Trash n’ Travel

Last December my family and I took a road trip across the state. We started in Mysore and stayed at The Green Hotel – which is just lovely. It has a wonderful ambiance, good food, and they even compost (although if you look at the photographs below you’ll see it’s not without its problems, including the burning of some of the trash). I must say I was most impressed with how little trash I saw on the streets of Mysore in general.

From Mysore we headed to the Kabini River Lodge. It is one of the many forest lodges run by the state of Karnataka (Jungle Lodges) and they’re run really well. They’re not only clean and charming, they are also quite environmentally minded in various ways – most importantly all of them seem to separate their kitchen waste from their dry waste (though the visitors don’t necessarily seem capable of understanding what it means to segregate the two). Their wet waste is taken to area piggeries – it isn’t composted. But at least it doesn’t go to a landfill! Kabini had some terrific signage and I was even able to visit their segregation centre, which the managers kept properly segregated. The only problem is with the dustbins, which didn’t seem to have a good monkey latch so the monkeys got into the trash from time to time. They also have some nice recycled wood made into benches and bathtubs into planters.

Our next stop was one of my personal favourite spots – Rainforest Retreat in Coorg.  I forgot to take photos of the composting and recycling there because I’d been there before, but it’s an ecotourist inn and it’s the most eco-friendly place I’ve ever been. Plus it’s got some of the most beautiful trees and hikes and amazing food!

Then we went to Bhadra Tiger Reserve, another jungle lodge, which had similar systems of recycling and waste segregation as did the first one we stayed in.

Our next stop was Belur and then back to Mysore before our way back home – and I had to do temple touring with my bare feet because monkeys stole my chappals at Bhadra Tiger Reserve – so I know for certain that the streets and walkways were not that dirty! My big learning was that we in Bangalore need to learn from how the Karnataka government is handling its tourist sites, which are clean and seem to be doing everything right with recycling and segregation. I think I saw less trash on this trip than on any other.


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