Want In On This With Us?

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

One of our Kopila family goals for 2012 is to figure out a solution for our garbage. There is close to NO waste management in Nepal; sewer systems, toilets, septic systems, garbage collection, landfills, none of it exists. When I look at Nepal's beautiful sacred holy rivers, forrests, mountains and temples and see garbage or smell rubber and plastic burning in heaps along the side of the road, it makes me immensely sad. I know waste is a problem everywhere!  Sometimes I wish I could speed up the growth of my children and get them to start something! Then again, why wait?

The kids and I are really trying to make a commitment to do our part. It's a challenge for us. Between the school and home we produce a lot of waste and there is NO truck that comes around early every Tuesday morning with nice guys in yellow vests to pick it up. There isn't a recycling center either and the city's open sewer and canal system ends right in front of our house due to lack of government funds to finish the job last year so a lot of the garbage from upstream, anything from x-rays, to plastic bottles, to old shoes ends up right in front of our yard. Every time I walk outside the front gate and throw one of Namraj's disposable diapers into the pile I feel a little pang of guilt. We hire a little tractor to come and take the garbage to a dumping site in the city but after that, I have no idea where it will end up.

So here's the plan we came up with. We've been teaching the kids about the concept of Reduce, Reuse, Recycle.

If we go to the market we're trying to remember to bring our own bags and stay away from buying things that are packaged.

We're also doing a better job of separating our food compost (in the back of the house,) from our garbage (in the front) and recycling everything we can into sorted bins that we can either carry down 3 hours from here on trips to Nepal Ganj to be recycled or give out to garbage collectors who periodically come by.

It's a small start but we're on our way to being more aware and more responsible.

Kids, fellow Nepalese, and friends all over the world, do you want in on this with us? What little things can you commit to doing this year to be more responsible for the environment and your community wherever you are? Please leave a comment below and I'll share your ideas with the Kopila kids.  And let us know if you want to do something in your neighborhood in honor of community service month at Kopila Valley School!

Peace and love from Kopila Valley in Surkhet, Nepal.

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