Instead of worrying ourselves about the results of the EU referendum, today we headed to the mountains, the setting for the local mountain clean-up operation. The weather was incredibly sunny and hot (it’s rained A LOT lately…), and we saw many familiar faces who came up to help as well.
This year is the first year that Trust and Dust has been involved, but this event has been running for a few years now, organised by Liz and her husband Stew of Reel Fun Media. They have worked hard to run the clean-up over the last five years, collaborating closely with the guys who work for Serma in Avoriaz for the last two.
Obviously, this kind of event is right up our street! Mountains, Sunshine, Cleaning… yes please!
Armed with recycled black bin bags and gloves (which we at Trust and Dust provided), volunteers either walked up the piste from the bottom (brave!), or were invited to take the Prolays Express chairlift free of charge, allowing them to walk down the piste instead.
Between the 20 or so volunteers we managed to collect a total of 20 bags, with a combined weight of approximately 45 kilograms. There was rubbish, including glass beer bottles, varieties of plastic and cigarette butts but the best find was a ski! We only tackled the area around the Prolays chairlift and around the Stash, so imagine if we took on all of Avoriaz, or better, the entire Portes du Soleil!!
Every bit of litter has a different rate of how quickly (or more like, slowly) it decomposes, and it all contributes to the pollution of the ground and water, which is precious to us all.
Here are some shocking numbers to show you the length of time the trash we leave behind on our mountains takes to disappear.
- Glass bottle – 4000 years
- Plastic bottle – 100-1000 years
- Aluminium can – 100-500 years
- Paper packaging – 100-450 years
- Cigarette butt – 2-15 years
- Chewing gum – 2-5 years
- Fruit peel – 6 months
Just reading figures like that is enough to remind us that we should clean up after ourselves as much as possible and take away anything we bring with us! On a positive note – we collected less of certain items like cigarette butts than previous years, which goes to show that the workers in Avoriaz are doing better and better each year to implement better refuse collection with more bins and cigarette disposal stations in the obvious areas.
After we had all finished, we were very kindly invited to a lunch with all of the workers at Serma at the bottom station in Ardent. They put on a delicious spread including, of course, beer and wine (vive la France!). We were really touched by the friendliness and hospitality they showed us all, the sense of local community was heartwarming and the atmosphere was buzzing.
Some of us had a bite to eat up at Mamo’s in Linderets, where Eliza welcomed us with ice lollies and 20% off the whole menu… There we saw an old Trust and Dust team member, Kate, who has recently had a gorgeous baby boy. It’s great to see everyone out in the mountains, with family or friends. We hope it stays beautiful forever.
We had an awesome day, and we would love to be a part of next year’s event… Thanks to all who came along and got involved. See you there next year?