India, the home of 1.31 billion people, the second most populous country in the world, hosts 17.85 percent of the world’s population. Despite her many problems, India has made a lot of progress but going forward, it is important that we don’t compromise on environmental sustainability.
Development and waste management should go hand in hand. Waste management is necessary to prevent pollution of all kinds, to safeguard health, and to use our resources judiciously.
Waste management involves a number of processes right from collecting waste to recycling. It not only prevents pollution, but also creates job opportunities.
Every city should have a ‘Waste Management Hub’. The hub should have houses, workplaces, and furniture made of recycled plastic. These should be occupied by people who collect, separate, and recycle plastic items. Training should be imparted to these people to create beautiful, useful things out of discarded items which can then be sold. Visiting artists can create art installations out of waste, which can be installed in railway stations, airports, or traffic circles. It should have a research centre to encourage people to find new ways of reusing discarded waste material. All people should be encouraged to make a monthly trip to this island to donate their waste material or go back home after learning to make something useful out of waste. This hub can also become the supplier of waste plastic to recycling industries.
If the present generation is encouraged to take up a cause like that of waste management they will be able to make a huge difference in the world. Each one should be encouraged to contribute in their own small ways and together they will make a big difference in the world.
Some activities that can encourage children to play an active role in the protection of environment
- With the help of ‘Movie Maker’ make a movie with you and your family members as the cast and tell your story about how you have contributed to waste management.
- Make a comic book with yourself as the hero and tell your story about your fight against pollution at home and outside.
- How green is my home?
Make a list of things/activities at home which show the steps you have taken to prevent pollution. Click pictures and make a ppt. Give five marks for each step. In the end total the score and find out whose home is the greenest.
- How green is my school?
Divide the class into two teams. One team will write about the steps taken in the school for waste management and the other group can write about what else can be done by the school to go green.
- How green is my city?
Divide the class into four groups – One group will make a model showing how environment friendly their city is. The second group can make a model showing how citizens are harming the environment. The third group can make a model showing the city of their dreams which is totally environment-friendly. The fourth group can collect newspaper cuttings which have any environment related issues of their city or articles on people who have done noteworthy work in this field and make a collage for the soft board.
- Friends of the earth challenge
During the assembly announce the names of any two students and challenge them to prove in 10 days that they are friends of the earth. After 10 days during assembly and with the help of charts or ppt, these students can share what they have done to be considered environment friendly. Then apply green colour on their hands and let them leave an imprint of their hands on a big papier mache globe or on a cut-out of the earth on chart a paper titled ‘Friends of the Earth’. They will then announce the names of another two children and invite them to take up the challenge for the next 10 days.
- Compose your own song inspiring people to work for the protection of the environment and sing it during assembly accompanied with musical instruments.
- Using the free online crossword maker or word-search maker, each student can generate a puzzle and exchange this with his partner in class to solve it.
- Have fun with the free online word cloud generator like ‘Wordle’ using words related with environment and waste management. Pin them up on the soft board or get them printed on t-shirts, mugs, etc.
- Make your own meme just like the Facebook stickman – ‘Be Like Bill’ to spread awareness about waste management. This can be done on small colourful cards which can be pinned up on the soft board. Some examples of memes which students can make are given below:
This is Vishal.
Vishal does not use straw for drinking.
Straw is non-biodegradable and causes land pollution.
Vishal is smart.
Be like Vishal.
This is Aashita.
Aashita does not use thermocol for making her projects or for decoration.
Thermocol does not decompose in the soil and makes it infertile.
It releases harmful gases on burning.
Aashita is smart.
Be like Aashita.
This is Sarthak.
Sarthak does not use disposable pens which generate plastic waste.
Sarthak uses pens in which refills can be used.
Sarthak is smart.
Be like Sarthak.
This is Pratham.
Pratham uses second-hand textbooks and storybooks.
Pratham saves paper.
Pratham is smart.
Be like Pratham.
There was a time when the amount of waste we generated was insignificant and we didn’t really have to worry about polluting the environment. But today, as we become more and more modern, waste management and thereby care for the environment is becoming extremely important. Therefore the sooner we start our children on green practices, the better. Here’s wishing you all a green and healthy tomorrow.
Make a trophy with waste material for school competitions
Square cardboard box/hard disk of computer for base – 1
Green disposable gloves – 1 pair
Wire – 4 metres
Keyboard keys of two keyboards
Black cellotape – 2 rolls
Quickfix – 1 tube
Plastic side-frames of switchboard – 4
m-seal – 2 small
football – 1
- On a square cardboard box fix the four switchboard frames erect, joined at the edges with the help of m-seal.
- Draw the outline of your hand on paper. Arrange the wire on the outline thus forming a frame of your hand. Do this for both right and left hand.
- Insert these wire-hands in the gloves.
- Stuff the gloves with waste paper, cotton, or cloth.
- Join both the hands together at the bottom by twisting the wires.
- Arrange and fix them on the switchboard frames.
- Take a football. Wind some wire around it at the centre to make the equator. Remove from the ball, cut the required length of wire and join the ends with black tape.
- In the same way wind the wire at different places on the football and make circles (latitudes and longitudes) with it.
- Then arrange these circles to form a grid of the earth fixing at different places with black tape.
- Make a small wire stand of this type.
- Fix the keys of the keyboard on this with Quickfix forming the words – ‘Think Green’. You may first paste the keys on a strip of cardboard and then on this wire.
- Fix this inside the grid by twisting the wire.
- On the outer surface of the grid paste the cut-outs of various continents.
- Also fix words like – recycle, reuse, reduce, refurbish, etc., made with keyboard keys pasted on cardboard strips.
- Keep and fix this grid on the gloves.
- Colour the trophy golden.
- On the four sides of the base write different quotes or slogans for the environment.
Ideas on the internet
- For remaking and reusing crayons, ideas are available on www.thrifty.com and www.makeandtakes.com.
- For creative things to do with newspaper visit the website www.homemadedomeideas.com.
- Learn 20 amazing ways to reuse old cds from www.lifebuzz.com.
- Recycle old socks with ideas from www.greenexoservices.com.
- Learn great ways to reuse erasers from www.quora.com.
- Take inspiration from the ‘Pen Guy’ Costas Schuler – an artist, welder/fabricator in Santa Rosa who designs and builds art installations from used pens. Learn about him on www.penguyart.com.
The author is an Educator at Zydus School for Excellence, Vejalpur, Ahmedabad. She teaches social studies. She enjoys making crafts, travelling, learning and sharing her learnings with others. She can be reached at email@example.com.