We aim to...
- Create a platform where the youth can devise ideas, strategies and solutions that can contribute to reducing plastic debt and plastic pollution.
- Act as a medium for children to implement the ideas, based on the available resources and feasibility.
- Engage children in educational and hands-on activities that will create an all-round awareness and understanding of the existing problem of plastic.
Key Topics Discussed
- The adverse impact of plastic on marine life and the oceans.
- Understanding Plastic: from the origin to its negative implications on our environment
- Identifying the different categories of waste and how to segregate waste.
- Discussing the solutions: understanding the 4-Rs, and what are some of the behavioral and habitual changes we can adopt.
- Alternating plastic bottles with steel or glass bottles.
- Using steel containers to purchase groceries or for packing food.
- Using of cloth bags instead of plastic bags.
- Educating their parents about the effect of plastic on animals and the environment as a whole.
- Using materials such as jute, cotton, paper, steel etc., as alternatives to plastics.
- Adopting the olden ways of packaging products reusing materials such as newspapers.
- Using cardboard boxes instead of plastic dustbins to collect waste.
- Preparing songs, and street plays that effectively spread the message.
DESIGNING COMMUNITY AWARENESS CAMPAIGNS
The students were asked to prepare a plan on how they will approach each section of their community and educate the people about the importance of sustainable plastic consumption and disposal and waste management. Children took to using creative mediums such as creating posters, banners, movie scripts, theater plays and songs.
The students recreated an Earth where...
- There is a compost pit in each and every household.
- All the lakes and ponds in the city are pollution free.
- People are only seen using jute and cotton bags.
- Every corner of the city has pottery shops.
- Fridges are made of mud.
- Neem stems are being used as brushes.
- Houses are made of wood, cement, bricks and metal.
- Their school bags are made of jute and pens are made of wood or feather.
Some of the key schemes brainstormed were:
- From every sector, the person who collects, segregates and disposes the most amount of waste should be awarded a prize from the government.
- Every month, people who use reused plastic the most should be recognized by the municipal corporation.
- Give individuals who collect the most plastic waste, supplies for their daily needs such as – clothes, food items, housing facilities etc.
- A vending machine should be installed where people get money in return for submitting plastic waste.
- Students can be given pencils and notebooks in return for depositing plastic waste.
- As a part of awareness scheme, stainless steel bottles and containers should be distributed across the city.
- Instead of supplying schools with plastic dustbins, they should be given steel bins.
- In exchange for plastic waste, people should be given a pot of plant or fresh fruits.
- For those who collect and deposit plastic waste they should be provided with coupons with which they can purchase grocery items.
- Children should be gifted with wooden toys in exchange for plastic.
The students had the opportunity to interact with the local cleaners and rag pickers and understand their perspective and the kind of challenges they face on a day-to-day basis. The students learnt some of the simple measures they can take up to reduce the heaps of garbage that currently occupies the land.
In addition to understanding solid waste segregation, the students also learnt the process of composting biodegradable waste in detail. They witnessed the step-by-step process of composting the kitchen waste generated from homes.
Their biggest takeaway was realizing the journey of waste in entirety and its impact on the lives of humans and animals alike. Having not able to stand the stench and the unhygienic atmosphere of the dump yard for more than a few minutes, they had a new found respect for the cleaners and rag pickers who spend their entire time in saving the community from the side-effects of disposing waste incorrectly.
" The workshop focused on the impact of plastic pollution on our lives. During the course of the workshop students engaged in several activities that were designed to suit their understanding and interest. They were made aware about the problem through discussions, videos, lectures, skits, activities etc. Through this they gained deep insight into the issue and were encouraged to join this mission and inspire their entire community to do the same."
- Mrs. Anju Puri; Principal