Meet Tamanna Sharma, owner of Earthling First a sustainability consultancy started in 2016 that works in the area of waste management, their aim is to create sustainability models for businesses and organisations. Earthling First helps reduce waste generation through sustainable interventions; they plan and facilitate responsible waste management and disposal by sending it back into the economy, making their operations trash-free.A beautiful scenic destination, known for its trekking trails, Jalori Pass has unfortunately seen rise in plastic pollution due to increased tourism and burning of waste due to lack of proper waste management. To protect the area from further plastic and burning waste, Sharma started the Jalori Project in 2020. The reason behind choosing this destination is that Jalori is at 10282 feet above sea level. With assistance from Himalayan Nature Camp and a few locals, she designed an intervention, I started with solo clean-ups after spending two months in the area familiarising myself with the needs and desires of the local population. The Himachal Forest Department, women working with the Block Development Office assistance came in from different corners as the initiative caught on, Sharma said in a recent interview with Outlook.Her model is being implemented in a nine kilometre area; two trails, one leading to Seryolsar Lake, and the other to the Raghupur Fort Hiking Route. Clean-ups are organised in this mountain terrain in partnership with village residents, local businesses, and local authorities of Jalori Pass. To tackle the painstaking task of mixed waste, Sharma ensured that the waste is separated and categorised at the collection site itself, before being sent to the Material Recovery Facility/Waste Plant. A big part of Project Jalori is to ensure that the locals can continue this waste management effort even in our absence. This can be achieved by education. For example, the Himachal Pradesh government has a buy-back policy for multi-layered plastics, such as packets of Maggi and chips. The locals were unaware of this, so I told them to segregate these plastic elements from their waste and keep them clean before they are sold to the nagar panchayat, Sharma explains. Their first disposal trial was conducted from 8th-10th April, this year.Earthling First also crowdfunded the transport of waste from Jalori Pass to Manali, and now plans to schedule a regular collection and disposal of waste from the area.Due to the intervention eco-bricks have gained momentum as a regular measure in the area. An Eco brick is a plastic bottle packed with used plastic to a set density. They serve as reusable building blocks. What started as a way to teach people to separate and collect their plastic waste is now a permanent fixture in local cafes, all guiding tourists to designated spots for submission of plastic waste.Sharma plans to launch a course that will teach people how to create their own waste management models. The fact that we did all this without any funding is proof that change can be brought about without raising huge sums of money. It is mostly the lack of information that is a deterrent to change, and just like Jalori Pass, we can work towards making other tourist destinations waste-free.