Tough trails did not deter Varshini Srinivasan from picking up the litter strewn along. Trekking several miles every day did not stop Vishnu Narang from doing his bit to keep the camp site clean. And age is no barrier, proved the forty-something businessman Rajiv Jain, when he got involved wholeheartedly in cleaning up the trails.
Food for thought; these trekkers had no compulsion to keep the trails clean. Yet, they participated eagerly with Indiahikes Trek Leaders. They volunteered for clean-up activities on the Kashmir Great Lakes trail, earning them the tag of Green Getters.
So do you think it is easy being a Green Getter? Do you think you can weather the challenges of high altitude terrains and still involve yourself in eco trekking?
One thing is for sure. You definitely need to be fit as a fiddle for this task. Rajiv Jain voices this when he says, “You need a lot of stamina to clean up a trail. Every ten minutes, you should be willing to bend and pick up trash. This can become cumbersome after a point. So not all trekkers have the energy to do that.”
And you need to have a mind-set that is environmentally conscious. Vishnu, the Green Getter, from July 19th’s batch shares this thought when he says, “Most of the trekkers have come to unwind here. Some are immersed in getting great photographs of the place. So thinking green or cleaning mountain trails is not on their minds.”
Not giving up should be your primary motto as well. This never say die spirit was displayed by Varshini during her trek. “There were times when it became exhausting. Yet, surrounded by so much beauty, I did not feel like giving up on my activities. I just plodded through stuff and overcame my weariness,” says this Green Getter from the July 4th trek batch.
You should be passionate about leaving the mountains in a better condition too. Varshini was fanatic about leaving the beautiful Kashmir Great Lakes as untouched as possible. And that’s the reason she helped pick up litter, left behind by villagers and trekkers from other trips on the Naranag trail. She picked up the trash overlooked by others at the camp site. And also made it her responsibility to collect trash from each tent. She even collected biodegradable things like paper and tissues on the trails. “Who knows when such things disintegrate into the soil?” was the thought running around in her head.
As a Green Getter, you should also believe that you can make a difference. Vishnu passionately believed this. That is why he sacrificed his trek rest day and spent his time clearing the lake bed near his camp site. It took him a couple of rounds with his trash bag to empty the place of plastic waste, cans, bottles etc.
“I didn’t litter the place, others did,” is not your predominant thought if you are a Green Getter. Like Vishnu, you feel a moral responsibility towards these mountains. Vishnu justifies this when he says, “I cannot bear to see any form of uncleanliness on these scenic trails. I feel it is my responsibility to keep the Himalayan trails free from trash. So, whenever I saw trash anywhere on the trails or even further away, I picked it up.”
Rajiv Jain too voices this thought when he says, “I have been trekking for around 40 years, sometimes alone and sometimes with Indiahikes. And I want to see these major hiking trails clean. So I do whatever little I can in whichever trek I participate.” For his dedicated efforts Rajiv bagged the tag of Green Getter certificate for two trek trails; Goechala trek on April 18th and the Kashmir Great Lakes trek on July 6th.
So do you think you have these inherent qualities? Then you can very well be our next Green Getter.