Hiking a mountain is a very exciting activity to do, so some people choose this form of activity as a way to release stress, escape from daily life, or even just to enjoy the beauty of mother nature. We love hiking, but are you fully wise in doing this activity? especially regarding the waste you brought during the hike.
According to data from Indonesia Ministry of Environment and Forestry (KLHK), before the pandemic there were ten of thousands to hundreds of thousands people visiting Indonesia National Park to do hiking. That was good news because the number far exceeds the target that was set by KLHK. But, it is also a problem because it causes pressure on the carrying capacity of the environment and causes waste problems due to the lack of awareness of Indonesian hikers.
You certainly know that news about hiking waste often appears on various information media platforms. But did you know how bad is it for the environment?
Imagine, one day you are climbing a mountain to enjoy the freshness of the air and the beauty of the mountain landscape, but when you arrive at your destination, the beautiful scenery and fresh mountain air are disturbed by a pile of garbage that emits an unpleasant odor. Of course this will greatly disturb the comfort of your trip and other visitors. In addition, the waste will certainly interfere with the life of flora and fauna there. Garbage that accumulates can certainly release some toxic substances that are harmful to the flora and fauna there. Not only that, according to several studies, the accumulated garbage can also cause behavioral changes in animals, especially foraging and reproduction behavior which of course will threaten the survival of these animals. If an animal is already dependent on food that comes from garbage brought by humans and knows that the food is usually stored in plastic bags or bags carried by climbers, the animal can also attack humans to get the food. Garbage that accumulates on the mountain can also disturb the area below. When rains come down, some of the garbage and toxic substances produced by the pile of garbage can be carried away by rainwater and pollute the area under the mountain.
So, how do we minimize or even become “zero wasting” when we hike up a mountain? Sebumi has some tips for you to do that. Here are the tips.
It all starts with our awareness and willingness, So let’s start by Rethinking the purpose of our journey and the small little things we do when we travel. Our purpose is to enjoy the beauty of the mountain, not to disturb the beauty with our waste.
Reduce the waste by using reusable containers rather than disposable paper and plastic. Plastic is the type of waste that pollutes mountains the most. By doing that, you will contribute to reducing the amount of plastic that is wasted on the mountain. You can also calculate the meal you bring for the trip, so there’s no food wasted on the mountain and pollute the environment.
Rearrangingthe waste that we carry by type can make it easier for us to classify which waste can be recycled, reused, composted, and requires special handling. Not only bring back the waste that we create from the start, but also the trash that we found during the Journey.
There's waste that can be reused as what it is or as other useful things, reducing the consumption of energy that used to recycle or to make a new one. One of the examples is the gas can that we bring to cook our meal on the mountain. It can be refilled, so don’t throw it away.
By recycling waste, we can reduce the consumption of natural resources and pollution. For example, plastic waste can be recycled to become many things such as handicrafts or even building materials.
Our trip does not just produce solid waste, it can also produce air waste form, especially those from burning carbon fuels. Calculating and offsetting all the carbon emissions from the entire trip. The form of redemption can be by planting trees and many more. You can also choose to use public transport or green transport that produce minimum carbon emissions.
The last tip is to retell the stories about your zero waste hiking journey. Share the experience to other climbers or travelers so they can be inspired to take part in wider zero waste movement!
Let’s contribute positively to our environment!!