This village in Kerala is all set to become India’s 1st carbon neutral village

meenangadi panchayat

While the whole world is still trying hard to curb the climate change effects and protect the environment, a small village Panchayat in Kerala is on the verge of earning the tag of India’s 1st carbon neutral village.

Meenangadi Panchayat in Wayanad District, Kerala had initiated an ambitious project to become carbon neutral by 2020. It was initiated last year on June 5, as part of World Environment Day, with the involvement of people’s representatives, scientists, students and farmers. Through some innovative and strategic methods, the Panchayat and all its inhabitants have been able to achieve considerable progress towards one of the most enduring missions in the country.

Carbon neutrality or zero carbon footprint means to achieve net zero carbon emission by balancing the amount of carbon dioxide released into the atmosphere as a result of human activity with an equal amount of carbon sequestration or removal from the atmosphere.

The activities kicked off with an assessment of carbon emission arising out of domestic consumption of electricity and fuels from all 9,000 houses in the Panchayat and from vehicles. This was followed by a measurement of the carbon content of the soil and carbon emission from trees. Accordingly, it was decided which areas need more trees to be planted to offset the carbon emission.

meenangadi panchayat

Several other programs were also initiated by the Panchayat; saplings of various trees were planted on 38 acres of land. Over 3 lakh saplings were distributed in the past one year, through various nurseries with the help of MNREGA workers. These saplings were distributed among individual households. MNREGA workers would visit each household and help farmers plant these saplings and educate them on the upkeep of the same.

The Panchayat has decided to tap solar power to reduce dependency on conventional energy sources, and to set up an LED lamp manufacturing unit to supply energy-efficient lights to all homes. Waste management is another area which was also being taken care of. It has replicated various scientific methods of waste management. Nearly 456 individual ponds have also been dug in different parts of the Panchayat to store water. Vegetable farming has also received a big push with around 70 acres of land now being used for cultivation, for which Meenangadi has become self-sufficient in vegetables as well. Awareness campaigns against the use of plastic have encouraged people to carry eco-friendly bags. An electric crematorium was set-up in the area which has drastically brought down the use of wood for cremations.

In the past one year, Meenangadi people have worked relentlessly and have implemented various innovative and successful projects to accomplish the dream project. For its path-breaking efforts, this Panchayat village has already received a lot of global attention and recognition.