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 and 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 with our eco trek. 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.