The Camino de Santiago leaves its mark on pilgrims, but pilgrim should not leave a mark on the Camino de Santiago. Only on his fellow travelers, on the people with whom he has shared his experience and himself.
This is the philosophy with which #CaminoSostenible (Sustainable Way) was born, an initiative with which we seek to contribute to avoid the deterioration of the Jacobean Routes, caring for its surroundings and preserving its rich personal, artistic and natural heritage.
After the Covid-19 crisis, it is more necessary than ever to claim values such as care, respect or sustainability, always present on the Camino de Santiago.
The Sustainable Camino initiative seeks to highlight this reality, allying itself with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) set in the 2030 Agenda. These are 17 goals enacted by the UN in 2015 aiming to improve the lives of countries and their societies.
The protection of the environment, the promotion of responsible consumption or the attainment of more sustainable societies are some of them and, today, they are becoming stronger and more necessary than ever.
Correos actively contributes to the promotion of the SDGs and with this campaign we aim to share some ways to collaborate all together.
What does the Sustainable Camino initiative consist of?
Sustainable Camino aims to focus on those aspects of the Camino de Santiago that are part of its essence and that we must take care of among all of us. We are talking environment, people and heritage. We are talking about about its trees, its landscapes, its flora and fauna but also its people, its towns, its traditions or its monuments..
Over the next few months we will bring you closer to stories of people who make the Camino de Santiago possible, we will help you to better understand the natural heritage of the Routes and we will show you some of the unique pieces that dot the different paths. Because only what is known is protected.
OWe encourage you to join the initiative, by sharing your piece of advice for a Sustainable Camino on social media using the hashtag #CaminoSostenible, and encouraging other pilgrims to promote caring for and respecting the Jacobean Routes.
The Camino de Santiago has a unique natural wealth. And if the crisis caused by Covid-19 is teaching us anything, it is that nature not only resists, but continues to make its way in the worst moments. For this reason, the first steps of the Sustainable Camino will be a tribute to all those environments that we have not stepped on, that we haven’t seen or enjoyed for some time.
We will promote sustainable habits among pilgrims to take care of the environment of the Camino de Santiago and preserve it for the future. Of course, we are counting on you to fill your daily routine on the Camino with good habits.
Tree guide of the French Way
Publicize the natural heritage of the French Way and contribute to preserving it. This is the aim of the Tree guide of the French Way, an illustrated journey along the Jacobean Route through its most outstanding species.
Thanks to this guide, the pilgrim will discover the most typical trees of each area that the Route crosses: 16 easily recognizable species, with the specific places where they can be found. The guide also has a small file with its physical characteristics, which will help you identify the tree, as well as a note that refers to the uses and traditions of each species.
The Tree Guide of the French Way, made in collaboration with Amigos da Terra and illustrated by the artist María Meijide, can be obtained free of charge at the Post Office of Jaca, Burguete, Pamplona, Logroño, Burgos, León, Ponferrada, Sarria and Santiago de Compostela.
For those who want to know a little more about the natural heritage of the Camino and cannot travel it, here you have all the information on each species, characteristics and uses.
What would the Camino de Santiago be without people? Along the route we meet many people who make it unique: people who are part of Amigos del Camino associations, those who promote hospitality, mailmen and women…. But also people who inhabit these forgotten towns, who give life to them, who preserve their traditions and who make the Camino a more humane and hospitable place.
We want to pay tribute to all of them and give our recognition. We will share with you little great stories of all these people who keep the spirit of the Camino alive and that will allow us to return to it.
The Camino de Santiago has an immensely rich heritage. Along its routes we find a large number of churches, monasteries, pilgrim hospitals, monuments…. But heritage is not only artistic. The Camino is full of traditions, legends, myths, languages, cultures... And, of course, a wide range of flora and fauna, as well as unique landscapes.
We want to approach this lesser-known part of the Camino. That’s why we will offer you content so that you can delve a little deeper into the Jacobean culture and those other inhabitants and companions of the Camino.
Join the Sustainable Camino
We are counting on you to share your own stories, tips or thoughts to achieve sustainability on the Camino de Santiago. Use the #CaminoSostenible hashtag to share this message with as many people as possible.
Here are some specific actions you can take to achieve a more sustainable Camino:
- Buying local products helping out local businesses, enhancing people’s chances to remain employed and promoting km0 products.
- Buying knowledgeably: meal planning, using shopping lists and avoiding compulsive shopping.
- Using a reusable water bottle. That way we reduce waste.
- Carrying our own reusable shopping bag to avoid using plastic ones.
- Using less napkins.
- Taking short showers and closing the tap while lathering.
- Buying minimally packaged products.
- Eating less meat (more resources are used towards obtaining meat that growing plants).
- Eating products that are in season. They taste better and they are cheaper and more environmentally-friendly.
- Recycling, reusing and reducing. The three ‘R’ rule helps reduce the currently high level of waste and slowing down the growth of waste dumps.
- Enjoy meeting other pilgrims of different races, cultures, beliefs or ages.
- Using public or shared transportation to get to the starting point of your Camino or going back home.
- Being repectfultowards everyone we meet on the Camino, with different ways of living that ours.
- Or simply sharing information: if you see an interesting post on social media about women’s rights or climate change, share it so that people on your network can also see it.
Our actions today affect our planet's tomorrow.
Attention to the blog and social media!
We're counting on you to share your own stories, tips or opinions to achieve sustainability on the Camino de Santiago.