Heroes live forever, what about GREEN heroes?

We heard about 3P (people, planet, profit) as Triple Bottom Line (TBL) in eco-capitalism approach. Corporate are having social approaches for their ecological sustainable prioritized projects e.g. eco-tourism etc. etc.

What about individuals, who are not part of any corporate initiative? There are freelance workers in the nature, who live by day on their own activity. Some of them are human recycling machines; some are human alternative to engines in vehicles reducing fuel usage and carbon emission.  Some are simply collecting renewable resources to reduce cooking gas usage. Some of them are simply using hand-looms, manual machines etc. etc.

Let’s take an example of energy savings. There are 300,000 Rikshaws in Dhaka city pulled by some 600,000 regular Rikshaw pullers. Thereby total energy savings per day is 300,000 Rikshaws X 10 liters X 365 days which is 1 million billion petrol per year.  This is equivalent to 1.42 trillion liter carbon-dioxide.  2425 billion Trees in one year can absorb this volume of CO2. One rickshaw puller is serving as 4042 trees. Thereby they are our GREEN Heroes.

Let’s talk about Toaki (“I collect” is the English equivalent of this Bengali word). They are street/floating children who collect our garbage and throwaways. There are 2 million street/floating children in urban areas of Bangladesh of which 11% work in formal sector and the rest work in non-formal sector. Alone in Dhaka city, the number is 334,000+ of which approximately half are female. Think about recycled paper boxes we use every day, and the recycled PET Bottle Flakes our country exports. Nestle Water says: 25 recycled PET bottles are needed to make a sweater, and recycling 3,700 PET bottles saves one barrel of petrol?  If a child collects 50 pet bottles in 300 days a year and 30% of the street population are in this trade, they serve as 122 million trees. One Child is serving as 1221 trees.

Now, after this analysis, are you ready to call them GREEN heroes? What is the fate of these heroes?

Rikshaw Puller (1 puller: 4042 Trees)

  • Exposed to all weather conditions
  • Exposed to risk of accident by motorized vehicles
  • Exposed to pollution including heavy dust
  • Diseases like TB
  • Pressurized by Rikshaw owners
  • Bitten by traffic police and others
  • Lives in measurable life condition in poverty
  • Exposed to Frustration of uncertainty
  • Exposed to Drugs
Street/Floating Kids ( 1 kid : 1221 trees)

  • Sexual trafficking
  • Organized crime
  • Drug and substance abuse
  • Homelessness and malnutrition

Once these children are victims of any of the above, it is very difficult for them to get back on track and feel safe and they are often completely alone.


In reality, the total initiative to save these GREEN heroes is nothing compared to their contribution to us and our future generation.

Let’s talk about action point. In the era of green economy, there are eco-businesses focusing on carbon emission trading. My above discussion can be a fruit for thought for them, to save this population (with finance from carbon producing companies in first world countries) by showing them as equivalent trees. Allow the green heroes not to be wasted.

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