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Please pick up your trash

Recently, I was on my first spring ride since the snow melted. This outing on a new test vehicle, made available to the INFOQUAD team, was diverted to an ever-growing scourge. Even though I tried to concentrate on the quad I was riding in order to give you a fair and objective verdict, my attention was constantly diverted to the numerous pieces of garbage that littered the ground around the trail.

This sad observation made me wonder about the respect of some quad riders towards the environment that surrounds us. Don’t worry, I am not fooled and I am aware that this behavior is not generalized and that it concerns only a minority of users. However, it is true to say that it affects the bucolic landscape that we expect when we practice quad.

The forest is the natural habitat of wild animals.

Let’s be aware of one thing, we are considered guests when we ride in the forest. The wild animals have created their habitat there and it is our duty to act responsibly. Rightly so, when we have guests in our home for any reason, we expect them to have a cleanliness policy. If they don’t, many of us will have the impulse to cross these rascals off our guest list. These people will certainly no longer have the leisure to soil the places that belong to us.

In the same vein, why should we tolerate our forests and nature being polluted with all kinds of waste? It makes sense to leave this ecosystem as pristine as possible. The animals that live there do not have the power to expel the trash, but we must respect this place as theirs by right.

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The right of the landowners.

Unless we are driving on our own land, for the most part, we are driving on portions of land owned by someone else. This individual is entitled to civility from users in terms of cleanliness. He will not want to find materials littering the ground on either side of his lot.

Imagine if one of your wastes ended up in the pasture where a farmer lets his cattle graze. The absorption of a foreign material by one of his cows could cause serious health problems and even death. Apart from the loss of a living being, a financial loss would be absorbed by this entrepreneur who candidly wanted to give up a portion of his land for off-road vehicle traffic. He will certainly have the desire to revoke this privilege to the quad riders, without equivocation.

I have also witnessed in the past, a vegetable producer who was refused a lot of carrots because his buyer had found a pint of oil in his delivery. The story did not confirm beyond any doubt if the source of this waste was due to one of the enthusiasts passing through his lot, but the result was that the club had to relocate its trail the following year off its property. It’s a shame that the club was negligent and had to pay thousands of dollars for this.

So take your garbage home!

You don’t want to be part of the problem, you want to be part of the solution. For me, if for some reason I had the ability to carry luggage and food when I was on the trail, I still have the ability to carry it back. It’s that simple!

Just to be sure, bring a garbage bag with you on your rides so you can put your trash and maybe even your companions’ trash in it. Be a role model for your friends and family. Educate them on the benefits of keeping our nature as clean and pristine as possible.

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Remember that the majority of trash found along the trails is not biodegradable. It is a nuisance to everyone and a stain on our record. We must minimize the ecological footprint of our motorized activities for its survival. The detractors of our activity will want to use this argument to harm us sooner or later. Let’s not make it that easy for them. It is a nonsense!

Those who jeopardize our beautiful activity, find another hobby, because we do not want you in our structure anymore. This may be blunt at first, but it reflects my view of the situation. If there are those who do not want to join the ranks, even though we are lenient and try our best to teach them good behavior, we suggest that they find another activity that will not affect our activity.

Even if this may seem offensive, I sincerely believe that my reflection will be echoed everywhere, because the Quebec Federation of Quad Clubs and its member clubs are surely fed up with these acts of bad behaviour.

What can we do?

Our editor-in-chief, Denis Lavoie, puts into practice good habits to preserve our environment
Your INFOQUAD magazine has decided to do its part to turn things around. During our rides, we commit ourselves to bring back our personal waste and some others that we will find on our way. In this way, we will counteract the effects of certain polluters of our beautiful and wide open spaces.

If you are also interested in this initiative, do not hesitate to put your shoulder to the wheel by providing a space on your quad and a garbage bag for this purpose. Collectively, we will clean up our trails and make nature beautiful and clean for us and future generations.

Isn’t this a great project that will make us proud to be responsible quad riders? Don’t hesitate to share photos on social networks of your great actions to encourage other people like us to do the same. It is in a common effort that we will succeed.

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In conclusion, without wishing to be moralistic, I hope to have raised awareness for many followers. Our actions have repercussions that are sometimes much more severe than we imagine. It is simply a matter of being aware of it!

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