. And it’s safe to say that making that happen on a national scale is a tough gig.
And yet the team at Trash Free Trails seem entirely unphased by this challenge. As an international community of runners, riders and roamers on a mission to reconnect people with nature through the simple, yet meaningful act of reducing single-use pollution, TFT tackle terrestrial pollution with an upbeat, optimistic and welcoming attitude. And better yet – their latest programme, ‘TFT Community Hubs’, is opening a long guarded gate between individual action and community activism.
TFT Community Hubs are, at their simplest, a local business, organisation, or space who have been inspired by Trash Free Trails’ mission and want to bring it to their own community. It is a free programme for local shop owners, cafes, outdoor centres and community spaces who want to be advocates for TFT’s work. Each Community Hub will be provided with a material pack to organise their own trail cleans, support and advice from the team at Trash Free Trails, and on the ground support from some of their local ambassadors.
So why encourage bike shops to get involved? Turns out mountain bikers are the outdoor’s most notorious litterers – but with Trash Free Trails they’re transforming their reputation toward becoming the most environmentally engaged outdoor community there is. Trash Free Trails believe bike shops, cycling centres and bike parks, as cornerstones of local cycling communities, are the key to getting more bikers invested in their mission. Rachel Coleman, their Comms Manager says:
“For many riders, bike shops aren’t just a place to get repairs. They’re places to meet, socialise, get inspired and make new mates. By becoming TFT Community Hubs, these places simply add to what they offer their customers, providing them with new ways to connect with and take care of the places they ride.”
With over 100 TFT Community Hubs already discoverable across the UK, it’s clear that local communities are not only concerned about litter in their area – they’re ready to do something about it too.
It might take a mass national effort to reduce our terrestrial pollution then, but it’s good to know that bikers, everywhere, are on it.
To become a TFT Community Hub, simply email your store name and location to email@example.com with the subject ‘Make Me A TFT Community Hub’. Perhaps you’re not a store owner but have one in your local area? Send this article to them to get involved.