Do Your Part

The national parks belong to you, and we need your help to keep them in great shape during your visit, for your next visit, and for all those visitors who will come after you.

When we figure out a better way to do something in the parks, we try to explain what we’re doing and how you may be able to apply the idea in your own home or community.

Here are some examples:

In the park…
  • Get out of your car—many parks offer bus and other alternative transportation systems so that you can reduce the miles you drive and your carbon footprint, not to mention get a better view!
  • Recycle what you can and conserve energy and water when possible. Little things like adjusting the heat or air conditioning when you leave your hotel room or the water faucet when you are brushing your teeth or using a reusable water bottle go a long way in making your parks even greener.
  • Practice “Leave No Trace” principles.
  • Volunteer! Join our amazing cadre of VIPs—Volunteers in Parks—who help us care for parks. High school and college students can check out the Student Conservation Association; an estimated 12 percent of National Park Service employees got their start with SCA.
At home and at work…
  • Turn off the lights when you leave a room.
  • Take the stairs instead of the elevator.
  • Recycle.
  • Turn off your computer, television, and other electronics and spend some time outdoors. Go to the park, take a walk, or just relax in your yard. It may not seem like a lot, but imagine how much energy we could save if everyone in the country spent an hour every day completely unplugged.
  • Install ENERGY STAR® bulbs in your five most frequently used light fixtures and save up to $65 a year on energy bills.
  • Make your opinion count! We rely heavily on your feedback to help guide our stewardship of America's great natural and cultural resources. Go to to review and submit comments on current national park plans and documents.

Last updated: October 5, 2015