After the devastating earthquakes in 2015 in Nepal atmosfair supported together with forum anders reisen the reconstruction on the ground. The touristic infrastructure in the region of Helambu was improved by implementing renewable energy and energy efficiency technologies. This is when the Climate Trek Nepal originated. The Climate Trek Nepal is a climate-friendly trekking route that was launched in autumn 2018. The Yangrima Eco-Lodge in Sermathang, part of the Climate Trek Nepal, represents a model lodge for eco-friendly construction. After welcoming the first guests in spring 2019, the Yangrima Eco-Lodge team is now finishing the final steps of construction. The first guests in April 2019 from Germany, England and the US enjoyed the stay and left notes in the guestbook which thanked for the “warm welcoming and hospitality”.
There are 11 lodges spread over 7 locations that participate in the Climate Trek Nepal and implement environmental and comfort standards. For example by applying renewable energies, providing high-quality and comfortable beddings, as well as warm showers powered by solar water heaters, these standards do not only support the regional tourism but also contribute to climate protection.
Climate-friendly methods of construction and sustainability
The owner of the Yangrima Eco-Lodge, Gopal Lama, used the eco-friendly material hempcrete for the construction of the building. The substitution of conventional concrete by hempcrete already allowed the Yangrima Eco-Lodge to save 30 tons of CO₂ emissions. Furthermore, hempcrete is known for its energy- and cost-efficiency, fire resistance and sound insulation. The energy-efficient construction of the lodge is supported by the use of double glazed windows.
The concept of the model eco-lodge is characterized by a conscious and efficient understanding of energy and resources. A renewable energy solar power plant of 5 kVa, which is installed on the roof, generates electricity for the Eco-Lodge. For example to reduce the energy demand in general, the Eco-Lodge solely installed LED-lamps. The kitchen of the common area is equipped with an efficient cooking stove, which demands less firewood than the conventional open fire. Since the efficient cooking stove cuts the demand for firewood in half, the CO₂ emissions are decreased accordingly. A water heater powered by solar heat and wood provides warm showers to guests after a long trekking day. Moreover, the Eco-Lodge treats water in a sustainable way by recycling all grey water, harvesting rainwater and using an eco-friendly sewage disposal system. A water purifier is installed to offer clean and fresh drinking water to the guests.
Nevertheless, the Yangrima Eco-Lodge is more than just a guesthouse for trekkers. Young school-leavers are trained and workshops are offered in topics of hotel management, cooking or eco-tourism. A trekker from the US wrote in April 2019 in the guestbook: “The work being done in providing education and driving tourism is quite inspiring.”
In total, there are nine guest rooms, two dormitories, a common area with kitchen facilities, a meeting room and a big multipurpose room (e.g. to practice yoga).
The Yangrima Eco-Lodge plans to develop an organic farm next to the lodge based on permaculture principles to produce food for the Eco-Lodge and foster permaculture farming through workshops. The latest guestbook entries also showed the support of the guests, since they wished good luck, patience and power with the future plans. Starting from the season 2019/2020 the model lodge of the Climate Trek Nepal will be completely finished and will welcome guests from all over the world.