By Cailey Rizzo
July 19, 2019
Getty Images

A collective of mountain towns in the west is launching “Pledge for the Wild” this week. The campaign — which includes the cities of Bend, Oregon; Bozeman, Montana; and South Lake Tahoe, California — encourages visitors to donate $1 per hour they spend in nature to an environmental nonprofit.

When visitors are trekking through the wilderness or having a drink at the local brewpub, they will see ads for the campaign with info on how to text to donate. All money donated will stay local to benefit the small organizations that are maintaining the destinations.

“By making this a collective effort, Pledge for the Wild communities hope to elevate the conversation nationally and have a long-term positive on the land, the local economy, and the world around us,” according to the group’s website.

Any community who is interested in joining the program is encouraged to contact Pledge for the Wild.

And, more destinations around the world are also finding ways to encourage responsible tourism.

Last year, locals in the Californian town of Big Sur launched the “Big Sur Pledge” in an effort to make visitors think about their environmental impact. The eight-part pledge encourages visitors to “share our coastal roads in a safe manner” and to “leave no trace and not damage or take what is not mine.”

In 2017, the island nation of Palau enacted a pledge in the form of a passport stamp. Visitors must sign the stamp which reads: “I vow to tread lightly, act kindly and explore mindfully. I shall not take what is not given. I shall not harm what does not harm me. The only footprints I shall leave are those that will wash away.” The pledge is written into the nation’s immigration laws and visitors can not enter the country until they have signed.

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