Their target is zero waste

Their target is zero waste

Walk into the Mount Carmel College campus at any time of the day and you won’t find a single piece of paper lying around. No plastic cups, bottles, napkins, paper plates... no scrap of paper is thrown on campus. The students and management of the college have been working towards reaching a target of zero waste.

The college recently hosted ‘MCC Environment Day’ and the three-hour programme had various events packed into it, like a skit by the dramatics association about the hazards of paper cups, a couple of stalls by the NGOs selling things made from recycled paper, a performance by Thaalavattam, an organisation that uses reusable materials to make musical instruments and finally, the ‘Tree of Appreciation and Happy Notes’, meant to popularise the concept of environmental conservation.

Divya R T, a chemistry lecturer and vice president of the Green Brigade — a  group of students who work towards environmental conservation — says, “Our aim is to create awareness among the students and staff about the hazards of misusing natural resources. Therefore, since science as a subject is taught in class, we give weightage to those things that are known to students of all disciplines but are taken for granted.”
Divya points out that through events like these and continuous initiatives on campus, the faculty tries to orient the students towards keeping the premises clean. “We have banned the use of plastic cups on campus and have asked the students to bring their own mugs or use steel glasses. We hope this will work,” adds Divya.

Sheela V Dange, coordinator for Centre for Extended Education, is hopeful that such initiatives will make a differe­nce among the students. “I am sure what we try to do on campus will touch at least a 100 students, who will go out and make an effort towards environmental conservation. Interaction with the students in this regard will help,” Sheela notes.

The dramatics association put up a short play about three key reforms that are being brought to MCC — doing away with a paper cups, waste segregation and creating a culture wherein one does not have to rely on a paper cups. Gowri O, secretary of the dramatics association, says, “Using a fun medium, not just to have a good laugh but also to leave someone pondering at the end of it, is where I think our achievement lies. As a team, we feel very strongly about environmental conservation that has been an extended part of the MCC Green Brigade for the last two years.”

The ‘Tree of Appreciation and Happy Notes’ has been made by using a broken branch and reusable material. “The idea was to popularise environmental conservation. We have used a discarded bucket, filled it with cement and we hope to change the colour of the eco-friendly tree in keeping with the changing seasons,” observes Rina Gomes, a faculty member of the interior design department. But what the students really enjoyed was the performance by Thaalavattam, a group that uses reusable materials like old bottles, PVC pipes and old buckets to make musical inst­ruments. Montry Manuel, the lead artiste, says, “We pick up stuff from junk and make music from it. The emphasis is on rhythm and playing in sync with each other. Our aim is to get the young to take to prote­cting the environment and getting rid of the waste,” says Montry.

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