Educating Children in Circular Economy: Sustainable Green School Project in Partnership with Swiss Staff Foundation for Children in Need

Schools play an influential role in building our hopes for the future, our children.

Can you imagine a school that lacks necessities such as clean drinking water, proper infrastructure, and functional waste management? Many schools in Mumbai face that challenge, especially in slum areas.

Earth5R has launched a circular economy based Sustainable Green School Project which is supported by the Swiss Staff Foundation for Children in Need

The activities under this project include:

  1. Cleaning local environment and collection of plastic waste.
  2. Recycling the collected plastic and converting it to usable products like benches, desks, and bags.
  3. Ensuring clean drinking water by providing water filters.
  4. Installation of the solar panels on the rooftop.
  5. Promotion of eco-brick based gardening.
  6. Preparation of compost units and providing awareness training to students and families.
  7. Support the development of students as leaders and change-makers for future zero waste localities.
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The Sustainable School Project is a sustainable model that mainly focuses on building a society having proper knowledge about waste segregation, recycling, water and energy conservation, environmental protection, and sustainable development. 

According to the slum population census 2011, there are 1.39 million slum households in India, where the literacy rate is only 77.72%. 

One of the main reasons for school dropouts in those areas is health issues. India signed the United Nations Sustainable Development Framework 2018-2022 to achieve 100% school attendance by 2022. 

The sustainable green school project can contribute to this target by ensuring a safe and hygienic study environment and avoiding health-related dropouts from school. 

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The unhygienic condition of the locality can be harmful to the health

The Sustainable School Project also contributes to sustainable development goals like clean and affordable energy, responsible consumption and production, clean water and sanitization, good health and wellbeing. 

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The enthusiasm of children in contributing to this project needs to be acknowledged. They taught their parents about the importance of proper waste management after the livelihood training conducted by volunteers of Earth5R in the slum area of Mumbai. 

The Earth5R team also taught them about the types of wastes like dry wastes, organic waste, biomedical wastes, and electronic waste through pictorial representations. 

Children are encouraged to segregate wastes in the area and collect thrown away plastic for the local recycling unit. In return, they get recycled PET bottle bags.

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Teaching the activity of waste segregation while collecting plastic for recycling

Children have the potential to change the world, and our role is to guide them. We all know the environmental problems we are facing now due to plastic waste. But our apathy hinders us; our belief someone else will step up, needs to be changed. This is what Earth5R follows, taking action and being a part of the change we wish to see. The sustainable green school project by Earth 5R brings a model that every school in the world can follow.

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Children practicing social distancing during the training

The children of the locality call themselves Friends of Earth, they are all glad to be part of the program and being able to experience an environment-friendly study space. Let’s hold our hands together as change-makers of the world and builders of a sustainable future.

ABOUT EARTH5R

Earth5R is an environmental organization from India with its head office at Mumbai. It works with the NGO sector, Companies and helps them conduct environmental Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) programs across India.

Earth5R specializes in circular economy based projects. Earth5R also offers short term and long term environmental courses and fellowships.

ABOUT SWISS STAFF FOUNDATION FOR CHILDREN IN NEED

The Swiss Staff Foundation for Children in Need (www.swiss.com/kinderstiftung) is committed to disadvantaged children throughout the world. This commitment is made possible by the voluntary payroll deductions of our employees, and by your donations.

Reporting by Sajitha Siril, editing by Aishani Raghav

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