Anyone who has been to India knows that waste management is a major challenge. Especially single-use plastics are everywhere. Solving the waste crisis in the Indian Himalayan region is the goal of Waste Warriors. This non profit organisation operates in Uttarakhand and Himachal Pradesh since 2012. What is Waste Warriers’ strategy? And what can you do as tourist or Indian citizen?

Litter on the streets (image source: Refill Ambassadors)
Raising awareness at Bhagsu waterfall, a popular tourist hangout (image source: Refill Ambassadors)

1. Zero waste program

Waste Worriers work closely with local governments to help them overcome challenges in setting up effective waste management systems. The goal is to look for long-term solutions, with a special focus on tourist areas.

2. Community activation

According to Waste Warriors, there are always some people already tackling the problem. Waste Warriors works to identify, encourage and promote the work of these Warriors from within the community. Not just to take care of one’s own waste, but to improve the entire community. Among others, activities include:

  • Collaborate with artists to transform spaces
  • Organise public campaigns
  • Run education programs
  • Responsible tourist initiatives
Pledge to not litter (image source: Refill Ambassadors)

3. Research and advocacy

Waste Warriors partners with academic institutions think tanks, and other non-profits to design and implement policy advocacy and research projects with specific objectives. They look at the environmental impact of waste, behavioural change and technology solutions.

4. Dignified livelihoods

Waste workers often face lots of social and economic difficulties. That’s why Waste Warriors wants to assist youth and women to generate additional income and earn their identity.

Waste Warriers achievements

They state:

A decade into the battle, we realize we have a long path ahead. Yet, our small victories along the way have created large ripple effects!

We are proud that they have collected 5,570 Metric Tonnes of waste, engaged more than 160.000 people, and empowered over 700 waste workers.

This blog is just a very short summary of all the work Waste Warriors is doing. Visit their website to learn more.

What you can do

  • Join as volunteer for cleanups or other events throughout India, or organise your own cleanup
  • Separate your waste
  • Decrease your own waste, by opting to eat in, bring your own water bottle with filter, cutlery, bag, reusable cup, etc.
  • Pick up litter when going on a hike
River bed leading to the Ganga, Rishikesh (image source: Refill Ambassadors)

Share your thoughts

Do you have more tips? We are excited to hear from you.