The tourism industry produces 8% of the global greenhouse gas emissions and the carbon footprint of the tourism industry per unit profit is 25% higher than any other sector in the world. A recent article published in the journal Nature Climate Change indicates a rate of 4% increase in the tourism industry every year is alarmingly high. Due to the large middle-class population and growing income level, India has the fourth-largest carbon footprint in the entire world.
Tourist footfall in the eco-sensitive zones like pristine trek routes of different Himalaya n sanctuaries and national park is constantly increasing. The homestay concept is fairly popular in these regions and they use a diesel generator to meet the power requirements of the tourists. Our initial survey indicates that water heater, charging points for mobiles and cameras and lights are the preferred amenities by the tourists. Although the generators run for 4 hours a day (1 hour in the morning and 3 hours in the evening), but the emission of short-lived climate pollutants and greenhouse gasses, considering the pristineness of the atmospheric environment, definitely have a significant impact. Even the smallest amount of emissions potentially affect nearby Himalayan glaciers and highly engendered flora and fauna over the region.
Our intervention is motivated to reduce the pollutant footprint in the ecologically important environment through promotion of eco-friendly alternative energy source. There are two approaches that we are going to implement a) Easy-to-carry and low-cost solar nano-module for tourists to charge their mobile phone and battery during the trek route and b) Installation of a micro-solar module in the homestays along the travel path as a sustainable alternative energy source for