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Respect the Mountains

Environment  (tags: )

- 3970 days ago -
Respect the Mountains is designed to make people aware of the uniqueness and importance of preservation of the Alps ánd the simple ways to reduce the negative impact. To make sure that future generations can enjoy the mountains too learn how


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Hans L (958)
Wednesday September 3, 2008, 6:55 am
What can you do?

1 Keep clean
Animals don't eat plastic, take your rubbish back home or throw it in the rubbish bin. Realy, it can be that simple. Because of the height and the temperature, rubbish biodegrates slowly and it doesn't belong in the mountains. Do you prefer looking at a virgin white slope or left behind banana skins? To give you an example: an estimate of over 30.000 cigarette ends is left behind underneath every ski lift. Oops.

2 Respect nature
Off-piste If you are desperate to go off-piste, book a guide. He can show you the best places of the area without destroying young shoots. Realize that you’re not only endangering trees and wild animals; also an avalanche might be caused by your behavior. Accidents caused by off-piste skiing aren’t covered by your insurance.
Have a breakAfter a day of skiing, you need a break. So do the mountains! Think of a day of snowshoeing, cross country skiing or snow biking. The mountains have so much more to offer than only skiing her slopes!
Tempting but noAnd yes, it might be tempting to jump off a helicopter or cross up and down with a snow scooter and scream ‘yahooooooo!’. But if you want to respect the mountains, the answer is no.

3 Don't waste
Save energy home and away. Re-cycle household waste; more and more skiing stations offer different rubbish bins for glass, paper and the rest of the rubbish. Re-use your towels; hang up your towel, so the cleaning doesn’t change your towels. Switch off electrical appliances when not in use, such as the recharger of your mobile phone and the lights. It seems (and is!) a small thing to do, and the result is huge!

4 Stay green
Visit those that make use of solar energy, hydro-electricity or put other efforts in a cleaner resort. Some resorts have good and free public transport, ski busses or a car free village. Check your local travel agencies if they offer green destinations. Worth a visit: Alpine Pearls.
Go local Buying local biological products supports the local economy. It also prevents a lot of transport pollution.

5 Book smart
Off-season Try to go in the off-season when the crowds are gone and you can enjoy the mountains at most. Also the environmental impact is less.
The unknownChallenge yourself and book a holiday to an unfamiliar destination. Think about Finland and Norway in the North of Europe, and Slovenia and Bulgaria in the East of Europe. About 100 million tourists visit the Alps on a yearly base. This is an immense pressure on this area.

6 Travel wise
Travel by train or bus. If you travel by car, don’t use it in the resort. In most ski stations you can use the ski bus to the slopes. Think of compensating your trip via organizations such as Green Seats Green Seats.

Bus trips Check your local travel agencies. They offer bus trips from budget to excellent comfort.

Train trips
Alpen Expres Alpen Expres
Bergland Expres Bergland Expres
Ski Trein Ski Trein
Thalys Thalys

7 Spread the word
Make your family and friends aware of their impact on the mountains. Tell them they can minimize their impact by complying with these seven principles. And check 'Support'.

Hans L (958)
Wednesday September 3, 2008, 9:17 am
Its interesting to see that they promote public transport to the Alps! Travel by train or by bus!
Can you imagine that in the USA? People going from Denver to the ski resorts by Bus?
Wohl kaum! I can hardly believe that.....

Past Member (0)
Wednesday September 3, 2008, 10:09 am
Great idea to try and minimize the impact that millions of skiers have on the alps!
Hope to see respect the mountains a lot here in Tirol! I will try to help and promote this!
I am sure that Prof. Peter Habeler the leading expert for mountain sports will be glad to support this idea to!

Hans L (958)
Wednesday September 3, 2008, 12:37 pm
For all the people who respect the mountains and who want to help me to protect the alps!
I have created a respect the mountains group here in Care2
On a yearly base, an average of 100 million people visits the Alps with visible consequences.
Together we can reduce the impact of tourism! In the Alps but also on all the other mountains on this planet! Did you ever hear about the garbage at the Everest?
Nobody should receive a permit without the promise to clean up and leave no trace!


Dometria Lanauze (6)
Wednesday September 3, 2008, 2:35 pm
Where I live in British Columbia , we have the Rockies. They are also being beseiged by clear cut logging, too many ski resorts and unthinking Hikers, etc. Even some of the First Nations bands are doing too little to protect the fragile and interdependent eco-systems. So our wildlife is being threatened , precious ground herbs and medicines are being lost forever. Our mountains are the antennas of Mothr Earth where the air is purer, the diminshing snow levels and disappearing glaciers are threatening our fresh water supply. We also suffer from extensive littering in our natural areas. How pathetic. Do these people sleep with garbage in the beds?, I doubt it seriously and yet they treat Mother Earth as if she were a large garbage can
It is imperative that we stop the problems before they get beyond our control. We all need fresh air to breathe which the Trees produce , the clean pure water from the glaciers and the balance of the wildlife to flourish undisturbed. Peace In Our Quest For Truth

maggie t (45)
Wednesday September 3, 2008, 11:38 pm
Danke Hans for bringing this up - leider sehe ich hier im Engadin je länger je mehr die negativen Auswirkungen , denn auch hier muss es immer mehr, immer höher, immer lauter , riskanter, immer mehr Komfort - sein. Wer hier Ruhe und Erholung sucht - Fehlanzeige. All das, was sie in der Stadt haben, muss hier auch noch zusätzlich angeboten werden - wozu denn in die Natur gehen und alles kaputt machen? Wer die Natur schützen will, wird unter anderem als "Spinner" angesehen und belächelt und überstimmt.

Hans L (958)
Wednesday September 3, 2008, 11:47 pm
Dear Margrith i adore these fools who want to protect the alps!
First we need to respect the mountains and than we can try to protect the mountains!
You are so right many of the Big alpine businesses do not think about the future...
Sustainability in Tourism would mean soft tourism but there is no soft tourism or eco tourism!
Mass tourism is bad for the alps.... but you cannot stop it so we need to educate the people that is exactly what respect the mountains will try to do! Since i have a large network i will try to do my best as ambassador to create awareness!
Thank you all for you comments and for spreading the news! Namaste!

Hans L (958)
Thursday September 4, 2008, 1:03 am
Did you ever wonder why so many enjoy the mountains with the sound from the City?
You will see it more and more people with I Pods and headsets to listen to their favorite music i think this is just weird! All they need is the mountain....but for what i love the noise of the wind on a mountain top not my favorite music......but seems that many people cannot live with the silence of the mountains...

maggie t (45)
Thursday September 4, 2008, 1:22 am
yep. I totally agree - respect is the basic for everything, no matter : people, animals, nature - we all depend on each other just that only our species seems to think that "progress" means exploitation and profit.

Hans L (958)
Thursday September 4, 2008, 1:30 am
Do you know if there is a respect foundation?

Carina Eriksson (61)
Thursday September 4, 2008, 3:38 am
Noted with thanks. So many people today don't respect nature at all! It's a world-wide problem but I understand the the region of the Alps has to deal with a huge impact because of the tourism. In order for them to keep coming back, the tourists need to be made aware of ways of keeping the delicate balance of nature in order. As you said, Hans, I can't either understand why anyone would need to have an Ipod or mp3-player attached to ones head 24-7 as many have today? The stillness of nature is soothing to the soul, at least for me. I wish more people could be taught that. I believe it would make them more content.

maggie t (45)
Thursday September 4, 2008, 4:11 am
Will have to check on that, so far, doesn't ring a bell - all I know is this one but I guess, that is not what you are looking for:

maggie t (45)
Thursday September 4, 2008, 4:14 am
ok Hans, wo ein Wille is;) how about this

maggie t (45)
Thursday September 4, 2008, 4:16 am
you probably now this already:

Hans L (958)
Thursday September 4, 2008, 4:25 am
Dear Margrith!
Its all about education! The kids need to learn that they leave no trace! Thats what this project will do...

Angela Rhodes (127)
Thursday September 4, 2008, 5:12 am
Noted, thanks Hans for posting, this issue needs to get out there.

maggie t (45)
Thursday September 4, 2008, 5:39 am
sometimes though it seems that parents need more education as well - mainly in being a role model for their kids, especially in our so called "high culture society" !

Past Member (0)
Thursday September 4, 2008, 5:55 am
If the parents would be a role model for their kids this would be much much more easy!
Unfortunately the schools and teachers play a more important role than many parents!
Dolomiti superski is not only the biggest ski resort in Italy but also in Europe!
They could sure use your help to make sure that the millions of visitors leave no trace!
The number 1 among the ski resorts
Dolomiti Superski is as unique and gigantic as the Dolomites themselves. 1+12+1,200. 1 skipass gives access to 12 large ski resorts and more than 1,200 kilometres of slopes. Plenty of nature, friendly people, endless entertainment. A great place for families. Attractive offers. Last but not least - sunshine on 8 out of 10 days. The ideal conditions for families, beginners, champions and high society to make the most of fantastic holiday time in a winter wonderland.

You do not read one single word about the corporate responsability for the alps!

Its all about 100% snowguarantee and more and more higher faster bigger!
No word about the environment thats why you should join this group and invite
all you friends to join!

maggie t (45)
Thursday September 4, 2008, 10:14 pm
You are so right - the Dolomiten are so special and I see the same happening here in the Engadin - it's all about partys and events and the people you are caring are staying away more and more and the comments of the responsible touristic-manager: we need to make it attractive to the YOUNG - the future visitors/tourists but if they don't start changing their
concept, there will be no future!!

Hans L (958)
Friday September 5, 2008, 12:11 am
If you look what attracts the young in the alps you understand why this respect the mountains is so important! The party people who visit the alps in the winter are not aware that they are not in a big city where somebody cleans up their mess!

To give you an example: an estimate of over 30.000 cigarette ends is left behind underneath every ski lift. Oops.

In the ideal “Respect the Mountains World”, people think twice before they act, ski resorts are environment friendly and people realize the only way to preserve and enjoy the slopes is to change their attitudes about mountain recreation. Therefore, our efforts focus mainly on Mountain Awareness.

Its a green lifestyle that we need to teach the people.....Enjoy the Alps but do not leave a trace....

You can learn more about this kind of education

The Leave No Trace Center for Outdoor Ethics is an educational, nonprofit organization dedicated to the responsible enjoyment and active stewardship of the outdoors by all people, worldwide.

Hans L (958)
Friday September 5, 2008, 12:12 am
But leave no trace forgets the skiers.....

Core Values

1. Is committed to the enjoyment, health and protection of recreational resources on natural lands for all people;
2. Believes that education is the best means to protect natural lands from recreational impacts while helping maintain access for recreation and enjoyment;
3. Is founded on outdoor ethics whereby a sense of stewardship is gained through understanding and connecting with the natural world;
4. Believes that practicing the Leave No Trace principles is the most relevant and effective long-term solution to maintaining the beauty, health of, and access to natural lands;
5. Is science-based and builds ethical, pragmatic approaches to resource protection for varying types of outdoor recreation and enjoyment;
6. Strives to build key partnerships that support education programs, training and communities of volunteers, educators, land managers, organizations and corporations committed to teaching and instilling the values of Leave No Trace;
7. Is inclusive, for all people, and focused on all non-motorized recreation activities occurring on natural lands;
8. Is apolitical and dedicated to education;
9. Does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, gender, sexual orientation, national origin, age, religion, marital status, military status or disability;
10. Remains committed to its mission, core values, projects and programs without deviation.

Hans L (958)
Friday September 5, 2008, 12:14 am
If you care about the mountains you should protect them not only from the Outdoor Enthousiasts but also from Alpine skiers....Backcountry skiers will not harm the alps! Most
back country skiers respect the mountains.....

maggie t (45)
Friday September 5, 2008, 2:07 am
We are talking about winter and snow...what we are seeing here are mostly EVENTS with a lot of action that don't have little to do with the mountains, they could be just as well in the city if they had enough least, that's what the kids say..also, when those heavy metal bands come up to the "Naturschutzgebiet" to have their concerts...building bridges by cutting trees in order to have enough parking spaces. What has - in my opinion - gone out of control are also the mountain bikers - cause they are discovering that it's more challenging to use the new offers from the aereal robeways to get up on top of the mountains and "race" downhill in groups . Don't tell me that this is not disturbing the wildlife not to speak about the regular hiker since these days we have more bikeways then hiking trails.

Hans L (958)
Friday September 5, 2008, 5:52 am
The events are just one small part of the problem! The millions of people that visit the alps are the real problem! 100 million people each year...The events attract 5000-20.000 people and the complete festival area is allways under control of the destination managers! Since my friend is the destination manager in Ischgl in Austria i know exactly how important these events are for them....Nobody will find any trace of the event the day after!

But watch up to 20.000 people daily using all the slopes around Ischgl
Its a challenge for the destination managers to keep everything clean thats why they all
care about the environment! They sell the alps the experience of the alps without garbage!
Its very interesting to see how we can educate the masses! It surely takes a lot of role models !

Thanks to all of you who will help to spread this message and join our group!

Glenda J (158)
Friday September 5, 2008, 11:10 am
Being I live in the Mountains I cherish the fact that it's absolutely a must that everyone that visit our little Historical town of Colfax that they remember to leave it like you found it!
we have porta potties and several garbage containers to dump your waste..Hans is right our wild life up here won't survive on human plastic waste..Ones are coming up to move in and they are already thinking they know everything to know about living in the mountains well they don' if you want to show your children or elders a nice weekend outting show them a place that we have received over 10,000 at tops on 4th of July but the respect we share back with you is take home what you came with..Higher elevation Mountain ranges like Lake Tahoe and Yosemite absolutely toterates a fine line when it comes to leaving your rubbish to the wildlife..Our wildlife gives our scenic areas a balance affect if they are destroyed from human waste then our eco system won't work in the Mountains..It's totally up to each individual..Enjoy!

Past Member (0)
Friday September 5, 2008, 11:24 am
I agree the first comment,Hans.Thank you.

Annie J (205)
Friday September 5, 2008, 11:48 am
Thanks Hans, I live in the Poconos, respect for all nature is manditory if we wish to keep it...........

Joycey B (750)
Friday September 5, 2008, 12:10 pm
I live in The Great Smokey Mountains Of North Carolina and I totally have respect for them. Noted earlier. Thanks Hans,

Arlette S (141)
Friday September 5, 2008, 12:10 pm
What about increasing traffic through the alps ? The people of the counties Uri and Ticino are fighting for less traffic through the alps transferring heavy goods on the railway. Unfortunately EU has forced our governement in Bern (loosers !!!!) to open our roads through the alps even to big trucks. Now we have encreasingly bad air conditions, a lot of ill people because of the fine dust left by these trucks. there are 1,3 million trucks crossing the alps in Switzerland only. More trucks crossing alps through France, Italy and Austria. We have to change attitude if we want to preserve some of the nature of our Alps.

Hans L (958)
Friday September 5, 2008, 12:40 pm
We want to reduce the impact of the tourists! The impact of transport through the alps is also important but i think that this is a political problem not a problem that individuals can solve!
We can reduce our impact on nature! And thats exactly what we should do! All business should be local! We should stop transporting useless freight! And put as much as we can on the rails!
But its much more convenient to transport door to door without Rails!
The last pieces of Nature should indeed be protected in the Alps!

Susan Hughes (145)
Friday September 5, 2008, 1:07 pm
Not only the mountains but the desert places are having a hard time too. Here in Bahrain there is very little respect for the environment. The impact on nature is huge. Rubbish thrown without any thought out of cars, landfills overflowing with non - biodegradable plastic bags. Some effort has been made to bring in recycleable bags to carry home shopping but there is very little interest. Recycle bins have been taken away so those who want to recycle cannot do so. Education has to begin at home for it to carry weight in the schools. Thankfully projects to help the environment are becoming more and more common in the schools so maybe there is some hope amongst the younger generation to take a pride in their environment and to educate future generations.

ROBIN M (312)
Friday September 5, 2008, 1:41 pm
I love the mountains when I want to feel total peace with me and mother earth I dream of being in the mountains on horseback. Just me and the horse nobody else. I can breath, and dream, and truely live up there. There is no place like it, there are no people around just me and the horse and all you can hear is silence except for nature calling you to come deeper into the woods and listen to the sound that nature makes. To me this is heaven on earth.

Daniel Barker (35)
Friday September 5, 2008, 2:35 pm
The obvious problem is too many people enjoying nature. More people means more tourists!

What can we do? I have made the commitment to family planning. I have no children, and plan on one child and adoption.

I see the sad plight of so many people who want to go from "home" to "wilderness". Some of them even manage to buy a home in "wilderness", and they enjoy it, for a little while. Then more people move to "wilderness", a convenience store is added, then more stores, then a strip mall and finally a mall and the "wilderness" becomes the "home" you moved away from in the first place.

I propose reversing - make "home" wilderness!

serge vrabec (278)
Friday September 5, 2008, 6:50 pm
Great stuff and comments. personal responsibility is the key to ssustainability amongst other things.Thx Hans!

. (0)
Friday September 5, 2008, 9:48 pm
thank you for the invitation

. (0)
Saturday September 6, 2008, 12:12 am
Did you know the artificial snow they put up there so you can ski when there is not enough snowfall is made from sewage? It is contaminating the water not to mention everything else.
Sewage plants cannot remove prescription drugs that get in the sewage that people are taking.
Next time you or your kid falls face first in artificial snow think about that. What kind of impact is that also having on the wildlife?

Hans L (958)
Saturday September 6, 2008, 12:40 am
Thank you i have heared about that! I know that the artificial snow in the Alps is just pure drinking water nothing else! But if you look how much energy it takes to guarantee snow its insane...but Skiing is big business and no ski resort can afford not to have snow...but the climate change leads to a concentration on higher resort,s resorts lower than 1200 meter have no chance in the future! You still need low temperature to produce artificial snow just from water! Higher regions will see the concentration 1200-3000 meter....

This concentration makes it even more important to educate the people!


Past Member (0)
Saturday September 6, 2008, 3:58 am
Its great to see so many people join the group to promote respect for the mountains!

maggie t (45)
Saturday September 6, 2008, 4:42 am
Arlette - that is a big due to that traffic they are now building the streets over the mountains even almost like freeways which again causes a lot more heavy traffic through the small villages - bringing more cars - needing more parking space = more lodging etc etc. Switzerland just like Austria just ist too small to handle MORE. Sure, education is needed but it seems that not only for the kids but maybe together with the parents cause some adults lack it badly.

Past Member (0)
Saturday September 6, 2008, 6:27 am
Thanks for starting this group and raising awareness of the plight of the mountains. I agree that it is imperitive that we get the message out there that we need to leave the mountains in the same pristine condition that we find them in. I also see this as yet another destructive means of destroying another natural resource and our planet cant take much more of this kind of behaviour. I think we have to work together to make sure that the masses who use our mountains know that their bad behaviour will not be tolerated and is totally unacceptable. If you come to our mountains, make sure that when you leave, no one knows that you have been there. Dispose of your garbagge and trash in its correct place and respect nature and all it's inhabitants. If we dont do these things, it wont be long before we no longer have the mountains and its animal inhabitants. And every time we destroy yet another piece of our planet, means that we are closer to extinction ourselves.

Eternal Optimist (115)
Saturday September 6, 2008, 9:04 am
Noted with thanks Hans and thank you to all who made comments, very insightful :)
I wish all people could just follow your sensible guidelines, not just in the mountains, but everywhere they visit or holiday on our blessed Earth.

Past Member (0)
Saturday September 6, 2008, 7:33 pm
In my state of Colorado, there are signs in parks in the mountains and foothills about not littering, but I think more could be done about getting people to respect what we have here.

Not every US state can say they have mountains.

A lot of money is spent on tourism here and I'd personally like to see more litter prevention literature and education.

I've gone up to the mountains just to clean up litter left by others and after an hour's worth of work I filled two trash bags to the brim! Mostly plastic bottles and bags.

Hans L (958)
Sunday September 7, 2008, 2:21 am
Thank you all for your great comments! Respect the mountains also does cleaning up work with volunteers! But i think its much more important to educate the people!

stephanie v (85)
Saturday October 4, 2008, 9:57 pm
Thank you Hans for being such a good steward for the earth! When I lived in the Sierra Nevada, Desolation Wilderness area we had a saying we locals would repeat LOUDLY for ALL to hear...Leave it like you found it...and pack it in, pack it OUT! I know what you mean Micheal, many times on my travels up and down Highway 50, they would stop traffic for some reason or another and I would get out of my car and start picking up the trash along the roadway...sometimes I would get funny looks from others sitting in their cars and sometimes people would "get it" and get out and help! Here in GA it's the same, if not worse! People think they can throw their trash out where ever they want! Trash/litter is my BIGGEST pet peave!I just can't wrap my head around why people do it?????? Just today in my neighborhood I had to pick up broken beer bottles, fastfood wrappers and cigarette boxes! Don't people have ANY PRIDE! If they are trashing their home areas I hate to think what they are like elsewhere!GRRRRR! We are supposed to have fines for littering but it's hardly ever enforced! Hell, I see cops throwing butts out all the time! I don't think they should even be allowed to smoke while onduty in their cars....but that's another subject!

Hans L (958)
Sunday October 5, 2008, 1:39 am
Thank you Stephanie you are so right LEAVE IT LIKE YOU FOUND IT! Not just on the mountains!
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