Ladakh reminds us of magical mountains, snowy mountain passes, crystal blue glacial lakes, splendid monasteries and more. The dramatic terrains of Ladakh make it one of the most breathtaking destinations on Earth. But shockingly, Ladakh is gradually dying. And who do we blame? Mostly, the tourists who dump plastic bottles and other scraps in open spaces of the cold dessert. According to research, nearly 30,000 plastic bottles get dumped every single day in Leh, and this is unquestionably alarming.
These plastic bottles either end up in the terrains or if burnt can get into the lungs of people causing deadly diseases like Cancer. Plastic wastes do not decompose and give rise of a slew of environmental issues. They can pose serious hazards to the lives of Himalayan animals and birds too.
A large number of tourists flock to Ladakh every year. If this plastic pollution continues, it won’t take long for Ladakh to turn into a land of litters. The place that looks like a paradise today might become a landfill of trashes in the coming years.
But what can we do to save Ladakh? We must be responsible tourists and take measures that help in preserving the ecosystem of the desert. Here are 5 things you should consider the next time you visit Ladakh to keep it uncontaminated, hygienic and beautiful:
1. Do Not Carry ‘Use And Throw’ Water Bottles
Carry water in copper bottles, aluminium bottles or any other container. Keep refilling the bottles, so that you don’t need to buy a plastic water bottle on the way. Even if you’re buying one, do not throw it in the open grounds. Keep it with you until you find a proper place for disposal.
2. Carry A Bag Where You Can Put All The Trash
While travelling in Leh-Ladakh, carry an extra bag with you where you can keep all the trash generated on the way, like cans, plastic bottles, food wrappers, unnecessary papers and more. If you have maggie from a shop, ask for the wrapper and keep it inside the bag. We will explain in the next point why we are telling you to do this.
3. Head Over To Dzomsa To Drop The Trash
Dzomsa is a ‘Good For All’ shop in Leh-Ladakh that sells organic products and allows water refilling for a small charge of ₹10. And they have baskets to collect the reusable and recyclable items in the shop. Do bring your recyclable items here before you leave Leh. Now you know, why we had told you to collect up your trash. You can also buy organic fruits, juices, soaps and other products from Dzomsa.
4. Girls, Avoid Ladakh During Periods
Try not to visit Ladakh during the time when your periods can occur, especially if you’re using disposable pads. Use reusable cups instead. Pads and tampons cannot be collected with other wastes, and thus disposing them off can be a major problem.
Ladakh is one of the most surreal places and it has plenty of wonders including India’s first natural ice cafe at 14,000 feet, India’s highest-altitude hotel, the magnetic hill and the highest cafeteria in the world. Let’s not destroy the splendour of this ‘heaven on earth’. A small step from each one of us can go a long way in preserving the beauty of this hilly territory. For now, enjoy this virtual tour of Ladakh from the comfort of your home: