4 Eco-Friendly Initiatives in India We Can All Be Proud Of
We are the second most populous country in the world despite containing less than 2.5 percent of the earth’s landmass. Such a large population brings plenty of problems – economic, social, and environmental. Many times, India finds itself having to choose industry over the environment, jobs over air pollution, food over chemicals – the list goes on. Naturally, the implications of these problems and choices are far reaching. The World Economic Forum reported that India has 6 of the top 10 most polluted cities in the world! The Government of India has recognised this and has started multiple initiatives to clean up our country – the National Clean Air Programme and Swachh Bharat Mission being the two best known ones.
Sustainability is the way forward and many enterprising individuals have recognised this. With initiatives starting at the local level, these individuals are trying to help clean up the country and bring eco-friendliness to the forefront of industry. Read on to learn more about them and how you can participate in making our country a cleaner, and greener, place to live in. You never know, you may be inspired to start your own movement.
Although all the villages in India are now on the main power grid, not all households receive electricity. Apart from access, poverty plays a big role in why some households choose not to receive electricity as they cannot afford the bills. Others receive power for only a couple of hours a day begging questions like ‘how do they store their perishables?’
Mitticool, an initiative by Mr. Mansukhbhai Prajapati, a clay craftsman, has the answer to this. He designed a clay refrigerator that works on the principle of evaporation to provide a cool place to store fresh foods and milk for up to seven days without electricity. Water slowly trickles down the porous clay unit and cools its interior as it evaporates. Ingenious!
- Feeding India
The United Nations estimates that nearly 40 percent of the food produced in India is wasted. Yet people are going hungry and malnourishment in children is a problem. Feeding India is a non-profit organization that was acquired by Zomato in 2019. It aims to address the hunger issues our country faces and tackle the problem of food wastage at the same time. Food is wasted on a large-scale during events like weddings, poojas, or in restaurants.
Feeding India partners with local organizations and volunteers to collect this food and give it where it is most needed. They enable people and organizations at local levels to get the food where it needs to go. To top it all off, they now also have a feeding initiative for stray dogs! Pretty cool huh!
- Waste Warriors:
Waste management is an issue that is too big to go into in one paragraph. However, all of us living in the country have noticed how garbage tends to accumulate at street corners, in drains or any uninhabited piece of land. The problem is exacerbated in touristy areas.
Waste Warriors is a Himachal Pradesh and Uttarakhand-based organization which aims to create zero-waste tourist destinations across the states, along with empowering waste-workers and pioneering Solid Waste Management models in rural, urban, and protected areas. If you are visiting their states, you can consider volunteering with them on some of their many cleaning drives. Alternatively, look for a similar organisation near you!
The River Ganga is India’s most sacred river – and one of its most polluted. One of the many contributors to the pollution in the river is the temples around it. Unsustainable amounts of flowers are offered to the river. In fact, floral waste accounts for approximately 16 percent of the pollutants in the river.
Help Us Green is a Kanpur-based initiative that collects 2.4 tons of floral-waste every day from temples and mosques around the river preventing their release into its waters. This is then converted into vermicompost or into incense sticks. Their initiative also empowers rural women by helping them earn their livelihoods.
There are plenty of such innovative organisations around the country. A quick search on Google coupled with the name of your city/town/area will help you find something you want to support with either your time or your money. Have a look around, there are plenty of ways you can get involved. It’s a great way to meet like-minded people too!
Do write in an let me know what makes you tick!