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Feb 26, 2024

"To leave the world better than you found it, sometimes you have to pick up other people's trash." --Bill Nye

These Nepali Women Give Mt. Everest Garbage New Life

Over the years, the Himalayan mountains are increasingly overrun with waste from mountaineering activities. Nepal's Department of Tourism estimates that Mt. Everest boasts nearly 140,000 tons of waste. In 2019, the government launched a Clean Mountain Campaign ("Safa Himal Aviyan"), which has removed 108 tons of waste from Mt. Everest and nine other Himalayan mountains. Some of that waste material has flowed to Indigenous craftswomen, who have channeled their traditional weaving skills into creating stunning and practical traditional handicrafts from items like discarded climbing rope. Their crafts are sold in Kathmandu and craft exhibitions, and the craftswomen are paid according to the number of items they make and sell. The initiative began when Shilshila Acharya, owner of Avni Center for Sustainability, and Maya Rai, who leads Nepal Knotcraft Centre, joined forces, bridging the project with craftswomen from the Tharu community.Shaping materials into jewelry boxes, table mats, boxes, and key holders.

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