Mountain Days Campaign for waste collection and sustainable practices in Europe

Mountain Days Campaign for waste collection and sustainable practices in Europe

Project Status: Every year from April to Oct

The Mountain Days campaign organised each year by the association Mountain Riders aims at cleaning up waste in all European ski resorts and massifs from April to October. Launched in 2006, the campaign has spread to some countries in Europe which have all integrated the Mountain Days campaign.

There are three specific objectives in the project:

  • Clean-up waste contributes to reduce human impact on mountainous fauna and flora: it allows vegetation and animals to progress in a preserved environment.
  • The Mountain Days campaign also targets local volunteering and mobilization. Waste is collected by mountain people, Alpine sports players and children and educational clean-up sessions are organised with Alpine schools, in order to alert the general public on waste minimization and prevention towards alternative consumption.
  • Clean-up waste is always recycled when possible: metals, glass, cartons, plastics and cigarette butts.

The 2014 outputs of the project were 7300 volunteers mobilized on 110 spots (100 French sessions and 10 sessions in Europe). A total of 93 tons of waste has been cleaned-up and recycled with 40% recycled. The Mountain Days campaign, more than just a clean-up session, promotes eco-friendly event tools for organizers and a convivial way for volunteers to protect nature.


Through clean-up sessions, the Mountain Days campaign raises awareness among volunteers and media about waste management and disposal. It prevent waste from polluting mountainous areas such as rivers, fauna and flora and the entire ecosystem’s food chain. Thus the natural environment is restored. The most clear and concrete example of Mountain Riders’ contribution is the partnership with Terra cycle (a world pioneer in collecting and recycling cigarette butts). To tackle with this specific pollutant, Mountain Riders supplies specific bags to collect cigarette butts and so increase their value in clean-up sessions.

Moreover, Mountain Riders advise ski resorts on professional waste disposal and management, waste and recycling education and above all waste prevention.


Local communities benefit from the Mountain Days campaign in many ways. This friendly action brings back pride and mountainous spirit among local people, i. e. an area with nature supremacy where human being is as one with. Each session event has a social component (a fun activity where one can bring friends and do ones part for the community). The association further helps local communities to attract volunteers or to organize this event in an eco-friendly way. Local organizers evaluate also the sessions to draw an assessment of the event.

In the educational clean-up sessions with local schools, the goal is to make young people aware of their responsibilities: Mountain Riders help them to organize by themselves a clean-up session and to assimilate sustainable development stakes in the Alps. The results are analyzed in collaboration with teachers and students of the community to follow up the action.

Mountain Riders works closely with the organizers of clean-up sessions such as city hall, tourist office, ski lift companies. The association also collaborates with regional authorities and the Nicolas Hulot Foundation where its online platform “J’agis pour la nature” supports the project.


The Mountain Days campaign goes beyond recycling: the task is to bring consciousness about this topic to locals and tourists, to inform about solutions such as composting, pocket ashtray. This project is not a “one shoot” environmental protection as authorities and citizens often develop tools and solutions to solve problems. In this regard, organizing a clean-up session is a required criteria to obtain the Mountain Riders’ label Green Snowflake (Flocon Vert). Not only participating to the Mountain Days is mandatory but also measures taken about recycling education, professional waste disposal, eco-produced purchase or composting. 6 out 42 criteria of Flocon Vert are waste-related.


Mountain Days campaign is the opportunity for ordinary person to save the mountains, clean-up a place where we practice a mountain sport or a way to spend a convivial day around mountains. It can also come to a clean-up session to set the example of an eco-friendly citizenship. Organizers are also encouraged to appeal to all territorial actors including shops such as bakery or meet producer to supply the local and free buffet lunch.