“Water and air, the two essential fluids on which all life depends, have become global garbage cans”. In the present, human society sustains itself and marks its territory by transforming nature into garbage. Therefore, humans who act purely out of kindness and love for the environment are in need. Marion Chaygneaud-Dupuy is one such altruistic alpinist who won the 2019 ‘Terre des Femmes’ award. She won this award, which is awarded by the ‘Fondation Yves Rocher‘ for her help in cleaning up mount Everest.
Despite being the world’s most famous peak, this intermediator between nature and humans is drawing closer to its doom. This has been happening ever since continuous expeditions which began 30 years ago. Marion, the 39-year-old who ascended the peak thrice to clean it up said, “Climbing Everest should offer one of the purest interactions between humans and the natural world. But in 2013, when I reached the top, I realized that the mountain had been damaged by 30 years of expeditions,” disheartened by the visual she witnessed.
She had estimated that nearly 10 tonnes of waste had been discarded at the peak alone. She and her team began the “Clean Everest” project in 2016. Ever since 2016, they had cleared the peak of approximately three-quarters of all human-originated waste which amounts to 8.5 tonnes. “My goal is to finish cleaning up Everest, so I can roll the process out across the entire The Himalayas,” she said, revealing her far-stretched goal.
She is accompanied by 50 local guides. In 2017, the local authorities provided her with around 50 yaks to bring the trash bags down.
For Marion, nature had played a huge role in her life since she was a child. Her hope is to let others experience the same. Born in France, she had worked as a mountain guide for 17 years after traveling to India and Tibet. As a result of her project, international mountaineers are fined if they don’t bring down eight kilos of waste to the least at the end of their expedition.
Her initiative has indeed done a huge role in preserving one of the most wonderful peaks in the world.