I n this week’s updates of Green Trails activities, we bring to you latest developments from three of our base camps – Lohajung, Sari and Jaubhari. While Lohajung has got 3 more Dustbin sites (which were earlier open waste dumping sites), Jaubhari and Sari are steadily catching up in terms of Green Trails activities. Scroll down to read detailed updates from all 3 places:
The Green Trails journey started at Lohajung in 2013. Ever since it has come a long way and still continues to evolve. Our team has run multiple clean-up drives and awareness sessions to formalise a waste management process here over the past couple of years. Here are the steps they have taken in the last couple of weeks to further enhance this motive.
3 New Dustbin Sites For The Villagers
The team has put up labelled dustbins in busier parts of Lohajung, such as – the bank, the village center, and the Indiahikes basecamp area.
The good news is that villagers are responding very well to this. They have become more mindful of disposing their waste. Indiahikes trek leader, Satej, reports that they have even started segregating the dry waste from the wet ones. Only dry wastes are disposed in the dustbins.
This is a significant change in Lohajung, which has made further segregation of dry wastes into recyclable and non-recyclable wastes, a lot easier.
A local artist puts up the labels on the dustbin. Picture By: Trek Leader Satej Najare
The newly placed dustbin at Lohajung. Picture By: Trek Leader Satej Najare
Another mass dumping location replaced by an Indiahikes’ dustbin at Lohajung. Picture By: Trek Leader Satej Najare
Updated Curriculum For Eco-Club
Meanwhile, Anagha, our Green Trails fellow, is busy preparing a module for the eco-club at schools. Picking up cues from her extensive interaction with locals, she is developing a curriculum suitable for the local context.
This module will help school children get a holistic perspective of waste and how to deal with it. It has a lot of activities to allow children to practice what they learn in theory. This module will be customized for other eco-clubs in the future as well.
Enthusiastic Participation In Upcycling Initiatives
The monthly pillow making sessions with the Mahila Mandal are still greeted with much enthusiasm. Recently, the women of Wan made 86 pillows in a single session!
While this is good news, it is important that environmental concern takes precedence over economic incentive. So, all the Green Trails sessions equally stress on the environmental impact their work is creating. The team also follows every upcycling session with a clean-up activity in the following week. With this, we hope to see villagers developing a sense of ownership for the environment.
Women of village Wan, pose gleefully with their self-made upcycled pillows. Picture by Green Trails Fellow Anagha
This lady from Kuling village came to our Lohajung office and handed over 12 Bottle Bricks. Picture By: Trek Leader Satej Najare
Earning the trust of villagers is not only difficult but also crucial to the success of our initiative. After persistent efforts spanning over months in Sari, last week we saw a fruitful conversation between the Green Trails team and the Mahila Mandal regarding environmental issues in Sari. This is the first and most important step to get the wheels in motion.
The team discussed the ill-effects of open littering and burning. They explored possibilities of collaboration with the villagers to solve this problem. The women have shown much interest in working together to bring an environmental change in their village. Green Trails intern Abhinav and Trek leader Rajkumar are both devising a system – customized for Sari. We’ll update more on this in the coming days.
Green Trails Intern speaks gives a bottle brick demo to the women of Sari. Picture by Trek Leader Rajkumar
Our Green Trails team has a discussion with the Sari Mahila Samiti. Picture by : Abhinav
This model eco-village has come a long way from being completely unconcerned about waste to having a full-fledged waste collection system in place. The Green Trails team has now added a third segregation unit at Jaubhari.
They have also provided individual dustbins to villagers to ensure that waste is collected properly, segregated and disposed correctly at central units. Our team is now setting up a routine to manage the efforts at Jaubhari in a smooth and efficient manner.
Setting up new Segregation units
While the team is continuing to focus on maintaining and improving the practice of segregation within the village, they are also looking to expand the same model to other villages on the Sandakphu trek. The plan is to set up another segregation unit at Jaubhari where waste from the villages can be brought down, stored, segregated and upcycled before being sent to the respective disposal locations.
A local stands in front of a dry waste dustbin setup in Jaubhari teahouse.
Establishing Green Trails Stations
Green Trails stations are being set up in each of our project locations. A Green Trails station will serve as a space to learn, discuss and participate in our activities. If you see one of these at our base camps, feel free to go in and have a look.
A Green Trails Intern fixes a slogan placard on a tree in Jaubhari.
That’s it from me for this week. A special shout out to all our trekkers who selflessly devote themselves to this motive and further help us in spreading the word.
Have any creative green ideas in your mind? Feel free to mention them in the comments section below. Looking forward to making this an even more engaging platform with your help.
What you should do now
1. If you want to serve as a Green Trails Intern: Read this article by our Green Trails Head – Lakshmi.
2. If you want to work with us: Head over to our careers page. We have lots of positions open. We also have lots of applications coming in. So the sooner you apply, the better.
3. If you think this article might be useful for your friends: Share it on Facebook, Twitter or Whatsapp.
4. If you ended up here by chance and were actually looking for treks to do: Then head over to our upcoming treks page. You’ll find all our Himalayan treks there.
5. If you want to see the 13 best treks of India: Then get our guide here.