The magnificent landscape of the Nepalese Himalayas is currently in danger. In most areas there are no trash cans and garbage lines the trails and streets. There is no formal recycling system or environmental awareness education available, leading to a general lack of concern for the quickly deteriorating landscape. Much of this is caused by the thousands of plastic water bottles, batteries, and packaged foods that are each placed in a plastic bag upon purchase for tourists and locals alike. Recognizing the severity of this issue we, the brothers at the Annapurna Eco-village are working hard to do what we can to reduce waste and educate future generations about the necessity of environmental awareness.
At Annapurna Eco-village we have placed separate bins for plastic, aluminum and glass, and compost, which will then be reused. We have presented the idea to several groups of school children in the surrounding areas, trying to ensure that the future generations of Nepal develop an educated sense of duty to protect the environment in which they live. We also collect old batteries in order to keep the toxic waste off of the streets where children play, and animals scrounge for food. Additionally, we offer safe drinking water from a sand filtered water system for our guests to refill their old water bottles with so they won’t have to buy new bottles every time. In order to reduce pollution and ensure sustainability for Nepal, no mineral water bottles are sold here. We have been doing this for over five years now, and we have recorded that in three of those years we have saved hundreds of thousands of plastic bottles from being thrown to waste on the streets, and that is only at Annapurna Eco-village.
The idea has caught on and now several others like local government schools in the surrounding villages are offering water for refilling water bottles, as well. We provide refreshingly hot showers heated with solar power as opposed to wasting electricity or forest wood to heat the water. Finally, we offer biodegradable, reusable cotton shopping bags for our guests to take out shopping, in order to discourage the wasteful habit that local shopkeepers have acquired of giving a plastic bag with even the smallest of purchases.
We are doing our best, but it’s difficult to make a big impact when we feel that we are alone in this cause. If you recognize the importance of the task of reducing waste and keeping the environment clean, then your support is always welcome. If you have any ideas for how to more efficiently reduce waste, or if you would like to volunteer some of your time for the cause, we would love to see you.
We are also in need of environmental awareness literature to distribute to school children or any other donation that you think would be helpful.
We hope to hear from you soon!