How Do You Think We Can Make Green Trails More Self-Sustained?

Innovation serves as a major enabler of the Green Trails Project. Let me tell you how

If there’s a need to spread environmental awareness, our Green Trails fellows conduct Waste Management workshops in local schools and showcase upcycling demonstrations at panchayat meetings.

If we need to stop widespread usage of plastics, we get tailors to stitch cloth bags from leftover cloth pieces and distribute them at local stores.

If we need to combat the usage of non-biodegradable wet wipes, we replace wet-wipes with biodegradable toilet paper rolls.

And the list goes on…

For our Green Trails fellows and interns, innovation is a basic necessity. 

It is their primary tool to motivate people and bring about visible change.

In this week’s updates from Lohajung, we talk about these innovative measures and our lasting fight against waste mismanagement.

Scroll down to read detailed updates.

Lohajung, Roopkund trek, Uttarakhand

How do we make Green Trails more self-sustained in the mountains?

This is a problem we face often.

How do we make Green Trails a more self-sustained initiative? How do we make people practice Green Trails without Indiahikes in the picture? 

I’ll tell you why I’m bringing this up.

Last Saturday, we had scheduled a clean up in Kurali.

However, it did not happen.

Our Green Trails intern Anagha took this up with Rekha Devi, the adhyaksh at the Mahila Mandal. She explained that the clean up must happen regardless of the Green Trails team’s presence. That villagers must be ready to initiate, conduct and sustain these sessions on waste collection, segregation and subsequent recycling.

Rekha Devi agreed and promised to be more assertive about conducting the clean-ups.

Anagha then rescheduled the clean-up drive. Furthermore, she informed Rekha Devi that the team will keep a keen eye to ensure that the clean-ups are done regularly. To facilitate the change, she also took time to talk to the women and reiterated the importance of the clean-ups.

Next, Anagha plans to organize a video session on waste management and global warming. Our past experience proves that videos (in the Hindi language) are effective message carriers of thought-provoking discussions.

Is incentivising Green Trails an answer?

In Wan, a lot of the villagers see the entire Green Trails initiative as a profit-making business.

They are either consumed with the idea of making money out of waste or are not willing to put in an effort to manage their waste.

“Yes, each eco-pillow will give you Rs. 50. Yes, each bottle brick will give you Rs. 10, but this is not our primary intention. The idea is to encourage people to fight waste and learn upcycling.”, says our Green Trails Lead, Lakshmi Selvakumaran.

The lack of discussion, let alone the lack of environmental cognizance, is worrying.

Anagha sees no other way around the villagers’ unmindful behaviour, other than being forthright and transparent.

She’s visiting the next gram panchayat meeting. Having everyone together will allow Anagha and Damyanti ji to discuss the problem.

What do you think?

But this problem of sustainability bothers us to no end. If you have any thoughts around this, please scroll down and drop in a comment.


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 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.

4. If you want to see the 13 best treks of India: Then get our guide here.

Neha Satheesan

Neha Satheesan

Neha Satheesan is the Green Trails Manager. A Master in Environmental and Sustainability Sciences, she works with trekkers and local communities to make trekking an environment-friendly sport. Passionate about community-led initiatives, she believes in empowering people to become agents of change. When not busy saving the environment, she likes to explore cities, doodle and bring up baby plants.

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