The Revolution Project: Moving towards Environmental sustainability
There have been some freaky climate changes in the past few years and we have all started to notice it and affect us. It is super hot out when it is not supposed to be as hot, or it is raining cats and dogs when it’s clearly not the season. To make this dire situation better in the future these youngfresh out of college students/entrepreneurs have taken an initiative to bring about a revolution in environmental sustainability. Here is an interview with the minds behind The Revolution Project.
When did the Revolution Project start?
It’s been a years and a half. We started this when we were on our 6th semester of college. We had to partake in an internship program as per our curriculum and we didn’t know what to do. But we always had a plan to do something of our own. Then it came to our minds to make this internship an opportunity to start something. We first started with 5 members, and as we were inexperienced in this field, we needed as many collective minds as we could get to make this project work. After our college ended, the other members had their own careers and jobs to focus on, so we, Buddha and Aayush, remained to look after this project. The others who started this project with us are still a part of it, but passively.
What is Revolution Project? Could you give a little insight about your enterprise? Why did you guys decided to start the Revolution project?
Our main reason to start this project is the irrational climate changes that have been happening for the past few years, mostly because of the global warming. Nepal, being a third world country, we do not have much talks or actions about sustainability. Our country is struggling politically and economically, and in these times, people do not emphasize to talk about sustainability. Keeping that in mind, we decided to start something relating to that.
The concept of CSR (corporate social responsibilities) is just starting to emerge in Nepal and many companies are starting to initiate on it. We thought why not be that outsourcing company that handles CSR of other companies. The way the CSR trend has been working in the companies at present is through donations. This wasn’t strategic and efficient as it should have been because the donated money or things were not reaching where it was supposed to. There was this gap in the process; business households have the resources the community needs, but that is not being carried to there. We wanted to be that bridge which makes sure the right resources get to the right place.
What are the work areas of Revolution Project?
Talking about work areas, our work focuses on four main areas. We started this project with the environment and sustainability on our minds. So, firstly we have environmental sustainability through which we intend to minimize the harmful impacts to the environment and promote higher sustainability. We also focus on strategic CSR activities, community development, and education on the importance of sustainability.
“Our country is struggling politically and economically, and in these times, people do not emphasize to talk about sustainability. Keeping that in mind, we decided to start something relating to that.”
What sort of work have you guys carried out as Revolution Project? Could you give an insight on what ‘Treevolution’ is?
As soon as our internship started, we conducted this event called the ‘Fitness Revolution’, in which we made 8 different bachelor colleges to participate in fitness activities. This event took place with the collaboration of ‘Fitologist’, a fitness group, where we had 2-3 hours session at every college, where we involved the participants in zumba classes, normal exercise sessions, and counseling sessions. In those counseling sessions, we informed the students why it is important to take care of your diet and your health.
We did this event as a base line to have credentials with the business houses. We initially started this project to promote environmental sustainability and that had always been a priority. This is why we inclined towards tree plantations. This is being done in Nepal, but the underlining issue is that the people only plant trees and not care after planted. So, we wanted to change this perspective by making people aware that planting trees only isn’t enough, but also to nourish them. This is how we started Treevolution Nepal.
We established hubs in many chain restaurants and places and with the help of our friends’ networking we got people to register through those hubs. The business houses provide us with the resources and we carried out the planting of trees to looking after them. This project was a success as we were able to plant 1500 trees in the first year. And we are planning to do another Treevolution project later this year.
Apart from Treevolution, What other environmentally sustainable projects are you looking after?
In the environment, trees and air are just one aspect of it. We have water in the environment, and there is a lot of plastic pollution in it. We wanted to address this issue as well. Restaurants and cafes are the places which use plastic more than others, especially plastic straws. We use those straws for about 12-15 min on average but then it stays in the environment for hundreds of years.
To work towards that change, we brought in another company under Revolution project called The LastStraw. It is named as such because the alternatives we are bringing in are probably going to be the last straw you will need. As of now we have two kinds of eco-friendly straws; bamboo and metal. We are producing the bamboo straws and the metal straws are being brought in as we are not able to produce. However, we are planning to have our own machinery that is going to produce these straws right here in our country. The bamboo straws are being produced in Godawari and we are trying to expand it to more parts of the valley.
Could you give us an insight on your upcoming projects?
Revolution Ed is our upcoming project which will probably start right after Treevolution Nepal. This project is to bring in the culture of making the younger generation aware about climate change and global warming, and how we can make a difference. This will be a fun and learning work shop where we will teach the children how not to use plastic bags, and how to make more sustainable choices.
The idea behind this is that the children are like wet clay; they can be molded into any shape or form through effective teaching. Making them aware of these environmental problems will definitely have an impact on their thoughts on sustainability when they grow up.
INTERVIEWED BY BAIBHAV SHRESTHA
PHOTOGRAPHED BY GAURAV XHOMPATE SUNUWAR