With the zest for adventure sports and activities booming up, the number of adventure seekers has escalated in the last few years. Out of all activities, trekking is the one that has seen the maximum accretion in its trekkers. This increasing number could become a problematic affair considering the dreadful impact on the mountain ecosystem. To minimize the impact and effect on the ecosystem, we made our own environmental policy in which we find out efficient ways and implement it to secure the environment.
Since we made our environmental policy we were seeking for an idea to manage the waste on mountains or high altitude areas. So one day an idea struck our mind and we decided to experiment it.
Recently we shaped this idea into reality and we named it “Zero Footprint Initiative”. Here's a short report on what actually happened.
It all started on the Beas Kund trek, which is one of the most popular treks in Indian Himalayas and attracts a good number of visitors around the year. Initially, all our trekkers were little confused as they were wondering “what is going to happen”? Our trek leader started with a brief introduction about the task. All they needed to do was to collect the waste from the trail while trekking. The trekkers then provided with the recycled bags to tie on their waists and collect the litter from the trail. We all started picking up the waste from Dhundi, which is the starting point of the trek. Some collected more and some less, but the good thing was that everyone participated including our staff and completed the task. After finishing the trek, the whole waste was brought down to the last campsite, viz Bakharthatch and we weighed it on the machine. 5 kgs in 3 days of trekking which consisted of plastic bottles, wrappers, and polythenes collected by trekkers and our staff. We were surprised to see the response. If we keep collecting at this rate, we would collect some 2000 Kgs during our normal trek operations during the year. Not that we want more waste on the trekking trails but such is the irony that all this waste does exist!
After receiving this amazing response, we decided to give a reward to those who collected maximum waste. After all this, we brought down the waste to Manali and dumped it in to the garbage bin of Municipal Corporation.
Here is the list of the trekkers who participated in the Zero Footprint initiative:
|Name||Waste Collected||Prize Voucher Won|
|Suvo Pal||179 g||200/-|
|Prakash Raj||19 g||100/-|
|Sushma Chaudhary||173 g||200/-|
|Neha Rajpal||42 g||100/-|
|Rashmi Borah||378 g||400 + 1000 (Bonus)|
|Atul Khanna||20 g||100/-|
We are highly thankful to our fellow trekkers who gave their efforts and supported us in taking this initiative.
Here’s what our trekkers say about the initiative
Neha Rajpal - "definitely a good initiative from Bikat Adventures. The mountains are the most untouched environment and we should keep it that way. Plus, giving incentives in the form of points and discounts is really good."
Prakash Raj - "it is a good initiative and Bikat Adventures should definitely continue with this."
Rashmi Borah - "it is a wonderful initiative and we should leave the environment the way we found it, after completing the trek. It was fun doing it and didn't do it for any monetary benefits. Bikat Adventures should definitely continue with this."
In our environment & safety policy we have made some protocols regarding the conservation of our environment like we don’t make batches of more than 15 people or we don’t do fix camps. So, with the success of our recent initiative, we have decided that we will try to implement this “Zero Footprint Initiative” regularly, on each of our treks.
In the initiative, trekkers will have to collect the waste from the trail while trekking and bring it to the terminating point of the trek. The total waste collected by trekkers will get measured with the help of weighing machine and for each gram collected by trekkers, they will get a reward in the form of vouchers and a certificate. Also, a special reward will be given to the person who will collect the maximum waste.
We are still running our brains to refine this plan. If you have any innovative idea then hit it.
Tell us your suggestions in the comments.