ECO – SUSTAINABLE JOURNEYS

After the pandemic many things will change forever, one of them regarding our habits, the idea of having an eco-sustainable travel is becoming an obligation not an option.

 

Thus Bolivian Routes approached this time like an opportunity to think in new ways to make our expeditions truly sustainable, especially when it comes to trekking, mountaineering, canyoning, cycling, kayaking or any other outdoor activity.

Here a couple of examples that could help a little our enviroment.

We have seen that the use of single-use plastic is a problem in our trekking or mountaneering traverses, which is why from now on we will use oxo-biodegradable bags.

 

What is an oxo-biodegradable bag?

Oxo-biodegradable plastic is made by blending a pro-degradent additive into the plastic during the extrusion process. The additive causes the molecular structure of plastic to break down when exposed to heat or sunlight. The plastic will eventually be in a state where it can be digested by microorganisms.

In Bolivia the plastic bags are an issue, due it’s excessive use of the “bolsita” (little pastic bag), if you want to buy anything the salesperson will try to give you a plastic bag with your purchase, therefore our suggestion to you is to bring your own bag or rucksack and avoid ask or receive the “bolsita”.

 

What do we do with toilet waste on campsides?

In every camp there is a toilet tent, once you’re in it, you will find a deep hole that is only for solid waste (faeces) and paper.

In each camp we will set up an area for liquid waste, (urine and others) urine is sterile, so the only concern is the smell, so this área must be away from the dinner tent but not that far from our tents.

In high camps the situation is different, some high camps such as Huayna Potosí have dry toilets, however in others that are more remote such as Illimani,  Chachacomani or others the only option is to use the “poop tube” to bring solid waste down to base camp. (This is only applicable for high mountain)

 

Different groups such as the AGMTB (Bolivian Mountain and Trekking Guides Asociation) to which I belong and Jica are working to improve conditions in this area in high camps.

 

What do we do with organic kitchen waste?

At campsides, organic waste is not wasted at all, people in the communities uses to feed their pigs.

What do we do with plastic waste?

Although we try to keep single-use plastics or cans to a minimum, this type of waste is burned in places designated by the community in charge of the campside.

 

We aim to make the trips as sustainable as possible, which is why we ask our clients to bring their “Nalgene” plastic bottles instead of giving them water in single-use plastic bottles, we know and are aware that future decades are vital to reduce our environmental impact, it is a responsibility to our world and future generations, change starts with us.

NOTE

The guy who’s carrying a rubbish bag in the image is me, we (me and a group of volunteers and of course AGMTB) were cleaning the trail between campside to highcamp at Huayna Potosi mountain one of the most popular destinations for climbers.