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Trekkers given gel bags to keep Canadian wilderness poop-free

Words by Blyth Brentnall

A stewardship organisation is providing gel bags and dispensers to combat faecal matter in Squamish, one of Canada’s popular wilderness areas. 

Really?! What’s the story?

After a rise in the number of climbers and trekkers visiting the area and defecating, the park wardens decided to take action. 

The Squamish Access Society (SAS) teamed up with park authorities and local businesses to erect five poo dispensers across the park at key climbing areas.

The bags, known as Wag bags, are made from gel containing enzymes to break down the poo and prevent odours from escaping.

Some more experienced climbers and trekkers already use the bags, operating on the principle of “leave no trace”. But a rising number of newcomers visiting the area began to create a problem.

The SAS tested the bags by leaving one in a hot car for an entire day and they found it left no odours afterwards. They assure visitors that the bags are very difficult to break.

Charity check-in 

At Smiley Movement, we like to elevate the work of charities across the world. Here are three charities whose causes align with the themes in this article.

American Forests. An organisation reforesting areas of the US to tackle the climate crisis and biodiversity loss. Support them here.

Conservation International. Conservationists using the law, finance and lobbying to protect forests, oceans and other ecosystems around the world. Find out more here.

NRCD. They use law, policy and people power to reach for climate justice and to restore biodiversity. Learn more here.

This article aligns with the UN SDG Life on Land.

This article aligns with the following UN SDGs