"The Gone West Foundation is here to provide environmental, social and creative benefits for people, wild life and the natural environment, acting as a subsidiary of gone west. 25% of the overall annual profits from will be payed into the foundation each year. This money will then be used to fund ideas and project created by our community."
2015: MAPS FOR CLASSROOMS
2010: DHARAMSALA RIVER CLEAN
In 2010 we organised and funded one of our first projects, the river linking upper Bagsu to the main town of Dharamsala was polluted beyond belief, after research and much talk with the locals in the area we found that the locals and tourist had been throwing littler and rubbish of all types into the water system for years but was now becoming blocked and effecting wildlife and not to mention the health of local people. We decided to take action, it turns out recycling at this time was almost non existent in the Himalayas not to mention the rest of India and Asia, this was a wake up call.
After meeting the founder of the only organisation committed to waste management in the area Jodie Underhill from www.wastewarriors.org, we came to the conclusion locals had never had the opportunity to even learn about the benefits of recycling, nor had they any idea about the dangers of careless waste dumping to the local ecosystems. We did not have long here unfortunately but in the time we stayed we recruited a small team of volunteers and removed by hand all the litter from Upper Bagsu, through McLeod Ganji all the way to the bottom of 3Dharamsala.
To help ensure this issue did not carry on, we purchased a dozen water filter tanks and donated them to the local restaurants along the river encouraging them to offer refills instead of selling bottled water, we proceeded to purchase a collection of colour coded bins and labelled them correctly for specific waste material to be disposed of, Jodie would then visit these bin once a week to remove and transport waste to the correct recycling facilities in the a near by city.
One day we hope to return and help Jodie Underhill further with her project, the root of the issue has been the poor ignorance of the western world, carelessly we have invented and produced products to benefit our lives utilising cheap labour from third world countries, we created our own methods to deal with waste management but failed to share this knowledge with the likes of India.