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Clean the Camino

Trick

New Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Portuguesa por la costa 2018
Via de la plata 2020
A litte more than a year ago I walked the Camino Portuguesa por la Costa. It was one of the greatest experiences ever. I noticed a lot of trash around some parts of the camino. Lately I have been more consicous about plastic-pollution and the future of our beautiful earth. The camino comes back to mind, when thinking about this topic.

So .. I thought. What if: every pelgrim would dedicate (at least) one day of his or her camino to clean a part of this unique trail. It wouldn't even have to be an entire day of work, could also be a few hours - or a particular road. It would mean so much to the Camino and could make such an impact If we would all start doing that. We could share our clean-the-camino-adventures&treasures :) and it would be a nice way to 'give something back'.

Who would be up for this? I would love to fire up this initiative and hear about your thoughts.
 
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SYates

Camino Fossil AD 1999, now living in Santiago de C
Year of past OR future Camino
First: Camino Francés 1999
...
Last: Santiago - Muxia 2019

Now: http://egeria.house/
There are quite a few of us doing this already and @Rebekah Scott organizes the ditch pigs every year for a mayor clean-up in November ;-) But I agree, the pilgrims would do this, the less plastic and other rubbish would litter the Camino!
BC SY
 
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lt56ny

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
CF(2012) Le Puy/CF (2015) Portugues (2017) Norte (2018) CF (2019) VDLP?
There are quite a few of us doing this already and @Rebekah Scott organizes the ditch pigs every year for a mayor clean-up in November ;-) But I agree, the pilgrims would do this, the less plastic and other rubbish would litter the Camino!
BC SY
Rebekah Scott was just featured on a Dave Whitson podcast discussing her great work on the Camino and her clean up efforts.

 

danielle aird

La vie est belle
Year of past OR future Camino
May 2018; September 2018; May 2019; Sept (2019)
A litte more than a year ago I walked the Camino Portuguesa por la Costa. It was one of the greatest experiences ever. I noticed a lot of trash around some parts of the camino. Lately I have been more consicous about plastic-pollution and the future of our beautiful earth. The camino comes back to mind, when thinking about this topic.

So .. I thought. What if: every pelgrim would dedicate (at least) one day of his or her camino to clean a part of this unique trail. It wouldn't even have to be an entire day of work, could also be a few hours - or a particular road. It would mean so much to the Camino and could make such an impact If we would all start doing that. We could share our clean-the-camino-adventures&treasures :) and it would be a nice way to 'give something back'.

Who would be up for this? I would love to fire up this initiative and hear about your thoughts.
I always pick up the trash along the Camino. One day, after Leon, my friend and I filled two large bags with plastic bottles and cans but the path was along the road and I am pretty sure these had been chucked from passing cars because I never saw so much garbage anywhere else along the road. We had fun. I would jump into the ditch which was only a couple of feet deep; I would grab the bottle and pitch it to my friend who bagged it. I always carry two thin folding bags for that purpose.
 

Trick

New Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Portuguesa por la costa 2018
Via de la plata 2020
I always pick up the trash along the Camino. One day, after Leon, my friend and I filled two large bags with plastic bottles and cans but the path was along the road and I am pretty sure these had been chucked from passing cars because I never saw so much garbage anywhere else along the road. We had fun. I would jump into the ditch which was only a couple of feet deep; I would grab the bottle and pitch it to my friend who bagged it. I always carry two thin folding bags for that purpose.
That is so great! Hope it will inspire more pilgrims! Thanks for sharing.
 
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Year of past OR future Camino
2022
The first time I went through that "pit stop" on the Meseta I was overwhelmed by the stench and piles of TP laid openly on the landscape, behind the wall which provided shade. It was as gross a scene as could be imagined. The next time, I brought a plastic bag with me and CAREFULLY picked up as much of the mess as I could, dropping it off at the next trash can i carry hand sanitizer for such emergencies).
Anyone who doesn't know how to take care of their toilet business when there isn't a latrine/toilet/loo in sight, go to the Leave No Trace site for ideas.
The bottom line (pardon the pun) is that you have to clean up after yourself. You clean up after your dog, right??
Thank you to all those peregrinos who not only clean up after themselves, but after others, also.
 

Moorwalker

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
The Saint's Way, Cornwall
For a very long time I have made a point of picking up at least one piece of rubbish and putting it in a bin whenever I go out. Even that tiny thing is positive and if most people did just that it would make a difference. I started because I wanted to do one good deed every day, rather as the Guides and Scouts tell their members to do. It doesn't mean that I don't do anything else, but at the very least I will pick up that piece of rubbish. After a while it gets to be a habit.
 

c0484

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
2013
A litte more than a year ago I walked the Camino Portuguesa por la Costa. It was one of the greatest experiences ever. I noticed a lot of trash around some parts of the camino. Lately I have been more consicous about plastic-pollution and the future of our beautiful earth. The camino comes back to mind, when thinking about this topic.

So .. I thought. What if: every pelgrim would dedicate (at least) one day of his or her camino to clean a part of this unique trail. It wouldn't even have to be an entire day of work, could also be a few hours - or a particular road. It would mean so much to the Camino and could make such an impact If we would all start doing that. We could share our clean-the-camino-adventures&treasures :) and it would be a nice way to 'give something back'.

Who would be up for this? I would love to fire up this initiative and hear about your thoughts.
I always carry a couple rolls of Dog Poop Bags that I use to pick up liter along the trail. They work well and can be deposited in trash bins along the trail.
 
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Trick

New Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Portuguesa por la costa 2018
Via de la plata 2020
This site, sorry only in Spanish, has a list of albergues where you can pick up a free bag to collect litter, click on 'albergues colarobadores' in the top menue to get to the map: https://www.caminodelreciclaje.com/

BC SY
Wauw! This is already so extended! I never knew about this, but it’s great. would be perfect to combine with the idea of cleaning up certain parts or days.
 

Trick

New Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Portuguesa por la costa 2018
Via de la plata 2020
For a very long time I have made a point of picking up at least one piece of rubbish and putting it in a bin whenever I go out. Even that tiny thing is positive and if most people did just that it would make a difference. I started because I wanted to do one good deed every day, rather as the Guides and Scouts tell their members to do. It doesn't mean that I don't do anything else, but at the very least I will pick up that piece of rubbish. After a while it gets to be a habit.
You are right! It’s not only about the camino, it’s about everyday life. Making a habit out of this will surely make a difference since in the end you will have cleaned up so much. Thank you for doing this!
 

Trick

New Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Portuguesa por la costa 2018
Via de la plata 2020
I always carry a couple rolls of Dog Poop Bags that I use to pick up liter along the trail. They work well and can be deposited in trash bins along the trail.
Sounds perfect! I really appreciate your efforts. Thanks! You make the world a better place.
 

Mark L

New Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Done : Le Puy to SJPdP in 2020.
Planned : Saint Jean to Santiago in 2021
Good thought
I already do a similar thing on wilderness canoe expeds, packing out any rubbish found
Bad Toilet habits also present a massive issue because we can’t pack those for 20+ days without being exposed to issues ourselves. We settle for use of a folding shovel and some burning in that area.
Don’t know why, but it hadn’t occurred to me as a prospective pilgrim. I’ll certainly make sure to clean up as I go
cheers
 
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Zordmot

First timer Spring 2019
Year of past OR future Camino
April-May 2019
This is something that really struck me last Summer on the CF. EVERY time you walk behind ANY bush on the CF you are confronted with evidence of pilgrim poop and multiple multiple non-biodegradable wipes. The first part can easily be dealt with by going to your local hardware store or WalMart and purchasing a lightweight plastic hand trowel. It weighs nothing and you can tuck it in your pack. Bury the waste. For the paperwork after completing the job, carry a handful of ziplock bags for your wipes and drop it in the nearest receptacle.

It would be great if there was occasional signage along the way reminding us Pilgrims of our responsibility

I wish that there was some kind of orientation to the Camino in SJPP. The registration process is a nice ritual but offers marginal (in my opinion) information and no orientation. In that orientation I would like to see a thorough conversation about dealing with human waste and how being sloppy impacts residents and farmers. Also a bit of a reminder of human decency and respect for others on the Camino (including walkers and cyclists) and being respectful to those who live and serve us along the way (including not shouting out “Buen Camino” to people who live in these small towns where we are guests!!)
 
Year of past OR future Camino
2019
Bring tongs and a few plastic bags - they tuck easily in the outside elastic pocket on the bottom of your pack. Even better are those grabber tools that they sell for people who can't pick up things off the floor. Some are collapsible and they are lightweight.
1583993745886.png

If we all do a little cleaning as we go it will make a difference. And it sets an example. When people see someone picking up trash, they may be less likely to drop theirs - at least not until they are out of sight.
 

Moorwalker

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
The Saint's Way, Cornwall
This is something that really struck me last Summer on the CF. EVERY time you walk behind ANY bush on the CF you are confronted with evidence of pilgrim poop and multiple multiple non-biodegradable wipes. The first part can easily be dealt with by going to your local hardware store or WalMart and purchasing a lightweight plastic hand trowel. It weighs nothing and you can tuck it in your pack. Bury the waste. For the paperwork after completing the job, carry a handful of ziplock bags for your wipes and drop it in the nearest receptacle.
At the very least carry some toilet paper in a bag, not those awful non-degradeable wipes. And I want to shake some people and tell them to get over their squeamishness and pop that used paper back into the bag and take it to the next place where it can be disposed of properly. It's much better to take that trowel but poop and paper does at least rot away eventually even if it's not very nice in the process.
 

JillGat

la tierra encantada
Year of past OR future Camino
C. Frances SJPP - Finisterre - Muxia (May 2016)
C. Frances (Sept 2017)
Camino Portugues (June 2019)
I'm game. Put me on the list of garbage collectors. Would love to help with this.
 

Trick

New Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Portuguesa por la costa 2018
Via de la plata 2020
I am currently walking from Lisbon to Porto and shocked by the amount of trash. I’ve wanted to clean a piece everyday, but it doesn’t make sense! Feels like we should go there with a car and tons of litterbags, because it’s everywhere!
 
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Bob from L.A. !

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Camino Francis 2012, 2014, 2016. Camino Norte 2018. Many more to come in my future God willing !
Just out of curiosity, is this highway litter you speak of or litter washed up on shore in the ocean?
 

Trick

New Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Portuguesa por la costa 2018
Via de la plata 2020
It seems like the highway litter, but it’s not only at the highways but also at the small roads. I filmed a piece to give you an idea of it. Unfortunately I saw this up till now almost everywhere (except for the stretches around the tomatoe-fields and the vineyards).
 

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Albertagirl

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Frances (2015); Aragones-Frances (2016); VdlP-Sanabres (2017); Madrid-Frances-Invierno (2019)Levante
I am currently walking from Lisbon to Porto and shocked by the amount of trash. I’ve wanted to clean a piece everyday, but it doesn’t make sense! Feels like we should go there with a car and tons of litterbags, because it’s everywhere!
Please be careful with litter in this time of pandemic. In my city, disposable face masks are being distributed to the public, as the wearing of face masks is now compulsory (indoors). I see more and more of these masks along the sidewalks in my neighbourhood, and resist the urge to pick them up. Any form of bodily waste could be contaminated at present. And bottles might also be. Use tongs or grabbers or disposable gloves, and be careful with these as well. I shall do my best to participate in a public clean up when new cases of COVID-19 have ceased for some time.
 
Year of past OR future Camino
cf (2), de la plata, cp. (2003 -2018)
I'm game. Put me on the list of garbage collectors. Would love to help with this.

Game I aint altho I sometimes smell like it ! Will definitely be packing the lightweight shovel/pooper scooper, I usually wait till I get to a toilet but pickin someone else's makes me puke! I wonder how many points I will score with the Buddha for this mighty deed whenever I next can go a-Camino!

Walk soft and don't step in the shit unless you are in the tail end (no pun intended) of a very large herd of Galician cows.

And who hasn't? :)

Samarkand
 
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AZgirl

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Frances 2012 , via de la Plata 2014
Madrid/frances Sept/Oct 2017
Next : mozarabe 2021
This is something that really struck me last Summer on the CF. EVERY time you walk behind ANY bush on the CF you are confronted with evidence of pilgrim poop and multiple multiple non-biodegradable wipes. The first part can easily be dealt with by going to your local hardware store or WalMart and purchasing a lightweight plastic hand trowel. It weighs nothing and you can tuck it in your pack. Bury the waste. For the paperwork after completing the job, carry a handful of ziplock bags for your wipes and drop it in the nearest receptacle.

It would be great if there was occasional signage along the way reminding us Pilgrims of our responsibility

I wish that there was some kind of orientation to the Camino in SJPP. The registration process is a nice ritual but offers marginal (in my opinion) information and no orientation. In that orientation I would like to see a thorough conversation about dealing with human waste and how being sloppy impacts residents and farmers. Also a bit of a reminder of human decency and respect for others on the Camino (including walkers and cyclists) and being respectful to those who live and serve us along the way (including not shouting out “Buen Camino” to people who live in these small towns where we are guests!!)
I've also thought this as well. There are many people who may not be as familiar with the "leave no trace", and I wish I knew about handling veg fruit only with gloves at supermarket/weighing your fruit and printing your price BEFORE getting to the register, and when buying from a farmer also to not handle the goods. Small things but I learned by doing the opposite in the field. I'm sure there are other things too....
 

Rebekah Scott

Camino Busybody
Year of past OR future Camino
Many, various, and continuing.
It seems like the highway litter, but it’s not only at the highways but also at the small roads. I filmed a piece to give you an idea of it. Unfortunately I saw this up till now almost everywhere (except for the stretches around the tomatoe-fields and the vineyards).

This may be a job for the Ditch Pigs Cleanup Crew 2021! Thanks!
 

dick bird

Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Plata, Ingles, Madrid, Norte, Primitivo, Invierno, Aragones, Olvidado, Chemin D'Arles
I always pick up the trash along the Camino. One day, after Leon, my friend and I filled two large bags with plastic bottles and cans but the path was along the road and I am pretty sure these had been chucked from passing cars because I never saw so much garbage anywhere else along the road. We had fun. I would jump into the ditch which was only a couple of feet deep; I would grab the bottle and pitch it to my friend who bagged it. I always carry two thin folding bags for that purpose.
You're probably right about stuff being chucked from cars - happens everywhere, but the Spanish seem to be getting better. I noticed a lot less litter along roads last time than I did the first. My particular hate is tissue paper, and we all know why that is. Please don't do it in the road, or if you do, put the tissue paper in a plastic bag and then dispose of it next time you see a rubbish bin.
 
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Trick

New Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Portuguesa por la costa 2018
Via de la plata 2020
We usually gather on the final week of November at Peaeable Kingdom in Moratinos (my house.) We work for four or five days at a series of sites determined in advance. We are supported by donations.
That is so cool, what a great initiative! Are you working with a fixed group of people, or are others able to join? Really nice!
 

Rebekah Scott

Camino Busybody
Year of past OR future Camino
Many, various, and continuing.
That is so cool, what a great initiative! Are you working with a fixed group of people, or are others able to join? Really nice!
We have some people who help almost every year, but new ones are welcome. You need to be in pretty good physical condition, however. The days are long and the work is hard, but
we have a lot of fun, too!
 

Roland49

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
2019
I did use the well known yellow bags to pick up litter from Burgos onwards in 2019.
Sometimes it was filled quickly, sometimes only half full. But never empty.
Organics I left where they are, packaging and cans i.e. I picked up and take them to the next trashcan.

I tried to limit the producing of waste, I can't understand the people who are littering the whole way.

BC
Roland
 

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