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Meet the Zero-Waste Appalachian Path Through-Hiker – Mountain climbing

Packaged snacks, storage baggage, cans—long-distance mountain climbing can generate a number of waste, particularly by these out on the path for months at a time. Even when hikers attempt to restrict the load of their packs—and hopefully, observe Depart No Hint ideas—extra waste appears inevitable.

However Kareema Dixon, path identify “Honey,” is attempting to show in any other case. Dixon is embarking on a zero-waste via hike of the Appalachian Path. She stated that she thinks it’s essential for hikers to contemplate how every bit of nature is related, and the way their actions affect it.

“While you see a bit of trash on path, typically you don’t understand you’re choosing it up and throwing it within the trash simply to go to a different a part of the world, one other a part of the pure atmosphere,” Dixon stated.

Zero-waste is a motion that goals to fight the trash that constantly piles up in landfills internationally by taking the steps to forestall waste within the first place. The motion doesn’t demand perfection, however as an alternative emphasizes particular person effort to create a extra sustainable atmosphere. Those that reside by zero-waste ideas will purchase meals and different objects in bulk, convey their very own containers to shops when attainable, keep away from objects that are available in non-sustainable packaging, and make it a purpose to easily purchase much less stuff.

Dixon personally defines zero-waste as “doing the most effective you’ll be able to, with what you’ll be able to, to be able to guarantee a greater tomorrow for your self, others, and the atmosphere.”

Honey shares her life from the path on her Instagram and Youtube channel. Picture courtesy of Dixon.

She grew to become concerned with zero-waste in 2016 when she was in school. After watching a video on YouTube about how a single mom used zero-waste to economize, to the purpose of not proudly owning a trash can, Dixon started to analysis and implement comparable behaviors in her personal life.

By 2019, she not owned a trash can. However then the pandemic hit, and Dixon’s zero-waste life-style got here to a standstill after she moved from town of Philadelphia to an space the place she may not store in bulk or at farmers markets, which have been closed because of the pandemic.

She’s since been in a position to shift again in direction of a zero-waste life-style and now has taken it to the path. She stated the curiosity she’s garnered from different hikers leads them to consider little issues they might do to be extra sustainable within the outside.

“One of many causes I made a decision to convey zero-waste, notably to the outside motion is as a result of extra persons are prepared to hear and extra persons are prepared to care as a result of they care concerning the outside, they care concerning the atmosphere,” Dixon stated. “I believe that if one thing vital was to be finished for environmental change, this neighborhood can be the most effective place to start out.”

Dixon was a marathon runner from Philadelphia for 10 years earlier than she transitioned to mountain climbing. Throughout her first thru-hike, Dixon is usually utilizing gear that she already owned, and he or she purchased extra gear secondhand from thrift shops, Amazon used market, and REI storage sale.

Dixon purchased meals in bulk from a neighborhood co-op, cooking and dehydrating it for storage in compostable bio-bags. Her mom will ship her resupply containers when wanted. For non-traditional recyclables like sneakers, Dixon sends the objects to an organization known as TerraCycle that may recycle them and switch them into new merchandise.

For breakfast, she’ll eat muesli or oatmeal purchased in bulk, and can incorporate protein powder into her food plan whereas dinners encompass issues that she will chilly soak at camp to eat, reminiscent of brown rice, lentils, greens, and couscous.

Dixon acknowledged that sure features of a zero-waste thru-hike could be difficult. “I purchased a jar of salsa, and I needed to carry that jar as a result of the city didn’t recycle glass for 60 miles till I may ship it house,” she stated. “Issues like which might be a bit tedious and cumbersome.”

She stated it may also be tough as a result of she doesn’t flip down path magic, acts of kindness finished by others on the path that typically contain giving out some type of packaged meals or supplies. However Dixon’s favourite a part of the journey to date has been assembly individuals.

“I inform individuals each day it’s the most effective place on earth. You don’t meet individuals this good and this prepared to assist different individuals in any a part of the world,” she stated.

You may observe Honey’s journey at or on Instagram @zerowastehoney. 

Images courtesy of Kareema Dixon

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