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Don´t make the mountain a toilet June 23, 2007

Posted by Jason in climbing, culture, mountaineering, Peru, South America, Travel, trekking.

Amazingly, on our last visit to the mountains we actually witnessed a true revelation, intelligent environmental management!

The compost toilet at Ishinca base camp

Although we were camped right next to a recently used hole which had litter and human excrement! At base camp in the Ishinca valley we were taken aback by a newly erected toilet facility that was clean and usable and did not pollute the local environment or river.

In Peru you ask? Where even on the streets of Huaraz and elsewhere there is human excrement!

But yes, someone somewhere used the family brain cell and has erected a compost toilet (it appears as an experiment) that will not pollute the environment.  At present it is still clean and amazingly people appear to have read the instructions (in 4 languages) of how to use it.

I don´t know how long this will last but it is a refreshing change.

I am so fed up with heading to the mountains only to find some of the most disgusting sights, camp sites and hillsides polluted even in the remotest areas.  Base camps are often the worst.

Yet, the people I meet on the whole appear to behave responsibly, carrying out their trash; burning or carrying out toilet paper and  producing their human waste away from water supplies or even carrying this out as well.

The sign clearly showing “there are instructions to use it”!

So who are the idiots who litterally crap actually on camp sites? Leave rubbish spread across a wide area? Appear to pollute the mountains as much as possible, even when there are toilet facilities as at Ishinca base camp?

Its forever a mystery!

But at least the Peruvians are making a step in the right direction at Ishinca, but why can other national park authorities not do the same.  It is surely not a new idea?Aconcagua could certainly learn as could many others.

But my faith is limited.  I meet so many idiots on my travels no doubt the people who forget their family braincell will still pollute the valleys and campsites unable to grasp the concepts of crapping IN the toilet and spreading sawdust on top before closing the lid.  This is technology, but too technical for some to understand!

I live in hope.



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