Kodachadri which is the 13th highest peak in Karnataka and is also declared as a natural heritage site by the Karnataka government. The Sanskrit name which translates to “Jasmine of the hills” is turning to “Hill of trash”. This biodiversity hotspot which is home for several species of flora and fauna now has more discarded plastic than plants.
We, a team of 20 people decided to clean Kodachadri as much as we can. we started on Friday night at 10 PM from Bangalore. Once we reached shankarpeetha, we found a patch of forest that was covered with a lot of trash. We started collecting the trash which ended up in around 28 bags (≅ 330 Kgs) and it is from just a small patch of forest and it was only 40% of the total trash in that place. Plastic bottles, wrappers, glass bottles, etc. piling up there for so many months or maybe years. It was all mixed in mud and was really hideous. We segregated the trash into respective categories (Recyclable plastic, glass, etc.). We managed to collect as much trash as possible.
Carrying back the bags was the major task. It wasn’t that easy to carry all those bags downhill. With slopes and over hangings all the way we may not have made it back to the base without the help of some tourists who extended their help. An elderly lady who hailed from Kerala was so compassionate and helped us by carrying bags on her head (Not all heroes wear capes, ours wore a saree and a beautiful smile). The jeep drivers helped us taking those trash bags to the forest department. We all are really thankful to each one of them who helped us make this happen.
So many ask us why are you people doing this cleanup?? The forest department will take care of it. There is a government that will introduce new schemes for the clean-up. Some ask will this really change anything??
If you can’t feed a hundred people, then feed just One-Mother Theresa
If we can’t clean all the mountains, we will clean at least one.
We will clean as much as we can. We don’t want to leave our waste for the next generations. We strongly believe in humanity and kindness. The people who help us every time, the power of positivity and hope are helping us move forward. It isn’t the responsibility of some department or a government or one person in specific. Its duty of every person to be responsible for what they do and think about the consequences which might affect nature which belongs to not just us but also our next generations.
There are a few tips we would like to share that will help avoid trash ending up in the mountains.
- A major part of the waste that we collect is plastic things like water bottles, food wrappers, straws, covers, etc. We can try to avoid this by switching to carrying our own water bottle, taking food like fruits or pack food from home in a reusable container, take a cloth bag instead of plastic covers. These small changes in our decisions do make a very big difference.
- Try collecting things which don’t belong there in the mountains.
- If you find any dust bins near temples in the mountains which are overfilled, inform the forest department or any concerned personnel.
- Help someone who is trying to do the clean-up. (like someone did to us)
- Be a part or start an initiative by yourself.
We wish someday anyone who goes for a mountain trek will come back with only memories and will leave only footprints.
Below are the key highlights:
|Event date||9th and 10th Nov 2019|
|Number of participants||20|
|Involved trekking clubs and other organizations||Green leaf adventurers, high on hills, treks unlimited, trekNomads|
|Number of trash bags collected||28|
|Total trash collected in KG||330|
Please join us at https://cleanmountains.org/or https://www.facebook.com/cleanmountains.org/ for more updates like this and to be part of upcoming drives. Let’s all work together to make our mountains litter-free. One mountain at a time