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Houston’s Hindu Community Going Green

Houston’s Hindu community will come together April 14 to discuss how their temples and congregations going green will result in new opportunities, more efficiency and therefore more financial savings to help the community share the benefits of an economically and environmentally healthy lifestyle.

The event, convened by the Green Yatra Action Network (GYAN), aims to mobilize Hindu organizations to practice good environmental care in their worship and celebrations. Some of the actions being proposed include: recycling, eliminating Styrofoam products, green worship and green celebrations, green buildings, temple gardens, environmental education and energy and water conservation.

The April 14th event will be held from 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at India House, 8888 W. Bellfort. Guest speakers include a conservation expert from the Houston Zoo, an international expert on climate change and renewable energy, and representatives from Keep Houston Beautiful, Texas Interfaith Power & Light and Green Buildings. GYAN’s founding member temples will share plans outlining their green actions and commitment to the environment. The event is free. Advance registration is required.

Top of the agenda on April 14 will be specific information on potential for green projects to generate jobs, income, entrepreneurship and economic opportunities in these major areas: energy efficiency and green buildings, renewable energy (solar, wind), rainwater harvesting, recycling, organic gardening, waste disposal and conservation.

“Many individuals, communities and Hindu institutions believe that they should do something about environmental problems but find the challenge overwhelming,” said Kusum Vyas, founder of GYAN. “Most do not know where to start,”

Supported by Living Planet Foundation, a Texas-based secular organization, GYAN has been nurtured to give roots and wings to a global Hindu response to the environmental crisis. It is focused on faith-based environmentalism which the United Nations Development Program describes as “the world’s largest civil society movement on climate change.”

“We see our role as a catalyst that will connect faith leaders, institutions and individuals from across the globe to develop a unified voice and be seen as beacons of good environmental care,” Vyas said.

“Recognizing our worship and celebrations as spiritual activities that have economic and environmental impact – which provide income for local community but also produce outputs that add to environmental degradation— we believe there are also opportunities that with good foresight can be manifested into tangible benefits,” Vyas continued. “At the end of the day, the ideal green community also has to enjoy strong and inclusive economic growth.”

While GYAN is rooted in the Hindu tradition, it will actively engage all faith-based and secular entities on environmental issues through a free and non-binding membership committing to environmental action and advocacy.

For more information, please contact Vyas at 281-345-0931.

Media Contact:
Sue Davis
April 6, 2012

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