As in the rest of India and other parts of the world, solid waste is a serious problem in Bir. Garbage is thrown in rivers and empty lots, and plastic waste is burned in the open. There are no recycling or waste processing facilities, and there is no waste collection or disposal system. Different solutions have been proposed by various community leaders and members, but typical suggestions of public bins, landfills and incinerators encourage an ‘out of sight, out of mind’ attitude, as well as creating more environmental hazards. Deer Park seeks more responsible solutions, as part of the global Zero Waste movement – a philosophy that aims to guide people in changing the way they use resources with the aim of reducing waste to zero.

Objectives of the Zero Waste Project:

  1. Raise awareness in the community about the health and environmental impacts of the waste problem.
  2. Introduce mindful waste management techniques in the community.
  3. Facilitate the development of waste management action plans between different community groups and  the local Indian and Tibetan administrations.
  4. Promote the local economy, with a focus on traditional crafts and locally grown and processed foods and drinks, packaged in biodegradable alternatives to plastic.


Changing from Inside Out

Deer Park believes that to effect positive change in the community, we must first start with our own internal approach and practices. Thus we strive to become a model for environmentally sustainable living, which includes following environmentally friendly solid waste management practices and using renewable forms of energy.  more »

Involving the Local Community

To reduce consumption and promote the Zero Waste model effectively requires far-reaching changes in the habits of the whole community. A key area of Deer Park’s Ecology Project is educating and involving local community members to take responsibility for reducing and recycling waste.  more »

Ecology Workshops

As the younger generation are the inheritors of the planet, and are generally more receptive to new ideas than their elders, Deer Park has made a priority of involving and educating local children in environmental issues.  more »

Education Resource Centre

One primary objective of Deer Park Ecological Program is to work towards building an environmental resource centre for the entire Kangra valley.  Accordingly, Deer Park is in the early stages of building its library on environmental and ecological topics in Tibetan, Hindi and English languages.  more »

Create Eco-friendly Livelihoods

With the dual aim of supporting the local economy and promoting eco-friendly products, Deer Park started a sustainable livelihood training program in June 2008. Under this initiative, a group of local villagers have learned to make handicrafts from recycled materials, including greetings cards made from scrap paper, and bags, wallets…  more »

Sustainable Agriculture

After initiating the Zero Waste project, Deer Park began analyzing other local ecological issues. As with other parts of India, chemical farming has become the most common local practice, while traditional seeds are disappearing. Most of the grains and vegetables available in our local markets are transported from large-scale commercial…  more »