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Earth Day clean up hike at the Jiankou Great Wall, 2018/04/22

In Brief: See 19 photos from our Earth Day 2018 clean up hike at the Jiankou Great Wall.

Earth Day clean up hike at the Jiankou Great Wall, 2018/04/22

The clean up crew.

The Earth Day clean up hike has been a Beijing Hikers tradition for almost a decade. The Great Wall is where we enjoy outdoor fun and amazing views, and we want to keep it clean for everyone to enjoy. Every year we head out to clean up a messy stretch of Great Wall, hoping to set an example for other hikers we meet along the way.

In 2018 we were back at the Jiankou Great Wall, an area fairly popular with casual hikers and often a little bit messy. We chose the west side to clean, as it’s not too difficult to hike. We don’t want a tough hike while trying to carry large sacks of rubbish!

The bus was full of Beijing residents and regular hikers. It was good to see faces of determination for making our home city a trash-free place, despite Beijing being only a temporary home for some of us.

Four children made our trip a more lively one than usual. We started the hike on the paved road into the village, each carrying a black trash bag. One child was given a big bag, and with the wind blowing into the bag, it seemed he might fly away.

Before long people started to stop for picking up trash: mostly empty water bottles and tissues.

After we got onto the forest dirt path, the children began to realize their walking at the back made them unable to find trash to pick, for the obvious ones would have been picked up by people in the front. They quickly caught up, jogging and laughing. Unfortunately for them, the narrow path was quite clean.

Before we reached the Wall, we met a solo climber. He had three bags with him, full of trash. Good work!

At our first break on the Wall, we’d each collected quite a bit of trash – some picked up from the trail, and some where we’d gone off-track to grab rubbish that had ended up amongst the trees on the hills.

When we started going downhill on the mountain path, some began to feel tired. We helped each other through difficult sections – a few steep and slippery parts. Fallen leaves laid heavily around and less rubbish found. We gathered small bags in big bags and a few people volunteered to take the big bags all the way down to the end of the hike.

When we set up snacks and drinks, everyone felt they had achieved something, either a challenging hike or the small contribution to our home city.

Thanks to everyone who helped out!

As the sign reads, everyone is responsible for protecting the Wall - Earth Day clean up hike at the Jiankou Great Wall, 2018/04/22

As the sign reads, everyone is responsible for protecting the Wall.

The wind was strong and chilly at the beginning - Earth Day clean up hike at the Jiankou Great Wall, 2018/04/22

The wind was strong and chilly at the beginning.

Watching with focus on roadside looking for trash - Earth Day clean up hike at the Jiankou Great Wall, 2018/04/22

Watching with focus on roadside looking for trash.

It was team event for this group of people - Earth Day clean up hike at the Jiankou Great Wall, 2018/04/22

It was team event for this group of people.

The children trying to catch up to the front for “trash” hunt - Earth Day clean up hike at the Jiankou Great Wall, 2018/04/22

The children trying to catch up to the front for “trash” hunt.

Up through the forest - Earth Day clean up hike at the Jiankou Great Wall, 2018/04/22

Up through the forest.

Spotted a bottle, and picking it up - Earth Day clean up hike at the Jiankou Great Wall, 2018/04/22

Spotted a bottle, and picking it up.

The child saw a bottle and quickly he went for it - Earth Day clean up hike at the Jiankou Great Wall, 2018/04/22

The child saw a bottle and quickly he went for it.

Taking a break - Earth Day clean up hike at the Jiankou Great Wall, 2018/04/22

Taking a break.

Here’s one of the steep sections - Earth Day clean up hike at the Jiankou Great Wall, 2018/04/22

Here’s one of the steep sections.

Walking carefully with a big bag of trash in hand - Earth Day clean up hike at the Jiankou Great Wall, 2018/04/22

Walking carefully with a big bag of trash in hand.

Branches sprouting in spring - Earth Day clean up hike at the Jiankou Great Wall, 2018/04/22

Branches sprouting in spring.

We stopped for a lunch break - Earth Day clean up hike at the Jiankou Great Wall, 2018/04/22

We stopped for a lunch break.

More steep Great Wall - Earth Day clean up hike at the Jiankou Great Wall, 2018/04/22

More steep Great Wall.

Coming down - Earth Day clean up hike at the Jiankou Great Wall, 2018/04/22

Coming down.

The kids didn’t get tired, ever! - Earth Day clean up hike at the Jiankou Great Wall, 2018/04/22

The kids didn’t get tired, ever!

Success! - Earth Day clean up hike at the Jiankou Great Wall, 2018/04/22

Success!

A good haul of trash - Earth Day clean up hike at the Jiankou Great Wall, 2018/04/22

A good haul of trash.

We hiked down to finish the hike - Earth Day clean up hike at the Jiankou Great Wall, 2018/04/22

We stepped on down to finish the hike.

Were you on this hike or trip? How did you like it? Please send us your comments about what was good and/or what we could do a better job of. We'd love to hear from you!

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