Take Nothing But Pictures

What does "Take nothing but pictures. Leave nothing but footprints. Kill nothing but time" mean?

Expert Answers
ladyvols1 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

"Take nothing but pictures.
Leave nothing but footprints.
Kill nothing but time." 

This quote was the motto of the Baltimore Grotto, a caving society and it is part of the "Leave No Trace" philosophy of naturalist all over the world.   It basically means that when we are in a natural setting we should leave no trace of human intervention.  We should, by all means, take pictures for our memories of our adventures.  We should not leave anything behind such as trash, beer cans, paper, tobacco filters, plastic bags etc.  We should be careful not to kill any of the wildlife in the area which includes animals, plants, and any living thing. We are stewards of this beautiful planet and we should not leave our imprint on any natural area. The motto itself could have come from the quotation,

"Take only memories, leave only footprints," by Chief Seattle

epollock | Student

When I went camping in the Adirondacks, these phrases were placed every few miles on signs. I am not sure of the literary work that these are in, but the phrases refer to not stealing anything in the park when you take pictures, do not leave any personal refuse or garbage other than your footprints, and do not harm any wildlife or other nature's creatures.

It basically means to treat the outdoors with respect, and nature in return will provide you with many wonderful moments.

This is a very good quote that one can live their life by. For example, if you are invited over to a person's home, you shouldn't disturb anything of theirs and hopefully, you won't accidentally take something home with you. If someone loans you something, you should try to return it in its original condition. That doesn't mean that you have to deprive yourself of the value of it. It just means to respect other people's property.