I have yet to trek the Himalayas. However, from a flight in a small plane from Kathmandu to Lumbini my fellow travelers and I caught a glimpse of the magnificent range of Himalayas mountains. It was a sight to stir every emotion of the heart.
Recently I came across an article the made my heart sank. Below is an excerpt from the BBC newsbeat.
Tons of rubbish is being cleared from Mount Everest
30 Mar 2017
A Sherpa bags up litter on Mount Everest at 8,000 meters. Credit: Namgyal Sherpa/AFP/Getty
“Tonnes of old equipment, rubbish and human waste litter on the world’s highest mountain.
Now climbers are being asked to help remove it.
Canvas bags have been left around the various camps. Since 2014, climbers have been fined if they don’t bring enough rubbish back with them after scaling the peak. Everest is sometimes described as the world’s highest garbage dump.
The worst of the rubbish is found at Camp Two – 6,400m (21,000ft) above sea level. Helicopters are being used to bring down the trash, which includes oxygen tanks, tents, eating utensils and other camping materials.
In the past, around 16 tonnes of rubbish has been removed from the mountain but it’s not known how much is still up there.”
HOW LONG DO THEY TAKE TO DECOMPOSE?
Admittedly, the issue of the highest rubbish dump in the world is complex. From reports there are about 35-40 thousands of tourists that make it to Everest region. However those numbers are taking a toll on the local villagers. There are liters of garbage in every village all the way up to Everest base camp.
Trekking companies are supposed to carry their rubbish out with them. And even if they do carry the rubbish down to Kathmandu, what then? There is no developed recycling industry in Nepal – not even in Kathmandu.
Not every one of us will go to the Himalayas. However most of us have caught the travel bug. Where ever we maybe travelling to next, let us all be a green and responsible traveller. Respect the environment and the community we are visiting.