“Take only memories, leave only footprints.” ~ Chief Si’ahl
Also known as Chief Seattle (an anglicisation of his actual name), Chief Si’ahl was a leading figure among his people, the Suquamish and Duwamish Native Americans. The city of Seattle in Washingston state was named for him, in celebration of his efforts to forge a positive relationship between his peoples and white immigrant settlers, and to fight for for officially recognised land rights for Native Americans. He was also noted for his focus on environmental responsibility and the protection of nature.
This message is of even more importance today, in an era where the ever increasing human population is plundering and exploiting the earth and its resources in a way that is wholly unsustainable in even the medium-term, let alone the longer term.
One of the biggest conundrums for us regarding our passion for travel is the knowledge that flights are a big contributor to the pollution humanity is pumping out. We do our best to balance this against an ethos of recycling and being environmentally aware in our daily lives, but it is a sticking point in terms of truly leaving no footprint, as Chief Si’ahl advocated.
The pristine scenery in Finnish Lapland took our breath away, even – or perhaps especially – in the washed out blue light of midwinter, a season during which the sun limps towards the horizon for only the briefest of visits each day.
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