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Hara House: North India’s first zero-waste guesthouse

The girls and I travel the world continuously. We may be visiting family, exploring new places or simply looking for the perfect vacation spot. But we always try to do so respecting the environment. To us, this means living in eco-friendly homes and eating local organic food. It also means walking or biking to get to places, as well as recycling our waste.

In late January, during our never-ending search for “green” homestays, we come across Hara House. It is located in Bikaner, in the vibrant Indian region of Rajasthan. We learn that this 6-room home is completely zero-waste. The community here is hard at work to make it as such. It sources organic food from the House’s farm, reuses waste water to wash floors and even makes its own soaps.

The best part, though, is that 20% of all the House’s profits go to the Hara Innovation Fund. It is a special resource set aside to fund environmental action and education projects in North India. This social enterprise operates an onsite community hub. It also engages local social entrepreneurs and provides a workspace and grant monies for their future projects.

Meet the team!

Jazzmine & Manoj – a happy team!

There is a dynamic duo behind this initiative. Manoj Gour from India and Jazzmine Lawton Raine from Canada are two young social entrepreneurs themselves. They meet at the beginning of 2015 while working for a grassroots NGO in the region. They quickly become best buddies and business partners.

Manoj and Jazzmine’s aim is to open Hara House to the public by the end of December 2018. To reach their goal, they have recently launched an Indiegogo campaign to raise $15,000 CAD. These funds will be used to renovate the property and furnish it with 100% upcycled materials. They will also go to installing guest amenities and kick-starting the Hara Innovation Fund.

When it comes to partnerships, Hara House is already officially working with two organizations. Doodlage, an ethical fashion brand based in New Delhi, and EduCARE India, a national NGO. Doodlage is in charge of creating the t-shirts and tote bags available through the campaign, as well as providing Hara House with zero-waste décor and furnishings. The brand’s education program, which focuses on the dangers of the fast fashion industry in India, is also the first project the Hara Innovation Fund will be investing in. The Fund will also help leverage EduCARE’s eco-homestay program and empower local families running small tourism projects. This will include their various microfinance projects which would support the sale of local products like soaps, laptop cases and dry goods.

If, like us, you want to help the world become a better place through this exciting project, follow Jazzmine, Manoj and the Hara House team on Facebook and Instagram.

To contribute to the Hara House Indiegogo campaign, click here! Hurry, you have 10 days left!

Michelle Calcatelli

Michelle Calcatelli

Hi there! My name is Michelle. I'm an American living in Italy, mom of two girls, a lover of travel, music and good food shared with loved ones. I am a freelance grant writer and a former agricultural development practitioner, having worked mostly in rural Africa for 18 years. I look forward to creating a space here - with your help - where we can exchange dreams, ideas and kindness to start shaping a better tomorrow.

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