Hikers turn rubbish collectors in Swiss Alps
No mountain-lovers like seeing cigarette butts, plastic bottles and used tissues left in the mountains. But it’s not always convenient or easy to collect other people’s trash and take it with you.
Now one Swiss hiking company is offering a solution: organized hikes where participants equipped with rubbish bags clean up the trails as they walk.
Concerned by the amount of trash left in the mountains after the ski season, Swiss startup We Hike, which arranges group hiking trips in the Swiss Alps, is holding its first ‘Leave no trace’ hike on July 15th.
Participants on the two-day hike in the Villars-Diablerets region will be given a cleaning kit – gloves and trash bags – so they can collect any rubbish they find along the way.
“The joy of trekking together with other outdoors enthusiasts in the pristine Swiss landscape will perfectly combine with the sense of achievement coming from having contributed to its preservation,” says the company.
The hike is part of a new partnership between WeHike and Summit Foundation, an environmental non-profit organization that has organized and promoted dedicated clean-up sessions around Switzerland’s mountains, lakes and rivers for over 15 years.
Some 40 ‘cleaning days’ are advertised on Summit Foundation’s website this year. Most are organized by tourist offices and ski lift operators, though Summit Foundation provides promotional and practical support.
This year the Foundation is teaming up with the Swiss Alpine Club (SAC) to encourage hikers who stay in its high-mountain cabins to collect rubbish on their way back down.
Some 45 cabins are now equipped with new rubbish bags – made from recycled materials – which hikers are asked to use for their own trash and to collect any rubbish left on the trails they hike along.