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Since 1970, the Alpine Association actively campaigns for clean mountains. The initiative “Clean Mountains” was founded in 2009.  Photo: Austrian Alpine Association/B. Reirer

Initiative Clean Mountains: 10 years of „green“ success

The Austrian Alpine Association and the soda producer Almdudler campaign for clean Alps.

A number of pictures showing mountains covered with snow circulated the world this past spring, one of them Mount Everest.

 

Every year, tons of packaging and thrown away and damaged equipment is collected and brought down from the world’s highest mountains alone.

 

To help minimize such situations in the Alpine region, the initiative “Clean Mountains” was founded ten years ago.

 

Throughout this period, the Austrian Alpine Association and the family business Almdudler have been actively campaigning for the protection of the Austrian Alps.

 

The goal is to build awareness in the minds of visitors who come to enjoy nature but, unfortunately, do not always respect the highest principle: “What is brought uphill must be taken downhill.”

This year’s anniversary was celebrated by ascending the Mölsberg in the Tux Alps together with the initiative’s ambassador, Peter Habeler. The event’s aim was to equip all the huts of the Alpine Association with special bags made from corn starch. These organic bags are easily decomposable and will now be available to all hikers for free in order to put an end to any excuses or reasons why waste cannot be taken down to the valley.

Clean up

Even after ten years, there is still much to do. Although the interim results are satisfactory, the need to continue to educate the constantly growing number of mountain fans is still clear.
 
The greatest misconception that experts struggle to correct involves organic waste. Most  alpine sports fans do not realize that disruption can be caused by, for example, a single ditched banana peel, and how long it takes before it rots at the given high-altitude location. (Note: depending on the exact location, it can take up to five years for fruit peels and other residues of this type decompose.)