When I was young, we never thought twice about "throw away," as if "away' was someplace that never came back to haunt us. "Throw away" isn't really an option here in Ladakh, where the people are so wholly dependent on environment. So when we started unpeeling the consequences of all the rubbish building up in Ladakh, the kids could see "there is no away - we can't become a throw away society".
Then we got to talk about those 35,000 cows dying every day in India from ingesting plastic (that we throw away) and the implications for a Buddhist kid from Nyoma. Whose killing our cows? Further, we discussed my experience in Guatemala in 2011 where whole communities transformed rubbish into a building material. Discussed, with movies, of course.
90 kids and their teachers are hoping that Nyoma Residential School will have the first Plastic Bottle Building in Ladakh. And that in the future, Ladakh will stop drowning in its "throw away" mentality.
A lot to think about as this district will be hosting over 150,000 visitors in July for His Holiness the Dalai Lama's Kalichakra Ceremony.