Pilgrim to Santiago writes about how the Way taught him to be green
December 16, 2015:
||There is too much litter along the pilgrim pathway to Santiago de Compostela
A three times pilgrim to Santiago de Compostela in northern Spain reports about his experience being a green pilgrim, and about how the "camino" has taught him the importance of living sustainably. Landon Roussel's book The Camino Primitivo is published this month.
Having walked the pilgrimage to Santiago de Compostela three times now, I find the message of the GPN incredibly timely. Many times en route to Santiago did I find trash litered along the trail, and it pained me to see—especially along the last 100km from Sarria—vending machines, packed with food from far away places surely made with more fossil fuel than local food.
Sadly, as pilgrim traffic has picked up on El Camino de Santiago, especially El Camino Francés, so too has the environmental waste created by pilgrims. Perhaps this is why I have come to prefer the (relatively) unspoiled Camino Primitivo (Primitive Way of St James) as my favorite route to Santiago.
One of the most enduring lessons I’ve come to appreciate from walking El Camino is the
responsibility we all have to create a more sustainable community. As a pilgrim, one learns to travel only with what one can carry in a mochila (backpack), consume only what one needs for the walk, and avoid leaving a mess at the albergue or nearby town.
Yet remembering this lesson is all too easily forgotten when I return to the fast-paced, less-personal more-removed-from-nature “civilized” world. I am thankful for the GPN’s work to help keep sustainability an enduring part of the pilgrimage. For even when back home, we are still pilgrims on this earth for only a short time.
Read the whole article
Link to On the Primitive Way website
Read more about the Green Pilgrimage Network
Link to the ARC GPN project pages