How This Swedish Citizen Uses Eco-Bricks To Fight Plastic Pollution In Manali

Hawey Lupus is just not another smiling face on the streets of Manali.

This Swedish citizen who chose to settle here has an inspiring yet secret story to share. The story which led him to find his true calling thousands of kilometres away in a small town in India.

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Hawey and his colleagues used the glass bottles and bottle bricks to make decorative art pieces at their cafe.

When I got to know about him I couldn’t resist but contact him and ask him about it.

His love for the planet (which he fondly calls mother Earth), nature and humanity shows when he speaks about it. Hawey is a person who can talk endlessly and engage in deep meaningful conversations. He says India has inspired these feelings in him.

That’s why when he calls India his home away from home, I wasn’t surprised.

Hawey’s journey to India

Hawey completed his schooling in Sweden before coming to India. Intrigued by the stories of mythical peace offered in India, he came looking for spirituality. For the last four months, he has been living in India, discovering different places and finding himself.

He first visited Rishikesh where he spent time with sages and saints in ashrams learning about Hinduism. He then went to Haridwar, Chandigarh, Palampur and Dharamshala before moving up and finally reaching Manali, where he is currently working at a café in Jagatsukh. In his journey, he discovered friendship & saw a new side of humanity.

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Hawey Lupus at The Lost Tribe Cafe where he works.

But there is something more that he noticed during his journey.

He saw garbage. Lots and lots of garbage! Wherever he went, the view of garbage littered on the roads, on slopes, on river banks, on mountains, overpowered the smiling faces of people he met.

Hawey starts the change with him

Being someone who deeply cares about mother Earth, witnessing this side of India appalled him. Hawey is not one to crib about problems. He believes in the power of an individual to bring about a change. He wanted to do something about the waste problem. So he started segregating all the waste that was dumped near the café he works in. But he did not know what to do with it.

That is where Green Trails stepped in.

In a casual chat with our Green Trails team, he learnt how we deal with plastic waste using eco-bricks. This inspired him to jump into action and get his hands dirty.

He found the idea of eco-bricks so ingenious he immediately decided to make some of his own. The next time we went to talk to Hawey, we were surprised and proud to see that he had made 30 eco-bricks all by himself. The fact that somebody from another country can care so much about our environmental issues of a country like ours, made us curious.

Hawey’s journey with Green Trails

We decided to ask him why he was working for the problems of a place so far away from his homeland. He said he was only doing this out of his love for nature and because he feels a deep connection with his surroundings. He just wants to do his bit to help the nature and was not into it for any kind of recognition or reward.

Fascinated by his thoughts, we asked him if he believed that he could truly make a change when the villagers were not doing anything.

Hawey’s answer made our day.

He said that there is inherent goodness in every human being. They just need a push to be a better person. He believes he could be that match that can ignite the desire to change for good in the villagers. Though language is a barrier for him, he wants to inspire people through his actions.

He told us enthusiastically that now when he passes any shop in Jagatsukh, people offer their waste to him. But he politely tells them to segregate their waste and give him only soft plastic for eco-bricks.

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Soft plastic waste that Hawey uses to make the bottle bricks.
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Hawey shows us the bottle bricks he has made so far.

He went on to say that if everybody embraced the goodness within themselves and made small changes in their lives, there will not be any need to go out of our way or for mass campaigns. He also noted that people are usually conscious about the waste problem but are not aware of how to deal with it.

Green Trails, he believed, could be that missing link that can bridge the gap between goodwill and effective actions with its innovative techniques and focus on segregation. Out of curiosity, we asked him if Green Trails ceased to exist tomorrow, would he still continue with his efforts? What he said reaffirmed our belief in Green Trails’ mission. He said even if the Green Trails stopped existing, he would carry on the work on his own because the techniques would be still there.

Now that Green Trails has shown him the way he has enough motivation to continue with his efforts even without any help from others. This is what we have always wanted.

Hawey’s Way Forward

Hawey intends to stay in Jagatsukh till he finds a permanent solution to the waste problem with the help of villagers here, before moving to any new place in India. His thoughts resonated with us in that, every individual has enough power to make a change and just needs to be inspired. Seeing Hawey doing his bit for mother Earth one eco-brick a time, this fight against plastic feels like a winning battle.

Scroll down and send in your wishes for Hawey in the comments section. We will make sure it reaches him.

Have a green idea in your mind that could help us keep the environment green? Comment below or write to our Green Trails head – Lakshmi at Lakshmi@indiahikes.com.


What you should do now

1. If you want to serve as a Green Trails Intern: Read this article before applying.

2. If you want to work as a Green Trails Fellow: Read this article to know more about it.

3. 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.

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Akshay Upreti

Akshay Upreti

Akshay Upreti is a Green Trails intern. A Computer Science engineer by qualification, he happily chooses mountains over a computer screen. A strong believer in change through empowerment and awareness, he wants to make trekking a sustainable sport where nature and trekkers live in harmony. Besides love for mountains and everything found in them, he likes poetry and hot tea.

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