Summit Foundation aims to reduce the environmental impact of human activity in high traffic locations by proposing concrete solutions and awareness-raising methods, both to public bodies and to companies
Mountains are exceptional. People from all over the world come to interact with this natural environment, whether for skiing, mountain-biking, hiking or simply discovering its exceptional panoramas. Where there is human activity, there is littering which endangers species and habitats, as well as humans, indirectly. Plastic, for example, breaks into smaller and smaller pieces within decades and can eventually enter the food chain. Through streams, lakes and rivers, the mountains are also directly connected to the oceans. The project will organise a Clean Up Tour in the mountains from April until September 2020, mainly in Switzerland, but possibly also in France and Austria. In addition to running 20 clean up events in mountainous areas and around ski resorts, each event will seek to engage with and educate volunteers taking part, as well as others in the area about the impact of litter on wildlife and habitats. An on-going awareness campaign will be run on social media and via media interviews.
This project is now complete and has successfully carried out its clean-up actions, despite the challenges of the coronavirus pandemic.
Volunteer numbers were, understandably, lower than originally planned – a direct result of the pandemic and its necessary restrictions. Nevertheless, 22 events were held between June and September 2020 (2 more than originally planned). A total of 661 dedicated volunteers collectively removed 2,730kg of waste, varying from plastics such as bottles and wrappers, to cans, barrels and ski poles! Summit Foundation will be continuing its successful Clean-up Tour into 2021 and 2022 through The North Face Explore Fund – watch this space for future updates.