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Ervis Blue Workshop St. Vivekanand Millennium School, Pinjore, Haryana

In collaboration with the Municipal Corporation of Panchkula, Haryana, and the Swachh Bharat Mission

About the Workshop

With a vision to bring a generational change, the Ervis Blue Workshop aims to not just educate the youth, but to inspire the children between the age group of 6 to 18 years to interact, consume and dispose plastic in a responsible and sustainable way.

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.

INSPIRING A CLEANER TOMORROW FOR HARYANA

ST. VIVEKANAND MILLENNIUM SCHOOL, PINJORE, HARYANA

overview

350+ students

2-Days

Age group: 10-13 years

In collaboration with Municipal Corporation of Panchkula

Supporting the Swachh Bharat Mission

WORKSHOP SESSIONS

Students engaged in guided discussions and hands-on, fun and engaging activities that tickled their creative-bone to innovate and brainstorm solutions to tackle the plastic pollution crisis.

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.

what is the solution?

Students listed out some of the key solutions they and their community could adopt to tackle the problem of plastic pollution in a more effective manner.

Key solutions
  • 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.

becoming changemakers!

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 prepared a street play to spread awareness within their communities on the need to stop using single-use plastic.

IMAGINING A WORLD WITHOUT PLASTIC!

The students were asked to imagine a world where plastic was never invented. They were then asked to recreate scenes from their daily lives, and how they would go about doing their daily chores without plastic!

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.

CREATING INNOVATIVE SCHEMES TO SUPPORT THEIR LOCAL GOVERNMENT

After having shared some of the innovative schemes put in place by the Municipal Corporation of Panchkula, the students were asked to come up with their own creative schemes that they can implement in collaboration with their local authorities.

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.

field visit

Landfill and Composting Site

The students had an exposure field visit to the local dump yard in Panchkula. The aim of the visit was to give the students a practical insight into what happens to the waste after it is disposed from their homes. We also wanted them to know the people who play a key role in managing and cleaning the dump yard.

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.

"This scheme will inspire the organizers to use alternatives to plastic items and such events will become an inspiration to many prospective organizers. And their efforts will also be recognized at a district level where such organizers will be felicitated by the Municipal Corporation."

- Rajesh Jogpal, Municipal Commissioner, Panchkula

student feedback

Harshit Kumar of Grade 7 shares his takeaways from the Blue Workshop and how he aims to lead the fight against plastic pollution in his community.

thank you...

to the Municipal Corporation of Panchkula and st. vivekanand millennium school, pinjore, haryana
Our journey to ending plastic pollution has only just begun. We aim to inspire many more such youth to become torchbearers of our movement and bring about a generational change in the way we consume and dispose plastic as a society.

For more details follow us on:

Visit our website: www.ervisfoundation.org