Food Industry

Published on June 29th, 2013 | by Jennifer Kaplan


A #LITTERATI Filled Hike at Mohonk Mountain House


My family recently went to Mohonk Mountain House in New Paltz, NY.  One of our favorite things to do at the vast historic hotel is the legendary “rock scramble.” This two-hour hike has you squeezing yourself between rocks, climbing permanently mounted wooden ladders and scrambling over and hopping on rocks but yields “insane views … a crazy rock labyrinth and several claustrophobia-defying climbs up a deep crevices” aptly named things like “the lemon squeeze” and “fat man’s misery.” It was the first time we had every had the whole family doing the hike and we were excited.

Not long into the crazy hike, we came upon an empty Poland Spring bottle perched a top a rock on the trail. Having recently discovered #LITTERATI, the Instagram movement that inspires people to photograph trash and then dispose of it, I threw the trash in my backpack, had my friend take a photo on her iPhone and took the opportunity to tell my group of 4 adults and 5 kids about #LITTERATI. I thought that would be my teaching moment of the day. Sadly, I encountered a whole lot more trash on the way up. So, here are the seven pieces of trash I found on a peaceful and pristine hike in the Hudson Valley last week.

#LITTERATI #1: Poland Spring water bottle; would look like an advertisement except that its #LITTERATI!

#LITTERATI #2: Mountain Valley Spring (?) water bottle

#LITTERATI #3: Cigarette butt

#LITTERATI #4: Towel
#LITTERATI #5: Water bottle

#LITTERATI #6:  Dasani water bottle (left on a death-defying crevice ladder)

#LITTERATI #7: Pepsi can

At the end of the hike, I had a backpack filled with trash (mostly brand name single-serve bottled water), a Pepsi can, a towel and a cigarette butt. My group was more than glad to play #LITTERATI, but we couldn’t help wondering: Who the heck would leave the stuff in such a beautiful, pristine place?

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About the Author

is a former marketing consultant who decided, at the age of fifty, to turn her hand to creative non-fiction. Jennifer continues to write about sustainable food and wine, the intersection of food and marketing and food politics for and is the author of Greening Your Small Business (November 2009, Penguin Group (USA)). She was named one of The 16 Women You Must Follow on Twitter for Green Business. She has four kids, a dog, a hamster and an MBA - follow her on and .

2 Responses to A #LITTERATI Filled Hike at Mohonk Mountain House

  1. Hey Jennifer,
    Thanks so much for sharing your story. Sounds like the area around Mohonk Mountain House is a little cleaner thanks to you. We’re excited to share your story and the Eat.Drink…Better blog with the Litterati community.


    Founder, Litterati

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