Last Sunday Theju, Sandy and I spent our day with a group called “Clean and Green”. The group is about 5 months old and its aim is to help in removing plastic from some of the major tourist spots near Bangalore. They have been making day long trips to Sangam(Mekedattu) and Pearl Valley for a while now.
Theju found details about the event in the Bangalore Community on Orkut. I frankly did not know what to expect when I signed up for the event but the events of the day and the whole experience rejuvenated me in many ways.
We started out early(around 5:30 am) and picked up the volunteers along the way. This was the first time for the three of us and Karthic who was also making a debut. The rest of the team had done at least one trip before. The team team included Roopa, Bindiya, Amit, Hari and Thejaswi(that makes the count 2 Thejus :P ).
We were to drive to Sangam and take a small detour before reaching the place. We were to go to Forrest Lodges, The manager of Forrest Lodges wanted to give us a hand in our project and offered to pick up the garbage and safely dispose it off. They even provided our lunch free of cost. Forrest Lodges hv been a part of the program for a while now and their hospitality was simply brilliant :)
After briefly addressing the crowd at Forrest Lodges and spending a few mins resting in the beautiful place, we headed to Sangam. The sight refreshed the memories I had of the place a few years ago, when I had been here with my college friends.
The water current was decently strong and the water level was about waist deep. We used coracles to cross the river and took the bus to Mekedattu. It took us a few mins to get started and we used our sticks with hooks on one end to help us pick up the plastic.
It took us almost an hour and half to get to most of the crevices of the rocks and pick up stuff like condiment covers, cups and most of all plastic mineral water bottles. It amazing how common mineral water bottels are here… almost every shop sells them and they are available in convenient sizes (1/2 lt, 1lt and 2 lt) so not many shy away from purchasing them. The disposing of the bottles seems to be the problem. Most ppl dont carry the bottles back once they are done they just leave it behind… the count of bottles we picked up clearly showed us that lot of ppl dont think twice about throwing away a bottle. By the end we had collected around 11 full bags of the thrown plastic.
As we sat down to take a few seconds of rest we watched the ppl coming in. The first thing I saw was the stuff they were carrying and it was loads and loads of plastic. We spoke to them and requested them to carry back the pastic they were bringing in. Its not possible for all to dedicate time to help the environment but if we all can do just a small bit like reusing and recycling we can truly save our planet.
The ride back was fun as Thejaswi, Hari and I sat on top of the bus and enjoyed our painful (it was not very comfy) ride back. Few of the guys decided to get into the water and swam back and the rest took the coracle back. The drive back to bangalore was nice with a cool breeze blowing thanks to the cloud cover. There were hints of rain and we finally reached the city pretty satisfied with our day’s work.
If you are intrested in ‘Clean and Green’ and have time to spare, you can join them on such trips. You can join the yahoo group where info of upcoming trips will be posted. The group name is “savenature“.
Read more: Theju’s entry
(Photos thanks to Theju and Sandy)