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Gurgaon goes green

A green cafe, solar cars, organic food, nature walks — here’s what makes the renewable energy park cool.

india Updated: May 14, 2011 02:56 IST
Chetna Dua

With solar cars, a green cafe and a Saturday market, the Rajiv Gandhi Renewable Energy Park in Gurgaon (RGREP) is a perfect hangout zone for those who swear by the green movement.

Started in November 2009, this 1.5-acre energy park is run entirely on solar power produced by a 10-kw plant. And, if you get hungry while walking around, there’s a cafe run by the Advit foundation.In it’s bid to encourage people to go the natural way, an organic stall is put up every Saturday, where people can source their stock of healthy vegetables, pulses and spices. lA full-organic fair is organised every six months.

The centre also conducts workshops on solar cooking, besides creating knick-knacks from natural materials. A puppet-making workshop is in the pipeline from 31 May-5 June.

High on sunshine
There’s a movie hall with more than 50 documentary and animation films on environment. The exhibition hall displays a solar cooker, solar panels and wind turbine. The curio shop sells eco-friendly products. For grown-ups, there are recipe books on solar cooking, solar lights and a decompose pit that can convert your vegetable waste to manure right at home.

How to get here
What: Renewable Energy Park
Address: Sector 29, near IFFCO Chowk Metro station
Timing: 9.30am to 6.30pm Mondays closed
Tel: 0124-2575616/ 9868202906

Nearest Metro station IFFCO Chowk station on the Yellow Line

Green Birthdays
RGREP organises birthdays for children between 5-15 years of age. The birthday package includes a movie screening, followed by activities, such as jumping on the ‘sound drum’, nature walk and painting on terracotta cups, which the children can take home as return gifts. There’s a healthy snack party at the solar cafe. “Instead of spending money at a fast-food joint, we preferred to celebrate our child’s birthday at the centre,” said Swati Gahlaut.

Healthy Bite
Roots, the solar cafe serves healthy food from 7-11am and 4-9pm. A thatch-and-bamboo roof with hanging paper lights, wooden tables with bamboo chairs give the cafe a rustic charm. Vegetable sandwiches made from freshly-baked brown bread are filling, while the poha and cheese omelette are also popular on Sundays. Traditional summer coolers, such as lemonade, sattoo and bael sharbat are sure to quench your thirst without giving you those guilt pangs.