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Tourism Squamish launches Red Bag program to help clean up local outdoor hotspots

The good deed will also be rewarded with a free cold (or hot) drink of choice.

There is nothing worse than planning to spend a day outdoors, only to find that previous visitors have left their trash behind: what was once a place full of nature's beauty is now covered in napkins, plastic and food waste.

In a bid to keep the Sḵwx̱wú7mesh wilderness trash-free, Tourism Squamish has launched a new program aimed at encouraging campers and outdoor enthusiasts to pack out their rubbish. In return, they’ll give you a free drink to say thank you.

The Red Bag program—set to kick off on July 11—involves equipping visitors with specially designated red garbage bags that people can use to collect and dispose of their waste responsibly during their outdoor adventures.

The bags will be distributed by Tourism Squamish’s destination stewards team at key outdoor sites across Squamish.

Once filled, participants simply return the red bags to the Visitor Centre located in the Squamish Adventure Centre.

"We are delighted to introduce the Red Bag Program as part of our ongoing commitment to responsible recreation practices in Squamish," Lesley Weeks, executive director of Tourism Squamish, said in a news release.

"This initiative reflects our dedication to preserving the natural environment that attracts visitors to the area, while also providing a tangible incentive for responsible behaviour.”

As a way to thank the community and visitors who participate in the program, the Visitor Services team will give participants a token, locally made by Create Makerspace. This token can be redeemed for a complimentary beverage—a lager or latte—at participating venues.

Participants can enjoy a beer or beverage from A-Frame Brewing Co. or Howe Sound Brewing; or a caffeinated treat from Caffe Garibaldi.

“By participating in the Red Bag Program, visitors not only help keep our outdoor spaces clean but also receive a well-deserved treat as a token of our appreciation," Weeks said.

Tourism Squamish hopes the Red Bag program will help to reduce the ecological footprint of outdoor recreation and camping activities in Squamish.

For more information about Tourism Squamish and the Red Bag Program, please visit the Explore Squamish website.