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Adventure Clean up Challenge, Asia’s first multi-discipline sports event, is collaborating with Hong Kong-based conservation app Trailwatch, to launch the Adventure Clean up Challenge Trails on April 24 in an effort to bring about outdoor enthusiasts to clean the increasing amount of trash that is lying in Hong Kong’s trails.
The ongoing pandemic and subsequent lockdowns have meant that gyms and fitness centres were closed for months at a time over the past year. This resulted in many Hong Kongers turning to outdoor activities like hiking and running for their workout fix. The city boasts an impressive 75% of green mountains, country parks and hillside, including hundreds of kilometers of hiking trails.
Unfortunately, hikers have left the trails filled with tonnes of trash including face masks, plastic bottles, and food takeaway containers.
To help rid the trails of this increasing pollution and waste, Adventure Clean up Challenge (ACUC), known for their extreme adventure marine beach cleanups, has launched the Leave no Trace concept and along with Trailwatch, a Hong Kong-based mobile app that encourages nature conservation through hiking in the city’s country parks, is set to host a competition that will bring together hikers, trail runners, and other outdoor aficionados to walk along these paths and clean up tonnes of trash.
The ACUC is the first multi-discipline sports competition that focuses on cleaning waste from remote trails and coastal regions. With this new competition, participants will be divided into teams and they will work against the clock to make the most impact, and ultimately be declared winners. The teams have to choose which location they want to clean and list down ways on how they will collect and systematically dispose of the waste they find.
In a press release seen by Green Queen, co-founders of ACUC Esther Röling and Sole Riestra said: “We can all make a difference, and every action matters. We hope this event inspires people that it is our collective responsibility to look after the unique natural world of Hong Kong. Let’s work together to keep our city cleaner and more sustainable.”
We hope this event inspires people that it is our collective responsibility to look after the unique natural world of Hong Kong. Let’s work together to keep our city cleaner and more sustainableEsther Röling and Sole Riestra, co-founders of ACUC
Read: How you can be a zero waste trail runner
In addition to this, the teams will engage the community and conduct educational activities to encourage more people to take action and ultimately trigger a change in behavior and inculcate waste management practices in their daily life.
The teams’ performances will be assessed by environmentalists and individuals from the sports community and the winners will be declared on the basis of the actions they carried out, the impact it had and the amount of trash that was collected.
In a prior interview with Green Queen, the founders shared their views on whether they think that the plastic waste problem is solvable.”The plastic waste problem is man-made, so under that principle, yes, we believe it is solvable. If we look at our daily lives, we can make choices as to what we consume and how we consume it, to make our ecological footprint – particularly the plastic one! – as minimal as possible. As a collective then, if we start driving our power of consumption towards more environmentally friendly options, we can make a shift. The right infrastructure, in terms of recycling and national/international policies to minimise plastic use, is also required.”
Apart from Trailwatch, the competition is supported by OLN law; tree planting app Ecomatcher; plant-based eatery Mana, and skincare brand Supergoop!.
There are several reasons contributing to the growing pollution in Hong Kong: for instance, a study found that during the pandemic, demand for food takeaways rose considerably leading to consumers using more than 100 million disposable plastic items every week with local nonprofit Greeners Action calling it a “plastic disaster”.
The ACUC clean up event will be held from April 24 to 25 and the community engagement program will run till May 10.
Lead image courtesy of Adventure Clean up Challenge.