Green Trails update: What happened to the garbage found on the Kashmir Great Lakes trek

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The Kashmir trekkers this year have a lot to boast about. One unusual aspect to boast about is the garbage collection done. Trekkers picked and collected more than 10 quintals of plastic and other non- degradable waste.  That’s more than a 1000 kilos!

Kashmir brings to mind endless mountains, meadows and valleys – crisscrossed by streams and adorned with pristine emerald lakes. This is how it is – but not for long. Unfortunately we humans have this talent of destroying beauty with impunity and utter carelessness.

Nichnai and Gangbal areas are so beautiful and attract local picnickers. People camp there and enjoy the beauty but leave their mark before departing. Beer cans, liquor bottles and wrappers are just left there. behind rock faces and strewn around.

Why can’t they just take back what they bring? Why do people think they can just litter and leave?! Aren’t empty bottles and packets lighter when empty?

Questions are never ending and result in nothing. Talking and debating does not help either. Action and education are necessary. This is precisely what our trekkers guided by their trek leaders have done.

What the trekkers did:

*All trekkers carried their own Eco Bags to take back garbage found on the trails and at campsites as part of Indiahikes’ Green Trail initiative. Garbage from the Eco Bags were emptied into bigger bags at campsites. These were then brought all the way down to the base – to be taken for proper disposal.

Manjeet from Aug 8th ’15 batch says,”I got Green Getter certificate. I really enjoyed picking plastic garbage till returning day from Gangbal. After the dhaba near Naranag onwards I was disappointed to see the way people have done harm to mother nature.”

What our kitchen staff did:

Pits were dug for degradable waste that was properly covered before leaving the campsite. All non- degradable waste was collected separately and brought down.

What happened to the garbage brought down to the base

Saranbir Singh, one of the trek leaders on the slope reported that garbage was collected and taken to the Achan dumping ground in Srinagar by trek leader Dushyant Sharma. For this proper permission was taken from the authorities.

Here garbage is further segregated and sent once a month for recycling. They had just cleared it two weeks before we brought our stuff down.

 

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Izzat Yaganagi

Izzat Yaganagi

Izzat is the Head of Outdoor Education Programmes at Indiahikes. She is also an avid trekker and promotes sustainable living. She believes that all children must trek since there's no better teacher than nature. When not busy with work, she loves doodling and gardening.

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