We are active people. We are people who count the hours until we can finally retreat in nature. However, a lot of times our presence here can leave a permanent mark on the places the appreciate so much, even if we’re not aware of it.
A part of the Clubul Alpin Roman – Sectia Universitara Cluj objective though msg Apuseni Marathon is to promote the idea of respecting nature, and we try every year to lower the size of this mark the competition leaves.
Because of this, starting this year we are taking a step forward in adopting the ‘Leave No Trace’ concept and are officially banning plastic cups from the competition. Even last year we started using more of the recyclable paper cups, but the 2019 edition totally eliminates the use of plastic cups from the courses.
At the same time, we want to encourage all of you present on May 25th at the races to join this initiative!
We vow to respect nature
Leave No Trace is an ethical system based on 7 key principles:
- Prepare your trip in advance.
- Walk and camp on durable surfaces.
- Dispose of waste correctly.
- Leave what you find behind.
- Diminish the impact of campfires.
- Respect all creatures.
- Think of others who will visit these courses.
We are embracing these 7 principles and applying them to msg Apuseni Marathon.
Here’s what we will do:
- Remove plastic cup use from the hydration posts. We will only have paper cups in the basecamp and at Bocsesti.
- Create appropriate spots for selective waste disposal;
- Use materials from last year for marking the courses, to avoid consuming new resources.
What we ask you do to:
- Come with your own water bottle (you will not find any on the courses, as in previous years);
- Pay attention to throwing waste only in the correct area.
What we can do together
- Never throw anything in nature. Even if we don’t have a place to dispose of something, we will put it in our pockets to throw it away later.
- Leave what we find. There are a lot of beautiful things along the courses that ask to be taken home as a memory, but remember we are in a natural reservation. It’s best to leave them where they are.
- Not bother the creatures we find along the courses. Remember, this is their home, we’re just visiting.
- Remind ourselves we want to return to this place next year, and it would be great to find it just as beautiful.
We’ll also have a little bit of help with disposing of the waste selectively because the ‘Recycling Patrol’ from the Mircea Luca School from Baisoara will be present in the basecamp. The kids will help us gather the waste and dispose of it correctly, so if you’re not sure where a specific piece of waste goes, don’t worry – they will teach you.
The state of nature: a European issue
The interest in recreational activities in nature grows each year. More and more people take part in mountain running, camping, hiking, climbing – and the list can go on. Unfortunately, the growth in popularity of these activities has also increased the level of pollution we leave behind.
In 2011, the European Union published a report where it analyzed the biodiversity of the entire continent. And although the member states adopted a common strategy to protect biodiversity, the report showed that some species were becoming extinct even 1000 faster than the normal rate because of human activities.
Other relevant numbers:
- In 2016, EU citizens produced 5 tons of waste;
- From all this waste, 45.5% ended up in landfills, and only 37.7% was recycled;
- In 2016, Romania produced 9012 kg of waste/citizen, almost twice as much as the European average;
- The recycling rate in Romania is only 13%, while the rate of depositing waste is 69%, being one of the highest in Europe.
Though we do not have statistics for how much of this waste end up in our forests, we can all remember at least one instance where we found a ‘mark’ left by someone.
Here are the average decomposition times for some of them:
- Banana peel – 1 month;
- Paper napkin – 6 months;
- Different types of carton – 5 years;
- Aluminum cans – 80-100 years;
- Plastic cups of bags – 500+ years ( some can take even longer to decompose).
From thousands of running steps, one is for nature
We cannot resolve all these issues without time and without effort. But we invite you all to take part in this initiative with us. Step by step, we can create a sustainable change and truly show our respect towards nature.
#themountainbeat inspires us every day, and it’s time to give something back!