Sharayu Mishal

A nature enthusiast doing her best to make a difference.


A Guide to Conscious Trekking

Learn How to be a Responsible Trekker

Since 2019, I have grown a huge interest in trekking. If you too are a fellow trekking enthusiast, high-five! But if you are not into treks, I strongly recommend you give it a try.


To trek is to explore nature in a much more lively manner. And the best season to do that is monsoon. Be it in the Sahyadris, or the Himalayas, the luscious green meadows, the generous meet and greets with waterfalls, the sweet smell of mud wafting around after a slight drizzle of rain, and the beautiful scenery observed from the top of mountains, fill the chest of pleasures with tranquility. To be honest, any season is a trekking season!

However, many a time, this pleasureful rendezvous with nature doesn’t feel special when you happen to come across..

With trekking gaining popularity, an increasing number of people are trailing within the natural hot spots. And there is absolutely nothing wrong in it, as long as one chooses not to leave behind traces. Don’t you agree?

So, how can one be careful? How can you and I be conscious in regards to not leaving behind such footprints when on a trek?  

The solutions are simple. One has to responsibly manage his waste by following the principle of ‘ Leave No Trace.’

And today, to help you inspire and be conscious, I want to highlight the green efforts of one of India’s top trekking communities – Indiahikes.

In June 2019, I had an opportunity to go for a Himalayan trek with this team. It was then when I was first introduced to their concept, “Green Trails.”

What is Green Trails?

Green trails an initiative put forth by Indiahikes to clean and maintain the beauty of the Himalayas. Their objective is to reform the world of trekking in an eco-friendly and sustainable way to reduce the environmental impact.

How do they do it?

1. Eco-Bags

Before beginning with the trek, the trekkers are handed with an eco-bag (the one tied to my waist).

The purpose of this bag is to collect litter encountered along the trail. And it is strictly for the trash found in the mountains.

With the “take your trash back” policy, Indiahikes makes it clear that every trekker has to take their waste back with them, a rule we all should anyway follow.

Around 6000 Kg of waste is collected every year from the Himalayas, which is a lot!

2. Segregation

At each successive campsite, all the collected litter in the eco-bags get segregated into wastes that can go for recycling/upcycling, composting, and non-recycling waste.

The goal to minimize the amount of waste going into the landfill forms the cornerstone of the Green Trails. 

3. Dry Toilets

Did you know that human poop takes around one year to decompose?

Also, did you know that an average human produces around 500 g of poop every day? That means in 7 days, one trekker produces around 3.5 kilos of poop. A batch of 18 trekkers, in 7 days, produces 63 kilos of poop.

These numbers matter, especially when a group goes for a week-long trek. Pooping in the wilderness has its drawbacks as it can pollute the groundwater that flows into nearby rivers, or can even pass harmful bacteria from humans to the animals. Therefore, poop decomposition is crucial.

Luckily, Indiahikes has managed to find a way to reduce this impact by building Dry Toilets at each campsite. These are toilet tents with a deep pit, and two sacks – one with sawdust/cocopeat (powdered coconut husk) and the other with mud.

All you have to do is, and I’m saying this from experience,

  1. Squat over the pit,
  2. do your business, use the toilet paper, and throw it in the pit;
  3. Finally, cover everything with cocopeat and mud.

Why cocopeat?

Because it soaks up the moisture content and fastens the decomposition process, this makes the poop degrade within 6-8 months.

As water slows down the degradation, these dry toilets prove to be useful.

Now I know that for a regular one-day trek, you might not make the effort to carry along cocopeat. However, what you can do is find a spot at least 200 meters away from the campsite or the water stream, dig up a pit, excrete and cover it up. This way, you can ensure less impact on the groundwater and also maintain the overall hygiene of the surrounding. 

4. Workshops and Awareness Programs

Villages in the remotest of places, do not have municipal corporations to take care of the waste therein; this triggers the local people to dig up a giant pit, fill it with their garbage, and burn the entire thing. As a result, this process does nothing but simply piles up pollution levels.

With Green trails, Indiahikes organizes workshops to address the issue and help create awareness among the villagers, promoting the idea of segregation.

The team educates and encourages them to engineer upcycled products like eco-bricks. Eco-bricks comprise filling a plastic or glass bottle with non-biodegradable waste materials. These bricks prove to be of excellent use in the construction of local infrastructures.

Another such example is the creation of eco-pillows sold to the trekkers as souvenirs. Local women are encouraged to participate in crafting these upcycled products, and the revenue made is distributed among them.


  • Such grassroots projects functioning deliberately for the greater good of our society, call for the acknowledgment and support from recognized organizations that can help to achieve the goal with greater efficiency.
  • Indiahikes is doing their bit to keep their trail as clean as humanly possible. Awareness towards them can itself help change the perspective of us citizens to do our bit to maintain not just the wilderness but the daily surroundings as well.
  • We should not feel the need for such initiatives to go for a cleanliness drive, even picking up a piece of trash encountered on our way and discarding it into a dustbin can make a difference. Or from now on, let us carry an eco-bag of our own!

Comment down below and let me know what you think.

essay on environmental issues by kids

5 Essays on Environmental issues by Kids

Environmental Essays Written by Kids

Covid-19 has given us enough evidence to realize that only humans are capable of both protecting and destroying the environment. We went into lockdown and the earth began to heal itself. Pollution levels dropped, and the surroundings regained their natural value.

Lockdown has made us retrospect our actions, which made the World Environment Day 2020 even more valuable. And as a segment to acknowledge this day, Ecopurple asked a few kids to jot down essays, to understand how the young minds perceive the environment.

To keep it genuine, the following essays have not been polished by correcting the writing errors; the reason is for you to cherish their innocence.

1️⃣ By Aditi Kumbhar, age 12.

World Environment Day

We celebrate World environment day on the 5th of June; it promotes ways to improve the Earth’s environment, such as conserving forests and preventing pollution.

Global warming is one of the main causes of air pollution. It is caused by increased rates of methane and CO2 in air which results in the melting of ice capes. Due to the increased population of vehicles and frequent cutting of trees, the CO2 in the air is increasing. The industries discard all the wastes in water which affects the organisms living in the water. Disposal of non-biodegradable waste such as plastics causes the death of animals who eat them. The burning of plastics also causes air pollution.

We need to control all this before the situation gets worse. Plastic bags should be strictly prohibited. Tress should be planted frequently. Public transport should be promoted. Water should be used wisely. The dry waste and wet waste should be separated and their disposal should be done carefully. Earth is like our home and we must make efforts to keep it clean and green.

2️⃣ By Yatish Chipkar, age 11.

World Environment Day

The environment is one of the most important aspects of survival on earth. it is the thing that can make life sustainable.  we cannot survive a single day without it. 

World Environment Day was established in 1972 on the first day of the Stockholm conference. In 1974 the first day of World Environment Day was held. As we are going under the current situation we should at least try to plant one plant in front of our house we should try not to use more water on this day. Try to use products that are sustainable and are made out of biodegrading materials. Try to recycle waste rather than throwing it. 

The most dangerous thing for the environment is pollution. Pollution harms the environment poisoning lakes and soil. It kills the plants and animals and humans are harmed by pollution too. W are can save the planet and stay away from pollution by not using single-use items like plastic, walk more rather than using vehicles, conserve water, and plant trees instead of cutting them. 

Come let’s save the environment rather than destroying it.

3️⃣ By Shubham Jhala, age 11.

Environment and Pollution

Pollution is something people have created. pollution classified into four groups air water land and noise. 

Water pollution happens when waste is dumped on a water body like Ocean, Seas, and lakes. This causes the area where the waste was disposed to be polluted and no longer support life. 

Land pollution happens when people throw waste on the ground which then soaks into the soil and makes it unfertilized. 

Noise pollution happens when there is a lot of noise due to construction, cars honking, or kids shouting. This makes school children not concentrate and patients in the hospital uncomfortable that is why they are no noise zones. 

Air pollution happens when factories leave smoke; this causes breathing-related problems and hard to breathe. 

The environment is something that is all around us and these pollutions are harmful to it. We all need to help in saving our environment by reducing all kinds of pollution.

4️⃣ By Yash Koli, age 11.

Environment Day

The environment is a God-created atmosphere on earth where we are born, grow, play, Love, and live. It consists of water, air, plants, and animals. It is our original home for living.

Before creating life on earth, God created air, water, soil, and plants which are essential for our life. Our environment consists of living and non-living things. They can be classified as the natural environment and the built environment. The natural environment is something that has been in existence for long, it is God gifted; and the built environment is the one that has been created by man.

World Environment Day is celebrated on 5th June every year. People from more than a hundred countries celebrate this day. Furthermore, World Environment Day is run by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP)  since the year 1973. The main purpose of celebrating this day was to spread awareness. The awareness was about the conservation of our environment. 

We want our environment to be safe, but there are few pollutions, which affect our environment. Pollutions such as air pollution, water pollution, land pollution, noise pollution, etc.

I want to talk about air pollution. It is one of the major concerns regarding the environment. Air pollution is the addition of any harmful gases to the atmosphere which causes damage to the environment and human health. Some of the measures to control air pollution can be reducing the use of automobiles, plant more plants go solar, etc. 

We have to save our environment from air pollution.

5️⃣ By Tanmay Naik, age 12.

Our Environment

Every year, 5th June is celebrated as World Environment Day. To create awareness towards the conservation of our resources like food, water, and electricity. Our environment is beautiful, but day by day we are making it dirty.

Some people throw garbage in rivers, lakes, and Ponds; and water cannot be used anymore. Some people fall ill because of water pollution.

Some ways to reduce pollution are: stop throwing garbage on the road and water to reduce land and water, planting more trees to reduce air pollution. Plant trees to save and to keep our environment clean.


These youngsters have mentioned some important points that we adults, who are capable of creating a change should consider. 

It’s never too late to educate ourselves and adopt responsible practices for the sustenance of our species.

We can help shape the minds of the generation to come by inculcating the importance of our ecosystems within them.

Let’s be conscious. 


Upcycling at its Best – Studio Alternatives

The Art of Upcycling For a Sustainable Lifestyle

I am a fan of upcycling, I am all for it. For those of you who are not aware of what upcycling is, it is nothing but a fancy term for – ‘Best Out of Waste.’ For instance, using a worn-out tire for a swing, or converting beer bottles into lamps, etc qualify to define the upcycling process (No, it’s not the same as recycling).

It takes a creative toll on your mind to implement this art; reusing trash and transforming it into something that increases its quality than its original status, calls for an innovative brain.

Ecopurple intends to promote eco-creativity and sustainable choices. So today, this particular post is to highlight the eco-creative work of a firm that aces in the craft of upcycling.

Studio Alternatives

This Pune based studio is an interior design consultancy and more. Their artwork is not limited to creating a brand new showcase from scratch, but they have very well excelled at the concept of upcycling as well.

Not only the interiors, but the team also designs a myriad range of upcycled products, from earrings to handbags, to furniture, they have saved a lot of waste from getting end up into the landfills.

The Scraplab

The team has a dedicated ScrapLab, wherein a stock of discarded materials that have the potential of getting subsumed into something creative is stored. This must be where their minds begin to churn the creative juices!

From households to industries, the team collects scraps from all levels, driving the waste to a valuable object of use. 

Sustainable Homes with Used Shipping Containers

By building container homes, they have taken the game of upcycling up a notch. The studio has transformed used shipping containers into a variety of desirable environments.

“The inherent mobility of these structures also make them amenable to be deployed at otherwise inaccessible areas in a short period of time as compared to conventional brick and mortar construction.” 

This includes a well-furnished Studio apartment, daycare centers, multi-purpose workspaces, farmhouses, etc.

Luxury constructions like farmhouses that are not so essential for livelihood can settle with such eco-friendly creations. It is crucial to utilize and to create the best out of waste whenever the opportunity presents itself, thereby reducing the ecological footprint which is left behind.

Studio's Awareness Initiatives

Along with their efforts of building upcycled decors and constructions, Studio Alternatives also organize workshops, a way to impart the knowledge and awareness about waste management, and practical sessions for crafting upcycled items. A green-craft class!

Going through their website and social media profiles, their innovations made sure to captivate my attention. It’s fascinating to see the practice of old-school best out of waste in a practically impactful way. Kudos to the creative minds!

If there’s a chance to upcycle even 20 percent of this pollution, slowly and gradually, there will be a day where waste, or more specifically the solid waste, can be brought under control. And to bring about a large-scale reformation, the society as a whole must follow the necessary guidelines and contribute to help change the above statistics.

Comment down below and let me know what you think. 

Recycling and Upcycling are different procedures

What is Recycling and Upcycling? Same or Different?

 Recycling and upcycling may seem similar, one can get easily confused between the two and even claim them to be the same, but are they? The answer is simply No. Although the two seem similar, there’s one significant difference in their processes. 

By definition, Recycling is when waste is converted into a reusable form. Whereas upcycling is a process in which a discarded material is reutilized, and transformed into a product of higher value than its original status.

Take a look at the following images.

Image 1 is a shoe made out of a plastic bottle, and image 2 is a guitar shelf. 

Can you identify what process is applied in each of the images?

Let us break down the above pictures

The first image has a shoe made out of what looks like a single-use plastic bottle. In this process, the plastic bottles are shredded into flakes, and then after further technical procedures, they are maneuvered into fibers, which can be woven into desirable fabric or product. Therefore, a single-use plastic bottle, unlike the above guitar, is broken down to its entirety and then recycled to create a different product. 

Now the second image. It’s a guitar turned into a beautiful shelf. The instrument is not destroyed to the core and then converted into a new piece of décor. However, it is upcycled.

In other words, upcycling is a fancy term for ‘Best-out-of-waste.’


  • Recycling involves a process of breaking down the discarded object. On the contrary, Upcycling does not break down the material before reusing it; it reutilizes by upgrading the original value of the discarded item. 
  • Both recycling and upcycling results out of one common goal – Reuse, and this approach becomes important when leading a sustainable life.

Therefore, next time when you discard solid wastes, take a moment and think whether there’s a possibility to recycle or upcycle. Blessing the landfill with more unnecessary waste is the last thing we want to do.