Sunday, July 10, 2005

On the Track Less Trodden

It’s the odd chocolate wrapper, cast away by some irresponsible trekker, that spoils your day. There you are, on a patch of green some 12,000 ft above sea level, with four days of arduous walking behind you. And just as you drop your rucksack on the grass to breathe in the unpolluted air, you spot the foil, basking in sunlight. “Sorry, mate, but someone has set foot here before you,” you can almost hear it say.
Anirban Das Mahapatra stresses responsible eco-tourism.

For all of us who think he is making a big deal about some rubbish, he has a few facts. A banana peel takes three to four weeks to bio-degrade. A paper bag takes a month, between 200 to 500 years for an aluminium can, a million years for a plastic bag.
A styrofoam cup: Eternity.

When you encounter unspoilt wilderness leave the place with nothing more than your footprints.

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