Our strategy to address the waste problem is fourfold:
Research and Documentation
The waste problem in Ladakh is erroneously assessed as a twin problem of improper waste disposal (littering, burning, dumping in open spaces and water bodies) and insufficient waste management (less collection of waste, less number of dustbins in public places and homes, less municipal workers, etc.). Accordingly, the local authorities and local communities address the waste problem by focusing on cleaning streets and neighbourhoods, and waste collection from households.
We believe that the waste problem has many causes, and it is important to investigate and understand these causes in order to develop effective solutions to address the problem. To this end, we are involved in identifying specific, minute or unnoticed issues related to the waste problem, analysing and documenting them. Several of the topics that we have studied are featured in our blog section.
Advocacy and Campaign
The ultimate solution to the waste problem is to prevent waste generation for which, it is required to have continuous education and awareness raising in the local community about waste and sustainable practices to generate the least possible waste.
Further to our research and documentation, we are committed to spreading the information collected by us, and advocating for adopting sustainable practices. Salient points of our advocacy include switching from single-use items to reusable ones, feeding food waste to cows and dogs, and repairing, repurposing and circulating products and materials instead of discarding them.
Recovery and Reuse
The only sustainable solution to the waste that is already around us, and the fresh waste created daily, is to recover as much of the usable products and materials as possible, and put them to use.
We know that all products and materials are made from natural resources, be it plastics and synthetic fibres or paper and glass. Therefore, our endeavour is to recover discarded products and materials, and reuse them in innovative ways. Our principal work in this area is recovering fabric waste from local tailors and stitching various utility items, such as reusable carry bags.
It is necessary to monitor, evaluate, and assess, or wherever possible, measure the outcomes and impact of our works on the environment, economy, and society to know how far our solutions for addressing the waste problem are effective on the ground.
Hence, we record how much waste we recover and reuse, how many advocacy meetings or training sessions we conduct and so on, to give an idea of the actual difference we are making to the environment and the local communities.