Eco India, the solutions-focused web series on sustainable development, has been highlighting innovative and viable eco-initiatives from all over the country. From waste management and climate change to food wastage and water pollution, the series has brought to light efforts of many eco heroes who come from all walks of life. Now in its third season, a clear theme has emerged — sustainable development cannot happen in isolation without empowering and uplifting communities. Active participation from communities, citizens’ groups and governmental organisations can bring about the long-lasting change that is required to restore ecosystems and transform lives. Here’s a recap to help you catch up on Eco India Season 3.
Empowering women, empowering communities
A number of episodes explored how women are impacted by climate change and the role they can play in sustainable development. In rural Maharashtra, a low-cost clean cookstove is not only reducing the need for logging, but also liberating women from indoor pollution. In the drought-hit Marathwada region, a cluster of 15 villages have not only managed to address their water woes, but also tackled social problems such as alcoholism and farmer suicides. In this region hit by severe food insecurity, women farmers are also claiming their land rights and implementing climate-resilient farming techniques.
Going back to local wisdom
Local wisdom, in sync with the local ecology and honed over centuries, can help develop effective solutions for persistent issues. Kerala leads the way in implementing traditional sustainability practices. In flood-hit Chendamangalam, a tweak in local crafts helped resurrect the livelihood of local weavers and get an entire community back on its feet. In Wayanad, farmers are going back to preserving and cultivating heirloom rice varieties that are more sustainable, while Meenangadi is preparing to be the country’s first carbon-neutral town. In New Delhi, meanwhile, the resurgence of wetlands is attracting migratory birds, recharging groundwater and boosting local ecology, thanks to efforts of passionate ecologists.
Solving uniquely urban problems
Many eco-warriors are tapping urban residents and communities to create sustainable living conditions in cities, which face unique challenges. Mumbai has emerged as a lab for sustainability practices. Here, experimental textile dyes are being created from the floral waste generated from Siddhivinayak Temple, waste management companies are using integrated waste management principles to relieve the burden on landfills, eco-organisations are creating mini forests using a Japanese eco-engineering method, and the Koli fishing community is at the forefront of the fight to save Mumbai’s mangroves. And thanks to efforts of organisations aiming to reduce food wastage by collecting and redistributing surplus food, a zero-hunger future for Indian cities seems one step closer.
Technology to the rescue
Technological innovations can be used to solve tricky environmental challenges and bolster sustainable development efforts. In Maharashtra, solar micro-grids are being set-up to electrify off-the-grid settlements that are not eligible for governmental electrification schemes. In Pune, a company is creating fossil fuel from plastic waste, addressing the fuel needs of low-income households in the process. In New Delhi, which is prone to heat zones caused by inadequate architectural practices and modern living, an architecture studio is developing natural cooling alternatives to air conditioners. And while there are no easy solutions for the city’s water crisis, a technology treating sewage water to make it potable shows promise in some areas.
For more solutions for a cleaner, greener and better tomorrow, catch all past episodes of Eco India on Scroll’s YouTube channel, here.
This article was produced by the Scroll marketing team for the show Eco India, a joint editorial property of Scroll.in and DW, and not by the Scroll editorial team.