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14 green prisons

By: Andrew Schenkel on Oct. 25, 2010, 11:05 a.m.
bearded man looks out from behind green bars

Photo: Zuma Abid Bhat/ZUMA Press

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Tihar Central Jail, India

If you paid nearly $1 million for your electricity each year, wouldn’t you try to be more energy efficient? That’s what is happening at India’s Tihar Central Jail. The 11,000-person jail is on a quest to become the world’s greenest jail by implementing all sorts of changes. Director General B.K. Gupta plans to add solar power units, biogas plants, an intensive recycling program and a rainwater harvesting system. He also plans to shut off the electricity in some areas of the prison from 7 to 9 a.m. and 3 to 5 p.m. in the winter. The Indian government has committed more than $105,000 to the project, which is half of the money Gupta will need to implement his plan.