Plastic is a synthetic material which was developed in the 1800s during the Industrial revolution. This material gained its wide usage because of its durability, low cost, impervious-to-water nature and ease of production.
However, today, plastic is more of a hazard than a boon due to its over usage. It puts the nature as well the life of living all organisms at risk.
With the motto of alleviating this issue, Vedanshi Bhartia of Earth5R team conducted a workshop to make people aware of the danger plastic poses. She also taught them how to make eco- friendly products from paper. She conducted the workshop on the 24th of April which continued till the 29th of the month in the slums near Nathu Singh road, cantonment area of Kanpur.
The first day saw her introducing what the workshop would be about to the people in the slums. She made them aware about the effects of environmental pollution and how to effectively tackle it. Concepts such as sustainability and social entrepreneurship were also introduced to them. The next day, she gave them knowledge about the harmful effects of plastic especially when it is burnt, releasing poisonous gases. Alongside, they were told about the alternatives to plastic that are feasible to use. Making paper bags was also taught to the children on this day.
Being more specific on Day 3, she acquainted people with the wonders of Paper Mache. It is the perfect substitute for thermoplastic substances and can solve the issue of increasing plastic to a great extent. The children got to work immediately, making bags with newspapers and glue. They continued the work even the next day, making substances like photo frames, pen stands and boxes.
On the 5th day, the kids made boxes, trays and pen stands out of old cardboard boxes and sheets along with Vedanshi. They coloured these products with certain colour schemes on the final day. According to her, it is important to colour the products appropriately so that they appeal to the customers.
Thus, the children learnt a valuable lesson regarding the environment along with a skill that they can use to earn their livelihood through the workshop. Along with being a memorable experience for Earth5R member Vedanshi Bhartia, it also proved to be an activity of giving back to mother Earth.
– Reported by Vedanshi Bhartia, Edited by Minnie Jaiswal, Graphic Design by Pratik Dhamapurkar & Akshay Chavan.