Leave It Better
On U.S. roads there are 6,000 pieces of litter per mile, on average. Seth and Abbie set out on their bikes for a five month, 4,700 mile trip across the country… during which they cleaned up 2,130 pounds of trash. Watch the film.
One of the main seven tenets of Leave No Trace outdoor ethics is to leave it as you found it. Generally this is a common sense approach to preserve the natural or historical beauty of private or public land; it should look untouched when you leave it. But why not leave it better? In 2015 Seth Orme started a project he calls, Packing It Out, a continuous mission to leave the places he and his companions visit not just as they found them, but better.
For the first-ever Packing It Out trip in 2015, Seth thru–hiked the Appalachian Trail (AT) alongside his friends Joe Dehnert and Paul Twedt. Over 2,200 miles, they packed out 1,100 pounds of trash that was found along the trail. The following year, Seth and Paul continued the project by hiking a grand total of 2,650 miles from the border of Mexico to Canada along the Pacific Crest Trail. On this trip they cleaned up 720 pounds of trash en route.
This year, Seth traded his hiking boots for a bike and recruited his friend Abby Taylor. On April 26, 2017, Seth and Abby set out on a cross-country bike tour to pick up trash along the way. Beginning on Cumberland Island, Georgia, and ending in Seattle, the two zigzagged across the U.S., cleaning up scenic areas and inspiring others as part of the third Packing It Out project. Their journey was documented in “Leave it Better,” a new film by REI: