In an interesting turn of events in EarthTalk conducted by Team Earth5R, the speaker baton was now passed to volunteer environmentalist Sagar Kulkarni. The talk was at VPM Polytechnic, Thane for Chemical Diploma students.
The 16 year olds were a curios crowd, eager to learn new things. Sagar being a chemical engineering student himself, found it easy to connect with the students. The talk began with Sagar telling them how Earth5R came into being. There was also a brief description on the organization and the 5 urban values- Respect, Reduce, Reuse, Recycle, Restore. Sagar also presented examples with pictures, based on these 5 values.
The students felt more engrossed as the talk progressed. Interaction took place in Marathi also, to make the students feel more connected. The young faces brightened up as they started getting to know different aspects of sustainability. The talk further continued with a discussion on sustainable engineering, green chemistry and chemical pollution. Sagar spoke about how people could find sustainable methods and solutions in their own field of interest and contribute towards the environment. He even gave a personal example of this while he was interning at Bharat Petroleum.
Sagar changed the students perspective by stressing on the fact that being an environmentalist does not mean one starts a ‘Save trees, Grow trees’ movement. It is about a way of living, about changing small mannerisms in our daily routines, workplace and other activities.
The talk ended successfully with students coming over to the team and one to one interaction took place with them. They were extremely excited to tell what they knew and how they could contribute. The college professors actively participated in the discussions too, inquiring as to how they could get involved.
Report by Nikita Shrawagi, Photograph by Saurabh Gupta, EarthTalk Project Management (Mumbai) by Sagar Suba