#CleanUpPlateau Challenge: Cleaning up and achieving something great together
Working together and achieving great things: That was the motto of the #CleanUpPlateau Challenge. The aim was to collect as much rubbish as possible and give something back to nature. The five communities and the Seefeld Tourism Board joined forces and motivated numerous helpers. The results show: we must protect our nature better. We have some helpful tips on how we can avoid waste on the mountain.
That was the #CleanUpPlateau Challenge 2020
The CleanUpPlateau-Challenge ran for 4 days from 27 to 30 April. The participants only had to pick up a big garbage bag at one of the building yards in the region, equip themselves with gloves (and optional waste tongs) and off they went. It was possible to collect everywhere in the region, in compliance with the COVID-19 measures in force. Anyone who returned at least 5 kilos of rubbish within the four days received a reward: a €15 voucher that can be redeemed in the region’s restaurants. From the region, for the region and above all for the cohesion and unique nature that surrounds us.
Of course everyone can do such a #CleanUpChallenge at home: All you need is a big garbage bag, gloves, maybe a pair of waste tongs and you can go on an extended cleanup walk.
#CleanUpPlateau Challenge: The results
No less than 203 participants from the region took part in the #CleanUpPlateau Challenge – a result that we are very happy about. A total of 2 tons of waste were collected. “It is a pity that the challenge is so easy”, said the mayoress of Scharnitz Isabella Blaha aptly. “One would rather find nothing than to master the challenge already on the first day”. Each participant collected more than 10 kilograms of garbage on average. Monika and Hansi Bantl from Leutasch collected even more than 50 kilograms on the first day – a proud achievement! Not only they, but also numerous other participants collected so much that they had to take the garbage bags away by car or truck.
The results of the challenge thus clearly show: we must protect nature better and must not leave our rubbish behind in nature. This action starts with each and every one of us now.
Clean Up Challenge: Why protecting our nature is important
The nature that surrounds us is not only our habitat. It is much more than that: it is our place of power, a source of energy, provides us with fresh air and CO2, is the soil for delicious alpine herbs, lush meadows, green forests and clean water, a source of food for our cows, a place to grow our fresh vegetables – and also the reason why so many people like to come and visit us every year. In nature we find peace, relaxation, strength, energy and food.
Not only in difficult times like these do we become aware again how important nature is for us. We must preserve biodiversity, protect animals and habitats and keep them free of plastic and garbage.
Did you know that it takes 2 to 7 years for a cigarette butt to decompose? It also releases contaminants and toxins (such as heavy metals, tar, etc.). Worst of all, if cigarette butts get into water, they can contaminate 50 to 60 litres of drinking water and poison the fish and animals living in it.
A tin can takes 50 to 500 years to decompose, a plastic bottle 100 to 5000 years, a glass bottle 4000 years to infinity. In addition, softeners leak out and animals injure themselves on the sharp edges. Plastic bags and other plastic objects such as the packaging of cereal bars etc. take 100 to 200 years to decompose. Even the supposedly not so bad handkerchiefs take 1 to 5 years after all and harm the environment and the animals immensely. The same is the case with orange and banana peels, which are often thrown into nature because they “decompose by themselves anyway”: they need at least 1 to 3 years, and that only in tropical climates, which we do not have in our country. (source of data: Alpenverein.at)
With every piece of waste we throw away, we are doing immense damage to nature. We leave traces behind that can be found many thousands of years after us.
Zero Waste on the mountain: Tips for less waste
So what can we do to protect our nature better? Here we have some tips for you:
- The best way, of course, is prevention: take your garbage with you, always and everywhere
- Take a can, a bag or something similar with you, so that you can store cigarette butts, leftovers etc. without getting your things dirty
- Help and collect rubbish on your way: if you see something on the ground, please pick it up and take it with you. It is best to take a can or an extra bag with you to collect the rubbish
- Buy less plastic. This tip is not new and many are already following it. Great alternatives for tin and plastic bottles are reusable bottles and glass bottles. It’s best to take your snack in a can or wrapped in oilcloths (these are not only plastic-free, but also much healthier and more stylish than cling film!)
- Make the muesli bars yourself instead of buying them packed. It’s plastic-free, healthier, cheaper and really easy. You’ll find a great variety of recipes on the internet that suit your taste. The muesli bars can be frozen perfectly and you can simply put them in your rucksack in the morning before the hike. The perfect reward at the summit or on the way up to the hut!
- Travel with public transport: Travelling by car produces 27 times more CO2 than travelling by train. Travelling by public transport is congestion-free and you also have plenty of time to plan your hike and holiday in detail
… thanks for following all these tips and helping to protect nature! It gives us a lot and it is up to us to give something back and protect our planet!
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Photos: Laura Zobernig, Melanie Klotz, Chris Weitt, Stephan Elsler