12 Greener People, Greener World - Karen Laurie

posted Mar 14, 2018, 9:37 AM by Neil D'Souza   [ updated Mar 14, 2018, 9:37 AM ]
Teachers and students representing 48 schools sat on the edge of their seats in the packed Bianchi hall at Don Bosco International School, Matunga on March 3; some crossing their fingers, others whispering a prayer, hoping their labour of love towards conserving the environment would earn them the Green School Award.

The staff and students of St Joseph's High School, Wadala squealed with joy as they were declared winners for 2017-18. Some were visibly disappointed. Still others were heard brainstorming ideas, eyeing the top spot in the following year.

The Green Schools Campaign (GSC) is an initiative of GreenLine, a Don Bosco environmental organisation that started in 2010. Through hands-on learning, students are taught to be responsible towards the environment. The Green School Award for the best performing school and the Green Champ for the greenest student in each school is declared on an annual basis.

"Making eco-bricks was a lot of fun. We enjoyed dumping all our dry plastic waste into PET bottles. It then became hard, and we taped many such bottles together. We even put a cushion on them and turned them into stools," said Anushka Doctor, Green Champ of St Anne's School, Fort.

The theme for the eighth edition of GSC was 'Go Trash-less'. With Mumbai currently generating about 10,000 tonnes of trash daily, waste management is a pressing issue. The Campaign began with an orientation session for 80 teachers, preparing them to lead their army of students through the year. Three sessions were then conducted for students: mapping trash from its beginning to its end; managing trash by reducing waste and correctly disposing it, and minimising trash by working towards trash-less neighbourhoods.

Through workshops like eco-brick making and film-making, the little campaigners were taught how to maximise the use of their mobile phones to create awareness on environmental matters like garbage black spots. Outdoor events like the Versova beach clean-up drive, a visit to a gobar gas and sewage management plant provided the young ecologists with first-hand experience.