More than 800,000 people visit Petrified Forest National Park every year to explore the Painted Desert or discover ancient fossil trees. Nationwide, the National Park System hosts over 285 million visitors per year. The 1916 NPS Organic Act mandates that parks be managed not only for the enjoyment of today's visitors, but "preserved for future generations" as well. To achieve both, parks must be managed in a way that minimizes our collective footprint on the land. In a word, parks must be sustainable.
Proper waste separation with recycling and composting helps decrease the amount of waste sent to landfills. The park recycles plastics, metals, and paper. Visitors play an active role in helping the park achieve its waste diversion goals. There are recycling containers at the Rainbow Forest Museum, Painted Desert Inn National Historic Landmark, and Painted Desert Visitor Center.
Purchasing green products such as cleaning agents made with plant-based ingredients and recycled paper products help avoid the harmful impacts on health and the environment that conventional products may cause. Properly disposing of hazardous materials such as batteries is an important activity at the park, too.
Five sustainable steps you can take to lighten your carbon footprint at home or while visiting Petrified Forest National Park
Petrified Forest National Park is working towards achieving the status of "Climate Friendly Park". As a participant in the National Park Service's Climate Friendly Parks program, Petrified Forest now belongs to a network of over 100 parks nationwide that are committed to reducing resource consumption, cutting greenhouse gas emissions, understanding potential resource impacts from climate change, and educating park staff and the public about climate change and sustainability.
Follow this link for more information sustainable operations National Park Service wide: www.nps.gov/sustainability