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Good pilgrims don't litter or steal....


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2002 CF: 2004 from Paris: 2006 VF: 2007 CF: 2009 Aragones, Ingles, Finisterre: 2011 X 2 on CF: 2013 'Caracoles': 2014 CF and Ingles 'Caracoles":2015 Logrono-Burgos (Hospitalero San Anton): 2016 La Douay to Aosta/San Gimignano to Rome:
I would like to ask all new pilgrims to please keep the camino free of litter.
There is nothing more awful than seeing a Coke can, plastic bottle or candy wrapper on an otherwise pristine path.
Actually, there is one thing, a pile of toilet tissues behind a bush or in a clearing off the path – YUK!! Keep a small plastic bag with you and put all your litter into it – then chuck it into a garbage bin when you reach a town or village.

The Canadian Company of Pilgrims started a litter campaign in 2007 named Take a Day to Make a Difference. They decided to include a litter bag with all credentials that they were issuing for 2008. Everyone who received a credential for 2008 also received a litter bag and the request to Take a Day to Make a Difference and collect litter along the way.

In 2008 CSJ of SA member Margi Briggs started a Spring Clean Up campaign and had 10 000 (132kgs) garbage bags printed with the CSJ of SA Logo and a message in several languages. Each South African pilgrim will be asked to take a bag on the camino and help clear up litter along the way. The Flemish CSJ actually asked us to make this project an international one and we are working on it.

The 2nd request is this:
Gordon Bell - our man on the camino in Casa Banderas just outside Portomarin - asked us to include a message in our newsletter:
Please ask pilgrims to refrain from picking grapes, apples etc. from vineyards and orchards, not only because it is offensive to the Spanish through whose land we walk, but some small farmers rely on these crops for their living.
So, don't walk off the path into a vineyard to pick grapes (they might have been recently sprayed with insecticides anyway!) and don't try to pick fruit off the trees in orchards along the path. Pilgrims have 'right of way' through many properties and it must really irritate farmers when they help themselves to fuits or vegetables just because they are in reach.

Remember, good pilgrims don't litter and they don't steal!
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I did notice some fruit bar wrappers and tissues (pollen was heavy), but most of the trash was 1 ltr water bottles. Very bulky to police up as you go along. Another thing I did notice was as we passed thru the asparagus fields near Zubiri...peregrinos would take a stalk to munch on. I wonder if they realize what the natural fertilizer is?


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2002 CF: 2004 from Paris: 2006 VF: 2007 CF: 2009 Aragones, Ingles, Finisterre: 2011 X 2 on CF: 2013 'Caracoles': 2014 CF and Ingles 'Caracoles":2015 Logrono-Burgos (Hospitalero San Anton): 2016 La Douay to Aosta/San Gimignano to Rome:
Last year over 23 000 pilgrims who earned a Compostela started in St Jean and Roncesvalles. And, I'm sure there were a few more thousand who didn't walk all the way to Santiago.
Perhaps the asparagus wasn't ripe for the picking for all of these pilgrims but imagine if even half of them broke a stalk to chew on! 10 000 less asparagus stalks for the farmer to harvest!!


Nunca se camina solo
I suspect a lot more work has to be done by the Spanish Amigos and others to convince Spanish pilgrims ( and those others who use the routes and their facilities! ) to respect the Camino including not littering - perhaps it could be an international collaboration between the various Confraternities?
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If everyone of us could sacrifice one day on camino to pick-up some rubbish on the way- route would be much cleaner. We will surely do it. Please, keep it clean!

Javier Martin

Veteran Member
If you start walking in any town carrying something to eat, for example, in a bag, ¿why don't you take your empty recipient when you finissh eating? it weight less than before. And it needs less space than before.

Always it's possible to find someone so unpolite to not take dust back to next town.

Buen Camino, and clean if possible,

Javier Martin
Madrid, Spain.


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Frances, Norte (twice)and Primitivo, Sureste, In France From home Tours and Vézelay, also Le Puy.
It's a sad thing that on the Camino we need rubbish bins for the empty cans from the Coke machines.......


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On the subject of litter I can't understand why people bought bottled water and coca cola etc on the Camino, only in ONE place on the entire way was the water from the public fountains not nice tasting. You can buy great cheap beer and wine in bars everywhere. Some people have really been taken in by marketing is all I can think.


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Portuguese '08, Frances '11, del Norte '14, Invierno '16, Ingles '17, Primitivo October 2018
It's the same everywhere! We hike in the pine forests here in Southern New Jersey, and I frequently bring home cans, bottles and wrappers. They aren't heavy ... maybe a tad bulky but if you tie the bag w/the empties onto the back of your pack, you won't even notice it...and you'll feel good knowing that youve left the trail just a tiny bit nicer than you found it. That's kind of become my motto/ always leave things either as they were or better, with the real goal being better! And if that means a little extra carry weight for a bit, so be it!

Buen Camino, Karin
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If you like a clean environment try hiking in New Zealand. No bins at all in the National Parks because you have to carry out all your rubbish - and people do. You can drink from the streams and swim in all the lakes and rivers. Loads of mountain huts, brilliant trails, lovely people. Fabulous place!

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