Zerowaste and Climate Action

Zero waste is a unique way one looks at resources – one of the forward looking relevant and profound ways that modern societal change is envisaged in the world today. Thanal provide technical support across India to design, develop and implement zero waste systems. Thanal promotes decentralized solid waste management systems which are based on zero waste principles and discourages polluting technologies that burn or dump waste which may pose threat to life on earth. The programme focuses on building capacities in governments and communities to manage waste more responsibly and  scientifically. It also encourages responsible production and consumption of resources to minimize wastage. Ethics, Efficiency and Economics – the 3Es are the guiding principles. It suggests sustainable development for the larger good and sustenance. It is a total systems approach that goes beyond just segregate- reuse- reduce- recycle. It reiterates the need for a social change to imbibe the ways of nature for survival and sustainability. Being ethical means having genuine concern for other living beings and the Mother Nature. Zero waste Kovalam is an attempt to implement zero waste concepts at Kovalam , the famous tourist destination in Kerala. The project was conceived and launched as a result of an anti waste incineration campaign launched by Thanal in 1996 as a part of larger Zero waste campaign. The project was initiated in 2001 focusing on building capacity and relationships among the local community for better resource management policies, generate clean and sustainable employment through discards recovery andmaterial substitution.

Zero waste centre, a part of Zero waste Kovalam programme was established in April 2003, as a resource use education centre with the objective of designing and developing useful products from discards and sustainable materials. The centre facilitate for sourcing of such products, imparting training and building awareness on zero waste. The Centre evolved from the need to complement the effort of the zero waste Kovalam programme which demands ideas, products and designs that are diverse and eco friendly. It has been able to share the lessons learnt in an economical and ecological way of handling waste with local self governments, institutions, local people and has helped build relationships and partnerships among various stakeholders.

Zero waste Himalaya was launched in 2010 and in last couple of years it is emerging as a movement to fight climate change "Zero Waste for Zero Warming". Zero Waste Himalaya was initiated by groups and individuals across the Himalayan Mountain region with the technical guidance of Thanal for promoting better resource use and recovery practices.

Join Zero Waste Himalayas in Facebook or write to to join the group.

Helpline for Zero Waste

A helpline service is provided by Thanal on solid waste management for local self Governments, institutions and public. This is to assist people in choosing technology, processes and practices for better waste management. Troubleshooting service of compost / biogas plants is available for people living in the Thiruvananthapuram City Corporation. A database of recyclers of Thiruvananthapuram City has been made available at Thanal Website for facilitating the recovery of non-bio-degradable discards. Awareness classes, discussions, demonstrations are organized on demand.

The canvass of Zero Waste is broadened with Climate Action work which is focused on building Climate resilience. The programme advocates for ‘Low Carbon’ and ‘Carbon Neutral’ cities/villages. Thanal addresses the issue of climate change, by helping communities and governments to understand the depth of climate change, design and promote development projects that are climate-resilient to mitigate and to adapt to the changing climate scenarios. Our project areas work towards co-creating systemic shifts, action-based research and behaviour change in societies. In the current climate-uncertain world, we explore strategic partnerships and innovations with communities to ‘think global, act local’. The challenge of climate change calls for extraordinary vision, leadership, compassion and wisdom. The accumulation of greenhouse gases (GHGs) in the atmosphere has led to global warming. If the world is indeed serious about making climate-friendly investments, it must consider the opportunity provided by a country like India where economic growth could be achieved with the minimum level of emission by employing new technologies and finance for achieving low carbon growth.


  • Zero waste cities
  • Carbon neutral communities
  • Break free from plastics
  • Zero waste Himalaya
  • Green Army International


  • Environment leadership training
  • Material substitution
  • Entrepreneurship development programme