Sustainable Future|

As a young and educated youth, I am a firm believer that sustainability must be one of the top-most priorities of our nation. Nepal is a country which is known for its rich cultural heritage and absolutely breath-taking natural beauty blessed with an abundance of resources. Nevertheless, it is quite disheartening to witness rapid urbanization which is leading to pressing environmental challenges. There is a strong need for both public and private entities to urgently act over this matter, but as the saying goes, “good deeds start from home”.

One aspect that we have failed miserably is regarding the management of waste. For any local residing in Kathmandu, it would be a sight of surprise to not see our cities drowning in garbage. Nostalgically, I can still vividly recall the school bus rides from Thapathali bridge to Kupondole, where the pungent odor emanating from the polluted rivers would permeate the air. Our parents would send us handkerchiefs to wipe away the sweat and exhaustion after playing sports, never anticipating that we would need them to shield our faces from the overpowering stench. I could recall countless instances which have made me concerned about the lack of focus towards waste management.

On a personal level, I condemn our personal attitude towards waste management and disposal to be responsible towards this dire situation, rather than blaming the ineffectiveness of the system. A few years ago, during a hurried visit to a local store to purchase a recharge card, an ordinary transaction turned into a pivotal moment of introspection. Unaware of the significance of my actions, I carelessly discarded the recharge card on the street. The store owner’s disappointed gaze and his powerful words, “An educated person like you should know better,” shook me to my core. How had I, with all my knowledge and understanding of sustainability, succumbed to such carelessness? This encounter became a wake-up call, urging me to examine my choices and embrace accountability for the waste I generate.

Imagine a society where every individual takes responsibility for their waste, understanding the consequences of their actions. In such a collective vision, our cities and villages would be free from the suffocating grip of unmanaged litter. Clean rivers, fresh and pure air, and a pollution-free environment would revitalize our bodies and spirits. Sustainability must become more than a buzzword; it should be deeply ingrained in our values and reflected in our actions.

To achieve this vision, we must view sustainability as a necessary obligation, not merely a choice. Embracing the 3R principle—reduce, reuse, and recycle—can significantly contribute to a waste-free Nepal. By opting for reusable alternatives and eliminating the use of plastic bags, we can make a substantial impact. Supporting businesses and initiatives that prioritize sustainable practices is also essential. As consumers, we have the power to drive demand for eco-friendly products and inspire others to do the same.

Present examples illustrate the practical application of sustainable practices in Nepal. For instance, local initiatives are promoting waste segregation and recycling programs in communities, leading to cleaner neighborhoods and reduced waste. By implementing efficient waste management systems, these initiatives have successfully diverted significant amounts of waste from landfills, contributing to a cleaner environment. Additionally, sustainable transportation projects, such as the introduction of electric buses and the expansion of bicycle lanes in major cities, are reducing carbon emissions and promoting greener modes of travel.

Moreover, eco-conscious individuals are adopting sustainable agriculture practices, such as organic farming and permaculture, to protect the environment and promote food security. These practices prioritize soil health, minimize the use of harmful pesticides and fertilizers, and promote biodiversity. Farmers are exploring innovative techniques like agroforestry, where trees and crops are grown together, to optimize land use and enhance ecosystem resilience. These sustainable farming practices not only preserve the natural resources but also result in healthier produce and support the local economy through organic markets and farm-to-table initiatives.

Furthermore, Nepal is embracing renewable energy sources to reduce its reliance on fossil fuels. The country’s abundant water resources have paved the way for hydropower projects, harnessing the power of rivers to generate clean electricity. The promotion of solar energy solutions, such as rooftop solar panels and solar-powered street lights, is also gaining momentum. These renewable energy initiatives not only reduce carbon emissions but also improve energy access and affordability, particularly in remote areas.

By highlighting these present examples, we can witness the positive impact of sustainable practices in Nepal. These initiatives demonstrate that embracing sustainability is not only an ethical responsibility but also a practical solution for addressing pressing environmental challenges. By integrating such practices into various sectors of society, we can pave the way for a more sustainable and resilient future, ensuring that Nepal’s natural beauty and resources are preserved for generations to come.

Change is an inevitable process but it is important to acknowledge that it certainly requires time. We may stumble along the way, but what matters the most is that we keep moving forwards with unwavering determination. Let us learn from our mistakes, as I did with the recharge card incident, and use them as stepping stones towards a better, more sustainable future. Together, let us rewrite the narrative of Nepal. Will you join me on this journey towards a sustainable Nepal?

Satkar Karki
Satkar Karki has been working in the field of digital literacy and is currently preparing to launch a career in data science.

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