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Great Wall clean up hike for Earth Day, 2016/4/23

In Brief: See photos from our eighth annual Earth Day clean up hike.

Earth Day is an annual event, now worldwide, that aims to raise awareness of environmental issues.

We’ve done a clean up hike for Earth Day every year since 2009, heading out to hiking trails that have been somewhat spoiled by a buildup of trash and packing out loads of litter for disposal in a more appropriate location.

This year we teamed up with Gung Ho! Pizza to make our eighth annual Earth Day clean up hike part of the 1st Beijing Earth Day Festival, and we had a great turn out for the hike, with 26 people showing up to help out with the clean up.

We took on the challenge of cleaning up Nine-Eyes Tower, a tower on the Great Wall at Jiankou that’s 1,190m above sea level.

There was a whole lot of rubbish up there, but everyone pitched in to collect the whole lot.

It was a big effort by participants – a big climb up to the tower, really getting amongst it picking up all the trash ... and then we carried it all out!

Most of what we picked up was plastic bottles, food wrappers, and cigarette butts, but we found some other bits, too, like empty gas canisters, paint buckets, and sacks of cement left by the crew who made repairs to this part of the wall in recent months.

By the end of the day we’d filled up nearly fifteen massive bags of rubbish!

After all the hard work we were due some refreshment. What we got was a literal feast, courtesy of Gung Ho! Pizza, who hosted us at their countryside courtyard at Jiankou Village – cheers, Gung Ho!

We started the hike in an abandoned park area, walking up through the hills towards Nine-Eyes Tower - Great Wall clean up hike for Earth Day, 2016/4/23

We started the hike in an abandoned park area, walking up through the hills towards Nine-Eyes Tower.

Before the park was closed, these rubbish bins might have been emptied occasionally. Not anymore, and now the rubbish just piles up beside them - Great Wall clean up hike for Earth Day, 2016/4/23

Before the park was closed, these rubbish bins might have been emptied occasionally. Not anymore, and now the rubbish just piles up beside them.

We decided that if the park crew weren't going to carry out the rubbish, we would - Great Wall clean up hike for Earth Day, 2016/4/23

We decided that if the park crew weren't going to carry out the rubbish, we would.

Up at Nine-Eyes Tower we found bottles and wrappers left lying on the ground - Great Wall clean up hike for Earth Day, 2016/4/23

Up at Nine-Eyes Tower we found bottles and wrappers left lying on the ground.

Bottles, cans of Red Bull - Great Wall clean up hike for Earth Day, 2016/4/23

Bottles, cans of Red Bull.

Nice views, otherwise! - Great Wall clean up hike for Earth Day, 2016/4/23

Nice views, otherwise!

Getting to work - Great Wall clean up hike for Earth Day, 2016/4/23

Getting to work.

The big bags are filling up already - Great Wall clean up hike for Earth Day, 2016/4/23

The big bags are filling up.

Now that’s looking better - Great Wall clean up hike for Earth Day, 2016/4/23

Now that’s looking better.

It took us about 1.5 hours to clean the tower and the surrounding area. Here we are, with all the bags full up - Great Wall clean up hike for Earth Day, 2016/4/23

It took us about 1.5 hours to clean the tower and the surrounding area. Here we are, with all the trash bagged and ready to carry out.

Coming out of the forest - Great Wall clean up hike for Earth Day, 2016/4/23

Coming out of the forest.

At this spot we found a lot of cigarette butts and orange peels - Great Wall clean up hike for Earth Day, 2016/4/23

At this spot we found a lot of cigarette butts and orange peels.

We hiked out to the nearest village - Great Wall clean up hike for Earth Day, 2016/4/23

On our hike out to the nearest village we passed these signs that said “Take Only Photographs.” We decided it was okay to break that rule today.

The clean up crew after a hard day's work - Great Wall clean up hike for Earth Day, 2016/4/23

The clean up crew after a hard day's work.

Gung Ho Pizza hosted us for a feast of pizza at their courtyard house in Jiankou Village - Great Wall clean up hike for Earth Day, 2016/4/23

After the clean up, Gung Ho Pizza hosted us for a feast of pizza at their courtyard house in Jiankou Village.

The pizza crew! - Great Wall clean up hike for Earth Day, 2016/4/23

Chefs and pizza oven.

Pizza time at the Gung Ho hut - Great Wall clean up hike for Earth Day, 2016/4/23

Big thanks to Gung Ho for having us over.

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Longquanyu Great Wall to Little West Lake, 2016/05/26

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