Earth5R with Local Community Upcycle Office Waste & Starbucks Grounds for Pune Children

The extent of waste generated by the corporate sector of the country is beyond imagination. There is very little awareness regarding this issue especially when offices are the largest consumers of paper in the market. While some organisations are struggling to make a change in this sector by encouraging offices to go paperless, the problem still prevails. This issue can also be seen with the waste generated by the amount of coffee consumption by the employees. The majority of coffee waste and paper stationery waste generated every single day ends up with other trash in the landfills.

Hence, Earth5R has targeted these two major issues and come up with an innovative solution. Earth5R Pune team i.e., Shriram Jalan, Sonam Sengar and Saurabh Gupta has identified a specific slum area in Hadapsar, Pune. One major thing that was noticed in the slum was that majority of the children were interested in art and crafts. However, they had no avenue to build their interests. The Earth5R team went to this slum, gathered around 50 children and held an art competition for them.

An Earth Talk was given by Sonam Sengar to the kids regarding the ill effects of pollution and benefits of Waste Segregation, Composting, Rainwater Harvesting and Solar energy.

The Paper and Coffee waste were collected from offices and used for this project. The team demonstrated how to make paint out of the coffee waste and then use it to paint on the papers collected from the offices. The children were given pencils, coffee paint and papers to draw and paint sketches related to nature. They were to make a rough sketch with a pencil and then paint it using the coffee paint.

Art has proven to be therapeutic and helps children, men and women to cope with stress and other problems. The participation of the children was tremendous. It was certainly beautiful to see how excited they were to get an avenue to test out their skills.The results were astonishing as we found out how beautifully these children depicted nature in their drawings.

Towards the end, 10 best paintings out of the 50 participants were selected as the winners. These children who won were awarded certificates from Earth5R. These paintings will also be showcased at the offices from which the waste was collected. This step is extremely important because this is when people come to know that the waste that they take for granted has the potential to inspire and empower kids in a way normal schools cannot. This project is a living proof that waste generation can be tackled by channelling it to the right direction and up-cycling them.

A short video documentary on the workshop 

Reported by Shriyam Jalan, Journal & Graphic editing by: K. Sumana Shriya