Bharatiya Mandir eyes up sustainable future
One of Auckland’s largest Hindu temples has embarked on a zero waste journey and hopes to influence its community of thousands in the process.
Bharatiya Mandir in Balmoral is both a spiritual landmark and community centre that aims to inspire, improve, preserve and promote the Hindu way of life amongst future generations of Hindus.
Love and respect for the environment is an integral part of Hinduism and in order to reduce its rubbish footprint the temple has been working with Auckland Council’s Waste Solutions team.
The first step was a full waste audit which identified what types of materials and waste Bharatiya Mandir generates and how much of each category is recovered for recycling or discarded as rubbish.
A critical factor in the success of the project has been the support of the temple committee, who have been greatly impressed by the initiative and enthusiastic about putting ideas into action.
As a result the temple has run workshops on composting and edible gardening as well as ordering reusable plates, glasses and cutlery – items that had been identified in the audit as taking up the most volume of rubbish bin space. Most recently Waste Solutions has provided advice on running zero waste events. There are also plans to turn land surrounding the temple into productive, edible gardens.
Bharatiya Mandir’s environmental champion Sudesh Mittal hopes the facility will become a zero-waste model for other temples and a leader in sustainability for the good of the community.
“The best action you can undertake yourself is by leading by example for the next generation – it is a most powerful way of teaching positive environmental habits.”