Something Unusually Good Is Happening At Indiahikes. And You Can Be A ...

Something Unusually Good Is Happening At Indiahikes. And You Can Be A Part Of It Too

Category Sustainability Resources Green Trails Green Trails Impact Reports

By Swathi Chatrapathy


Today I want to talk to you about something magical that is happening at Indiahikes. Before that I’d like you to see these pictures. Our Trek Leaders sent them over the past few weeks.

These are pictures of personal waste audits of our Trek Leaders and staff members.

One of our Trek Leaders even wrote a blogpost about it.

So what is happening here? 

At Indiahikes we talk a lot about following green practices. On treks we implore our trekkers to pick litter, to segregate waste, to avoid packaged foods and so on.

That’s all right for anyone to say. But the question that always plays on our mind is — do we follow these practices in our own personal lives? Are we really in a position to demand from trekkers a high order of green compliances?

So, at the beginning of this year, all of us at Indiahikes embarked on a journey that we call the Sustainability Champion. We wanted to set an example of what it truly meant to be sustainable.

Our Green Trails team rolled up their sleeves and brought the entire Indiahikes team together for this — all over the mountains, in our Dehradun office and Bengaluru office. We are talking about more than 100 team members!

And what has unfolded over the past three months is magical!

Every single person at the Indiahikes office composts their organic waste

In January, all of us in office pledged to compost our wet waste. Even though we have always composted our wet waste in the mountains and in office, we realised if it didn’t reach our homes, then we were not truly sustainable.

So all of us started composting our wet waste — it didn’t matter whether we were single, had 2 member families or 8 member families. We managed our own wet waste under our own roofs.

And if that’s not enough, our Green Trails team challenged each of us to find a friend who would start composting too. And guess what! All of us have found one other person who has started composting! To think of all the wet waste that’s being composted is such a gratifying feeling! 🙂

We all segregate our waste 4 ways

Most of us already had a segregation of wet and dry waste for many years. But we realised that’s not enough.

So we started segregating our waste 4 ways — wet waste, soft plastic waste (we make bottle bricks or eco pillows), recyclable waste, paper and cardboard. We bring whatever hazardous and metal waste to office to dispose it properly.

This ensures we send almost nothing to the landfill.

And you know what, it’s extremely empowering to know exactly where your waste is going and what is happening to it. I go to sleep comfortably knowing that it isn’t rotting in a landfill.

All the ladies at Indiahikes are proud users of menstrual cups

I’m beaming as I write to you that all of us women at Indiahikes have switched to menstrual cups! Can you imagine an entire office! All ladies, irrespective of their age or marital status? Let it digest for a few min

It’s not the easiest journey. Some of us have taken many months to adjust to it. Some of us still do a mix of menstrual cups and cloth pads. But it’s a wonderful feeling to know that disposable sanitary napkins are out of our lives for good!

What’s better? We have been able to influence many of our friends to start using menstrual cups too! We hope women trekkers pick up this trend too!

All of us at Indiahikes have shot down our waste generation

This is no mean feat. To have nearly 100 people become conscious of their consumption, stop themselves from buying unnecessary things and actively audit their waste is a mountainous task. At home I’ve tried with one person and I know how difficult it is!

And yet, our team seems to have pulled it off! Our big fleet of Trek Leaders have all brought down their waste generation dramatically. And they are extremely conscious about how they live.

And it doesn’t end there.

“I was extremely happy to hear that the families at home got involved too – making the impact all the more stronger,” says Lakshmi Selvakumaran, our Green Trails head.

This has touched lives in the remotest regions too.

To add to that, our Trek Leaders and Trek Coordinators are huge influencers. So when they do and share such wonderful thoughts, many trekkers get inspired. Take a look at this message a trekker sent to our Trek Coordinator Suhas.

We never use single-use plastic

I get irked at the sheer thought of single use plastic. All of us at Indiahikes feel the same way. We carry our bags and boxes any time we go out shopping — groceries, meals, chips, anything. Some people might look at us funny when we take out our steel dabbas in ice cream shops, but we don’t mind. We know what’s more important. 

In fact, two team members at Indiahikes who recently got married had zero waste weddings. The effort required for that is beyond imagination! But they pulled it off!

The interesting thing is that there is always a sustainable alternative to these single-use plastics. You only have to look.

What can you do?

You may notice that all of these are small changes each of us have brought to our lives. None of them are audacious changes. They are all very much within our reach.

If the entire trekking community comes together to bring in these small changes within themselves, we can have a BIG positive impact on the environment.

If you need help to get started, then just drop in a comment on this post.

One of us from Indiahikes will get in touch with you!

Swathi Chatrapathy

Chief Editor

About the author

Swathi Chatrapathy heads the digital content team at Indiahikes. She is also the face behind India's popular trekking video channel, Trek With Swathi. Unknown to many, Swathi also writes a weekly column at Indiahikes which has more than 100,000 followers.

A TEDx speaker and a frequent guest at other events, Swathi is a much sought after resource for her expertise in digital content.

Before joining Indiahikes, Swathi worked as a reporter and sub-editor at a daily newspaper. She holds a Masters's in Digital Journalism and continues to contribute to publications. Trekking, to her, is a sport that liberates the mind more than anything else. Through trekking, Swathi hopes to bring about a profound impact on a person's mind, body and spirit.