An eco-friendly and sustainable way of life is the need of the hour. Here are some eco-friendly Indian villages that will inspire you to opt for a sustainable lifestyle. By Quoyina Ghosh

The United Nations has recently declared that a maximum of 11 years is left for us to stop a massive climate change catastrophe. This involves a garbage patch in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, millions of marine lives dying due to plastic consumption, and the Amazon burning for over two weeks. Now more than ever, it is essential for us to buck up and opt for an eco-friendly life to protect our only home. Here are some remote, eco-friendly Indian villages, which you can look to for inspiration.

1) Mawlynnong Village

Deemed the cleanest village in Asia, this village is often referred to as ‘God’s own garden’. This is a title well-deserved due to the eco-friendly lives locals lead here. With toilets in every person’s house, dustbins made of bamboo, the prohibition of smoking and most importantly, the ban on plastic, this idyllic village is a shimmering beam of hope in a world choking on plastic and all things hazardous to the environment.

2) Dharnai Village

While a town working completely on solar power might seem like a distant goal for various places, it is not so for this village in Bihar. Dharnai, after decades of darkness, is now fully powered using solar panels only. What’s more? This village also has its own website with which they try and encourage others towards renewable sources of energy.

3) Ramchandrapur Village

This village has been in the news quite a few times and all for the right reasons. It was here that the villagers pledged to donate their eyes to the visually challenged. It was also here that a solution to drinking water problems and water wastage was found and implemented. While most cities still have to deal with water problems on a regular basis, this village is already light years ahead of them all.

4) Payvihir Village

The people in this village turned a 182-hectare barren land into a forest. This was a task possible only due to the successful collaboration of people and NGO initiatives in this village. That goes to show us just how much is possible by dint of sheer determination to change the environment for better. As of now, they’ve progressed from making their own forest to selling their own organic fruits.

5) Piplantri Village

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The villagers of Piplantri, an 'eco-feminist' village in Rajsamand district of Rajasthan, are following the unique tradition of honoring the birth of a girl child by planting 111 trees. Millions of trees planted. They also collect 21,000 INR from the denizens of the village and 10,000 INR from the parents to keep it in a fixed deposit account, which can only be withdrawn when the girl becomes twenty years of age. The parents of the girl child also sign the document and take a pledge of providing complete formal education to their daughter, they will not marry her off before she has attained the legal age for marriage. Parents, generally, also take the responsibility of the care of the trees. The birds have started migrating to this barren land, water level has increased, women earn from the forest produce. The initiative was started by the former village head Shyam Sundar Paliwal who had lost his beloved daughter Kiran in 2007. #piplantri #piplantrivillage #rajsamand #betibachaobetipadhao #rajasthan #girlchild #savegirlchild #girlchildeducation #savethegirlchild #environment #greencover #greenindia #missionmilliontrees

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Piplantri village is a suitable example of the preaching; the power of a simple initiative can be widespread. The panchayat of this place planned to plant 111 trees every time a girl child would be born. This initiative has resulted in millions of trees being planted by now. Apart from this, they also ensure the education of every girl child once they grow up. This unique blend of eco-feminism is what truly sets them apart as a village on its way to make its mark on the map.

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