“Keep the mountains clean” – so the call of the Alpine Clubs for the World Environment Day

Whether intentionally or unintentionally, throwing away rubbish has fatal consequences for our environment. The disintegration time of garbage on a simple paper handkerchief in the mountains is 1-5 years. A simple mouth and nose mask needs approximatelly 450 years to completely decompose. A plastic bottle up to 5,000 years. For this reason, the Alpine Association and Clubs are calling mountain visitors to rethink their behavior and appealing to all mountain enthusiasts: “Keep the mountains clean”.
More and more people are in search for an adventure or just to relaxation they flock in droves to the alpine landscapes. With the increase in visitors, a lot more comes along in their backpacks. Unfortunately, this “more” is then found in the form of empty aluminum cans, discarded plastic bottles, cigarette butts and the remains of plastic packaging next to the hiking trails.

Disposable packaging may be practical for us, but it takes decades, if not centuries, to complete decomposition.

Keep the mountains clean! Basically, it is very simple: – all dragged along and carried up items should find its way back to the valley. Preferably in your own backback or in a rubbish bag, which are probably available at the numerous mountain huts. A clear communication with those looking for relaxation in the mountains is important to the Alpine Clubs and the Friends of Nature (Naturfreunde). The ‘Saubere Berge’ (clean mountains) campaign with a wide variety of initiatives and projects brought to life in the 70s. Nature lovers have also been striving for a clean mountain world for many years. The latest campaign, ‘Respect Nature’, will start mid-June of 2021.

Consideration instead of forbearance

Mutual consideration is essential on the mountain and in nature. Not only towards others, but also towards the environment of flora and fauna. Particularly at higher altitudes, the ecosystems react sensitively to human influences. Reconstruction takes a lot more time than for fauna and flora on a lower altitude. The harsh mountains clima demand a lot from his living beings and makes recovery, afforestation and regrowth of meadows extending over years. Last but not least, considerate behavior makes an important contribution for the good cooperation and acceptance between those looking for relaxation and all landowners on whose land we hike and enjoy nature.

Some important things that should be followed before the jorney. Pay attention to the type and packaging of your food and drink. Use reusable boxes/bottles instead of disposable ones.
Take your remaining rubbish back down to the valley.
Stay on the marked paths and avoid noise.
Do not pick plants – a photo of them last (almost) forever.
Keep calm when encountering wildlife
If possible, travel by public transport or bike to protect the environment even before you start the hike. Your adventure starts in home.

right track

If we all follow at least some of these things, we are on the right track and nature will thank us with its unique and impressive natural event and wonders. On this way we would like to thank the numerous nature lovers who not only take their own rubbish home with them, but also pick up the rubbish that has already been carelessly thrown into the landscape and dispose it in the valley according to the regulations. While it should be the least that could be done by taking the own rubbish back down to the valley, it is not naturalness to take care of the others rubbish. Perhaps we should all follow this role model-like attitude in order to preserve together the nature as we know and love it.

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