Waste management issues have gained more momentum in recent years than ever before, mainly because of the ever-increasing population, but more so because of the lack of a proper waste management and waste segregation module that can train and educate the local citizens.
Earth5R volunteer training the women of local communities about the basics of waste management of Bandra east, Mumbai
Mumbai, being a hub of business and civilisation, faces a major problem in segregating and processing the enormous amount of waste generated by its 20.4 million population.
As a solution to this acute crisis, Earth5R’s citizen volunteers train more than 50 local families each day under its Waste management and Circular Economy Program. Having trained over 5000 families till date, every Earth5R volunteer contributes to a circular economy of over $6.5 million.
Earth5R volunteers training families in Kherwadi, Bandra East under Waste Management and Circular Economy Program
Adopting a Demonstration-based Interactive Waste Management Training Program
Studies have shown that visual aids and practical examples lead up to a better learning experience. Having this in mind, Earth5R volunteers adopted a demonstration based training method. In such types of training, the informative representations are accompanied by actual samples and the whole mechanism is explained through them on the spot.
For example- a sample of compost is used to train the locals about the process of composting and how they can turn their kitchen waste into valuable biofertilizer/compost and hence reduce the amount of waste generated from their households.
Earth5R volunteer demonstrating a compost sample prepared through aerobic composting method
Such live demonstrations are used in “Circular Economy for Livelihood Training” as well. In this, the volunteers help the women of local communities to create scalable items from reusable or recyclable products.
“This program aims to help women earn a dignified living so that they can be financially independent, further strengthening our belief that ‘empowered women empower communities’.
Earth5R volunteer demonstrating how single use plastic bottles can be recycled to the local residents
Circular Economy and Waste Management Training in Bandra Region of Mumbai
Bandra Slum area (Source: Free Press Journal)
This training included both the demonstration as well as discussion components. The Earth5R citizen volunteer noted that the women of this community were keen on learning about composting and upcycling of waste and later answered their questions about how the families can reduce the waste generated from their households and how they can engage in crafting recyclable products.
Other than this, the local citizens were very keen on replacing their single use plastic bottles with a more reusable substitute and have now started adopting this sustainable choice.
Earth5R volunteer conducting a waste management training with the help of descriptive guide
Overall, the training session saw an especially large crowd of more than 55 families who were enthusiastic to listen to the volunteer talk about waste segregation practices. They were taught to segregate their household waste into dry waste, wet waste and medical waste. They were also trained to separate recyclable waste so that the overall quantity of waste dumped into landfills is reduced.
Earth5R citizen volunteers organized a training session on livelihood skills from waste for the women of local communities
Children of the local communities displaying decorative frames made out of upcycled material
The volunteers especially interacted with the children of the community who were excited to talk about their DIY projects, wherein they made decorative photo frames and other items from upcycled material.
Children displaying their recycled DIY project
Global sustainability is now the only avenue to future inclusive progress that can deliver the Sustainable Development Goals.(John Rockstrom)
Additionally, Earth5R volunteers encourage the citizens living in the slums and other over populated regions of the society to have a sustainable lifestyle by educating them about health and hygiene. Numerous issues ranging from sanitation, cleanliness and proper disposal of medical and menstrual waste are focussed upon to inculcate a sense of responsible consumption.
Earth5R is an environmental organization from India with its head office in Mumbai. It works with the NGO sector, Companies and helps them conduct environmental Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) programs across India.
-Reported by Om Nair, Edited by Trisha Garg