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.
- Understanding micro plastics and its negative affect on marine life and the food chain.
- 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.
- Brainstorming some of the habitual changes and solutions we can adopt in our daily lives.
- 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 not just the parents, but the entire community about the effect of plastic on animals and the environment.
- Using materials such as jute, cotton, paper, steel etc., as alternatives to plastics.
- Organizing rallies and street plays to spread awareness in every part of the community.
- Creating art out of plastic waste
- Using cardboard boxes instead of plastic dustbins to collect waste.
- Creating flower pots and pencil stands out of plastic waste bottles.
- Conducting regular clean up drives across the community.
- Participating in all the schemes initiated and organized by the Municipal Corporation.
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 key ideas for the community awareness campaigns were:
- To advertise about the problem on social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram etc.
- To reach out to big companies through tweets, requesting them to avoid using plastic for packaging.
- To post incidents that show the harmfulness and disadvantages of plastic.
- To write blogs which will explore the disadvantages and benefits of living with and without plastics respectively.
- To target rural shopkeepers and grocery stores, and spread awareness about plastic pollution.
- To motivate people to reduce, refuse, recycle and reuse plastics in their homes.
The students recreated an Earth where...
- People would be seen using stainless steel tiffin boxes and bottles.
- Animals won’t be eating plastic, and will live a longer life.
- We won’t be using plastic toothbrushes
- We won’t eat junk foods such as chips, biscuits etc.
- The use of phone and phone covers will be very limited.
- The land and water would not have been so polluted.
- The roads would always be clean.
- We use leaves instead of plastic plates to eat food from.
- There will be no plastic manufacturing industries.
- We would be using feathers instead of plastic pens.
Some of the key schemes brainstormed were:
- If we give half kg of plastic, we get a flower pot in return
- If we give one kg of plastic, we get a vegetable plant in exchange.
- We can collect all the plastic bags in the city and in exchange give jute and cotton bags to the people.
- We can reward children with wooden toys for conducting clean up drives.
- We should organize a drive where we collect plastic lunch boxes from everyone, and in return give plastic free products.
- Conduct awareness campaigns through skits and posters across the city with the help of students.
- Install a vending machine that only gives out plastic free products
- Install a recycling machine which also conveys messages on how people need to stop using plastic.
- We give blankets and sweaters in exchange for plastic bottles
- Every once a week, one period in the schools should be dedicated to students spreading awareness about plastic pollution and conducting clean-up drives.
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.
leaving a mark...
Launching a plastic-free event scheme in Panchkula
Through our workshops, we were able to support the Municipal Corporation of Panchkula in launching a scheme that reduces plastic waste generation from events such as marriages. In order to provide incentive towards holding plastic-free events in the Community Center, the Municipal Corporation promised a 25 per cent discount on rent to anyone who successfully organizes a plastic-free event. The same will be verified through an audit conducted by members of the Corporation. The scheme was inspired by a student from St. Vivekanand Millennium School, who came up with the idea during the Blue Workshop.