Green Initiatives Nestled on a quiet hillock in the outskirts of the town of Dharampur in Southern Gujarat, is Shrimad Rajchandra Ashram, the International Headquarters of Shrimad Rajchandra Mission Dharampur. Spread over a lush expanse of 223 acres, envisioned by Pujya Gurudevshri, this spiritual sanctuary is a vibrant centre of activity dedicated to the pursuit of a higher existence. For spiritually parched souls, the Ashram is an oasis that will revive your faith. It will reassure you that change is possible, happiness is possible, self-realisation is possible here and now. Our Green Commitment Following environment impact assessment studies and as an attempt to conserve our depleting resources, the Ashram is committed to conscious development and a green experience, including various sustainable initiatives. Tree Plantations Community Gardens Solar Power Water Recharging Sewage Treatment Waste Management Electric Buggies Our Initiatives Greening through Trees – The Ashram has envisaged a 10,000-tree plantation plan in a phased manner. – The trees are largely native species which easily grow in this climate with less maintenance and water consumption for survival and growth. 108 varieties of species will be planted. These range from fruiting trees like mango, jamun, chickoo to flowering trees like Senna siamea and Bahunia purpurea, and some forest species like Terminalia bellerica and Haldina cordifalia. Community Gardens The Ashram is developing a Community Garden for people of all ages. This central garden will spread across 90,000 sq. ft. and include the following zones: – A children’s play area with varied play equipments, a sandpit, and an artificial turf area. – Outdoor sports facilities and a physical activity area. – A walking track across the garden, full-body equipments for exercise suitable for the elderly, and a valley-facing introspective zone. – Besides the Community Garden, Neighbourhood Gardens and a Meditation Garden are underway near residences of Ashramites. Solar Power The Ashram team is keen to tap renewable energy and has already installed Solar Plants with total capacity of 675 KWP to reduce the dependency on non-renewable energy and to avoid pollution generation. Key benefits and features: Clean and green energy source Promotes a pollution free environment Energy generation: 972 MWh/year Coal saved: 486 tons/year Water Recharging The Ashram has initiated several techniques such as bund walls, bioswales, and recharge pits to recharge ground water levels and stop soil runoff thereby benefitting the local community with better water availability for farms and personal needs. Sewage Treatment The Ashram is investing in making several green sewage treatment plants through a technology called SBT (Soil BioTechnology). This helps clean sewage water which can be used for landscapes. A total of 9 plants are being built and can potentially save up to 15 crore litres of water annually at full capacity. The treated water from SBT can be used in the landscapes. This not only saves precious fresh water but also ensures the sewage water doesn’t contaminate rivers and surrounding ground water areas. Waste Management Zero waste refers to waste management and conservation of all resources by means of responsible production, consumption, reuse, and recovery of all products, packaging and materials, without burning them, and without discharges to land, water, or air that threaten the environment for human health. The Ashram team is actively working towards solid waste management that includes the process of collecting and treating solid wastes. Various waste such as plastic, paper, e-waste etc. shall be collected and segregated at the waste management centre. Composting is a natural way to treat biodegradable solid waste management. It is rich in nutrients and used for landscaping, horticulture, and organic farming, acting as a good fertilizer for plants. Plastic waste recycling shall include the process of recovering different types of plastic material in order to reprocess them for resale. Paper waste shall be recycled for reuse. Medical waste incineration shall involve the controlled burning of medical wastes in a dedicated incinerator. Electronic waste includes discarded electricals. Used electronics which are destined for reuse or resale shall be carried out centrally. Electric Buggies The use of electric buggies as the primary means of transport greatly reduces carbon emissions in the Ashram. It keeps the air clean and pure, maintaining a healthy atmosphere beneficial to all life forms.