In a rapidly growing city like Chennai, ’sustainable’ is sometimes ignored at the cost of development. Waste is disposed of thoughtlessly, food is thrown away without care, and energy/electricity is used with no regard for environmental consequences. Recently, several young minds seem to have woken up to this growing problem. In schools, ‘Interact’ and ‘Environment’ clubs are focusing on community initiatives to not only generate awareness but also to start making a change, however small. Several green activists claim that small acts have great sustainability advantage. The overwhelming conclusion seems to be that our urban population needs to take some concrete small steps really fast!
(Opt for cloth bags)
Recycle, Reuse and Reduce’ has been a campaign around for more than a decade. It’s time to pay attention to these wise words and stop being a careless consumer. Take a reusable bag to your local grocery store. Tear out unused sheets from your notebooks at the end of the school year, and bind them into a new workbook. Buy rechargeable batteries, instead of disposable ones. Stop buying plastic disposable water bottles. Instead, opt for a insulated steel one that will keep your beverages cool/hot.
Conserve, Don’t Consume
A huge problem today is over-consumption, but a few changes to your weekly routine will cut your consumption of water, energy and other precious resources. Take your bicycle when visiting friends nearby or going to the grocery store. Unplug your chargers when not in use. Also, don’t overcharge your laptop and other electronics. Close the tap when you brush your teeth, and pay attention to the amount of water you’re using for a shower… bet you could do with a little less.
Reduce Waste Production
Not only do we consume excessively, but we also throw away more than necessary every single day. Start paying attention to what can be saved, and what is really trash. Plastic bags are NOT trash. They can be used for a multitude of purposes from handy bags and carriers to rain-protectors for your shoes. Collect vegetable peel and fruit seeds each week, and plant them in a nearby soil-filled garden. This will contribute to an increase in soil fertility. Have extra food from the last time you went out? Bring it home! Not in the mood for leftovers? Donate to a nearby pet shelter.
Samvitha is a student of the American International School.
Our Interact Club conducts newspaper collection and clothes collection drives. At home, all newspaper is sent for recycling. We reuse glass bottles and containers and use them for storing spices, pickles and jam. I think the pay-for-plastic scheme has been vital in spreading awareness about the ill effects of plastic usage. Whenever we go shopping we take our own bags to reduce use of plastic bags. - Krithika Prasad, Sishya
Recycling isn’t as hard as it seems. Before throwing anything just think if that item could be of any use. I always collect all the paper and plastic in the house and give it to those people who come to your doorstep… they might even pay you for it! Some bottles and cans can be reused or otherwise recycled. My suggestion to youngsters when it comes to waste collection would be to avoid thinking, “I did not throw that, why should I pick it up?” Or “How will that small action of mine ever make a difference in this huge world?” It’s these small drops of water that finally make an ocean. - Devanshi Gupta, Sishya
I don’t throw away bags or gift wrappers. I re-use them. Similarly, we re-cycle used bottles and boxes to store other household stuff. We never buy things in bulk because they might go to waste and we’ll have to throw them away. We buy in moderate quantities. The entire world is making environment its number one priority. We may not be able to contribute at a national level, but we can do little things like not burning garbage and re-using whatever we can. It’s only a question of habit; once the habit sets in for each of us, we can do our bit to save the environment. - Shruti Anand, P.S.B.B.
I’m the president of the school’s Chennai’s Recycle Club. The club is involved in several projects such as recycling plastic, using one-side paper for making note books for the less fortunate and several other activities to spread awareness. Personally, I mainly recycle paper. I use one-side paper for printing and also use them as scratch paper every day. I conserve energy by urging my parents to use fluorescent bulbs as they save a lot of energy in the long run and by checking that switches are off and wires unplugged when not in use. - Aadhavan Adityan, American International School-Chennai
I carry cloth bags to the supermarket so that I don’t have to take plastic bags. In my apartment we segregate waste and the organic waste goes into a compost pit. I’d tell everyone that even if you don’t go all out and try to save the world, there are things all of us can do, even if they seem small, like segregating waste, switching off appliances, walking or taking a bus instead of using a car, and making sure your taps aren’t leaking or open. - Pallavi Balakrishnan, Sishya
Popularity: 1% [?]