A mountaineer and entrepreneur has hit upon the novel scheme of selling apple pies to save the world’s highest peak Mount Everest from becoming the highest garbage dump littered with cans, bottles, tents and other refuse left behind by careless climbers.
Dawa Steven Sherpa, who first climbed the 8,848-metre peak in 2007, runs the world’s highest bakery – the Base Camp Bakery – from a green tent at the base camp of Mt Everest at a height of 5,330 m. A trained baker dishes out cheese croissant, zucchini bread, chocolate chip cookies, the day’s special and other delights. An apple pie at the Base Camp Bakery costs Nepali Rs.350 (about $4.60).
In Kathmandu, it will cost you a third of the price. But every NRs. 100 a patron pays at the world’s highest bakery goes to remove 100 kg of garbage from Mt Everest.
It’s tied to the “Cash for Trash” project started by Dawa last year with his Eco Everest Expedition in memory of Everest hero Edmund Hillary to bring down the trash accumulating on the mountain year after year.
“When I climbed Mt Everest for the first time in 2007, I saw a lot of garbage and human waste on Mt Everest,” the IANS news service quoted Dawa as said, adding, “It was really getting filthy”.
Last year, Dawa’s Eco Everest Expedition 2008 brought down under a tonne of garbage. This year it was almost six tonnes – 4,646.5 kg of garbage and over a tonne of helicopter debris.
While whatever could be burnt was handed over to the Sagarmatha Pollution Control Committee, the rest has been brought down to Khumjung village and stored in a lodge owned by Dawa’s family. Now he plans to bring art students of the country and abroad so that they can recycle the refuse into sculptures.
These would eventually be displayed in the Himalayan villages as a warning message that the mountains are not immune to mankind. They can be affected by man for good or bad and need to be protected.
Dawa says he will lead a cleaning expedition in 2010 as well and beyond that.
“I am going to go on doing this till there is more garbage left on Mt Everest,” he promises.
* Source : – Nepalmountainnews Report – 5 Jul 2009
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