In recent years, the number of people doing outdoor sports has kept on growing – driven by the revival in green values, by a need for nature and strong sensations in the face of relentless urbanisation, but also by a reality check about global warming and environmental issues. Sports enthusiasts are keen to enjoy nature and its gems before it’s too late. More and more of us are hiking, skiing, biking and bivying out in the wild. But for the mountains around us, this trend is not impact free.
Citizens and non-profits are mobilising to raise awareness, educate people and take action so that mountain sports are enjoyed cleanly and leave no trace. If you want to reach out to help nature, here are a selection of non-profits and actions to put you on the right track:
Probably the best known non-profit in France. Besides running education projects in schools to make younger generations more aware of their impact and how to manage it, the organisation is also behind Mountain Daysa series of large-scale rubbish collections in the mountains, to help you switch from observer to actor.
A film that gives nature a voice”
And recently, their “Untouchable Cars” awareness-raising campaign also made an impression, through a film that “gives nature a voice” and generates a resonance in the media for the sickness it is not recovering from: CO2, due to the unwise use of cars for travelling in mountain areas.
Since 1990, the “Nicolas Hulot Foundation” has striven to change personal and collective behaviours and to support environmental initiatives in France and beyond, and thus help our societies embrace ecology and solidarity.
This non-profit has set up a platform called « j’agis pour la nature » where you can offer or find voluntary nature-supporting actions near you.
Mountain Wilderness this organisation works in three main areas:
- Protecting our natural environment
- Social fairness
- Improving the economy
The non-profit offers a relationship with the mountains based on respect for people and nature – taking care that this natural equilibrium is maintained, but also proposing responsible initiatives like their « Changez d’approche » ("Change approach") campaign, focused on eco-mobility and eco-tourism in the mountains.
Established in 2007 by snowboarder Jeremy Jones, the non-profit Protect Our Winters is involved in fighting climate change, which has a direct impact on our mountain playgrounds but also on the outdoor industry, which depends on them and is worth over €60bn and employs millions of people globally.
Its mission is to bring together this community, led by pro athletes; to supply educational tools; but above all, to take action with its partners to reduce the impact that the outdoor industry and outdoor sports have on the climate.
For the past 10 years, we and our partners have run the Mer de Glace clean-up in Chamonix. This community action, initially intended for our employees and guests, is a way to involve them in our sustainable vision of the outdoors. This action is now part of a programme open to the largest number, so that enjoying the mountains
and travelling leaves nothing except great memories. Our ambition? Create and gather a whole ecosystem around a compelling event, in tune with Lafuma’s brand values of responsible adventure, whether it’s just beyond your doorstep or on the other side of the world. Which is why we are bringing to life an artistic and creative experience for dedicated citizens in a mythical mountain-tourism location.
Leave nothing but footprints !”
So join us on 15-16 September 2017 for the Outdoor Ethics Days in Chamonix, to celebrate 10 years’ commitment and momentum in protecting the Chamonix area and in reducing waste from human activity, in both mountains and valley.