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Devkund Waterfall: An Eco Trekking Experience

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Leave No Trace! - My Eco Trekking Story

My recent trek to Devkund was yet another fulfilling trek I did since Rupin Pass. It’s a popular picnic spot known for its magnificent waterfall. And thus, hosts a large number of tourists and trekkers all around the year, especially during monsoons. I had always been keen to visit at least once, and so I finally did with the Trek and Trails team. One thing I kept in mind beforehand was to practice what I had learned from my previous green trailing experience: Eco Trekking. 

Before we began with the trek, I had asked the trek leader to practice a cleanliness drive. Being an environmentalist, I wanted to make sure we were responsible and kind to the ecosystem we were about to enter. As we were heading up to the waterfall, we could see the upsetting human menace – trash! The need for eco trekking became unsurprisingly obvious.  

After spending a good time goofing around the waterfall, on our way back, we began eco trekking. We started picking up the trash we had come across earlier. I am thankful for the support my trek-mates showed and joined in to do their duty. We found a lot of waste; however, we picked up only those we were accessible to. Heads turned and whispers heard. A few people even asked and I quote, “Aap koi social worker ho kya? Kisi Ngo se ho kya?(Are you guys social workers? Do you all belong to some NGO?)”; it gave a sense of pride to answer, “No.”

What started with just a single bag, ended up with 4 bags and one big sack full of trash. We collected food wrappers (mango-bite seems to be the favorite candy there!); single-use bottles and caps; some torn slippers and shoe soles; and lots of other plastic waste. Thanks to my amazing trek mates, we left the trail cleaner than what it was before.

It was a wonderful team effort that gave a liberatingly “fulfilling” experience.  

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‘A Life on Our Planet’ – A Must Watch!

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Sir David's, 'A Life on Our Planet' Gives a Much Needed Wake-up Call

A few days back, I watched ‘A life on Our Planet’ – a documentary narrated by Sir David Attenborough. What follows ahead is everything that I feel to say about the film.

There are only a handful of films that make you think on a deeper level. And this one manages to do that. What I loved the most, is the optimistic tone of the narrative.

The human race has overused natural resources and we are very well aware of that, yet we do little to give back. Addressing this issue, the film sheds light on human errors, and how we claimed our existence to be superlative.

Watching the polar bear swim in the Arctic, the Amazon burning, a possible 6th mass extinction, etc. I strongly question our way of life. We have a lot to mend. But this is not all that the film has to offer. Do not mistake this documentary to be yet another yawnfest.

The film does show our mistakes, but it also leads us to the answer we need today. The answer to solving our current crisis, which is to thrive with nature. Restoring our biodiversity will be a good start to making amends.

“If we protect nature, nature will protect us.”

– Sir David Attenborough

Our period, the Holocene, is one of the most stable periods. As Sir states and I agree,
“We’ve come this far because we are the smartest creatures that have ever lived. But to continue, we require more than intelligence. We require Wisdom.”,
it’s high time we learn from our wrongdoings.

As Sir David’s witness statement, ‘A Life on Our Planet’ has a strong ability to make you worry about the current crisis. Nothing portrayed is too silly, or too “extra”. With an informative and gradual pace, the documentary succeeds in convincing you that it’s about time you take action. That it’s time to reform.

I would recommend you to watch this beautiful documentary. It’s interesting, moving, and every other positive adjective. 

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Can the Earthshot Prize Save Us from Climate Change?

The Earthshot Prize - A Ray of Hope; Or is It?

In recent years, environmental awareness has taken a positive momentum. From companies pledging to go carbon-neutral to commoners practicing eco-lifestyles, it is safe to say that there’s hope. The Earthshot prize can have a significant impact on this optimism.

What is the Earthshot Prize?

The Royal Foundation’s Earthshot Prize is the most prestigious Environment award. This Nobel-like prize is an effort to inspire and fund the solutions for a better future.

The Earthshot Prize revolves around five ‘Earthshots’ – simple but ambitious goals such as,

1. Protect and Restore Nature
2. Clean Our Air
3. Revive Our Oceans
4. Build a Waste-free World
5. Fix Our Climate
which if achieved by 2030 will improve life for us all, for generations to come.”

In a conversation with Sir David Attenborough, Prince Williams says that they expect at least 50 solutions until 2030. These solutions will be significant in changing the current scenario.

A yearly award ceremony is expected to take place in different cities across the world from 2021 to 2030. Each year, only 5 Earthshot prizes will be awarded for finding solutions to great environmental problems. These could be to 5 people, teams, or collaborations.

With £1 million prize money as the prize money, the winner will also receive a global platform to showcase the solutions.

“Shortlisted nominees will also be given tailored support and opportunities to help scale their work, including being connected with an ecosystem of like-minded individuals and organizations.”

For now, the Royal Foundation is managing the Earthshot prize; but it is expected to be its own entity by 2021.

Final Thoughts

The Earthshot prize is a promising effort to influence the change we need today.

For a globally sustainable future, major solutions need to be popular. This way, they can be in action within the masses.

The very cornerstone of this movement is to negate pessimism while motivating optimism. And that’s pretty progressive.