Mains Paper 3: Environment | Conservation, environmental pollution and degradation, environmental impact assessment
From UPSC perspective, the following things are important:
Prelims level: Help Us Green, UN Climate Action Award
Mains level: Problem of ceremonial wastes in India and its disposal
- Indian group ‘Help Us Green’ has received a UN Climate Action Award.
- Help Us Green is based in four cities of Uttar Pradesh and got the award in the Women for Results category.
- It is doing its part to clean up the Ganges by recycling flowers from temples and mosques.
- It gives marginalized women a chance to earn livelihoods and be respected in their communities through collecting temple ceremonial flowers tossed into the Ganges and turning them into sustainable incense.
- Over eight million tonnes of flowers are discarded in the river every year for religious purposes. This is contributing to the pollution of the Ganges, which provides drinking water for over 420 million people.
Help Us Green
- Help Us Green has come up with the world’s first profitable solution to the monumental temple waste problem: flowercycling.
- Women working with Help Us Green collect floral-waste daily from temples.
- The waste is up-cycled to produce organic fertilizers, natural incense and biodegradable packaging material.
- Till date, 11,060 metric tonnes of temple-waste has been flowercycled and 110 metric tonnes of chemical pesticides that enter the river through temple waste have been offset.
- So is the income of 73 manual scavenger families has increased at least six-fold.
- A total of 365 families have been impacted by Help Us Green through increased living standards and stable incomes.
- By 2021, Help Us Green, which plans to expand to Bangladesh, and Nepal, aims to provide livelihoods to 5,100 women and recycle 51 tonnes of temple waste daily.