Four men from the remote village of Licapa in Peru have decided to combat global warming by painting the Andes white.

In the last 35 years, rising temperatures have reduced the size of glaciers in the Peruvian Andes by 22%. The hope is that the whitewash will reflect heat away and stop the glaciers melting.

Peruvian Andes (by Martin St-Amant via Wikimedia)
Peruvian Andes (by Martin St-Amant via Wikimedia)

As eccentric as it may seem, the whitewashing project was selected as one of the top proposals in the World Bank’s “100 Ideas to Save the Planet” competition held last year. As a result, Eduardo Gold, who proposed the scheme, secured £135,000 ($au 227,000) to carry it out. The funds are being used to paint about 70 hectares on three mountain peaks.

The team is using an environmentally friendly paint, based on an old Peruvian formula. It contains lime, egg whites and water.