Called the new Silicon Valley of India, Powai has seen a rapid urbanization and the creation of numerous business parks. With its 1,740 corporate companies, 5,000 shops, up to 3,000 street vendors, 70,000 households, and 8,000 slum families, the level of waste production and pollution has skyrocketed.
Along with these problems, the stress on water resources has been amplified and we can now observe water tanks on the streets depicting this increasing need. Actions are thus needed to face these mounting issues.
Improperly disposed waste on the streets of Chandivali and Powai.
Earth5R has launched the Green Citizens program for Powai which brings communities together and develops an ecosystem that coexists by citizens playing symbiotic roles. With the help of citizens, Earth5R runs local sustainability projects that make the entire residential areas sustainable. Buildings become zero waste while creating a positive environmental, social and economic impact in the locality. Underprivileged women get a livelihood by upcycling waste and gain respect and recognition in their community.
This program is a step forward towards addressing Sustainable Development Goals defined by United Nations. Earth5R’s Zero Waste program addresses Sustainable Development Goal no. 1- No Poverty, Goal no. 5- Gender Equality, Goal no. 10- Reduced Inequalities, Goal no. 11 – Sustainable Cities and Communities, Goal no. 12- Responsible Consumption and Production and Goal no. 13- Climate Action.
Sustainable Development Goals addressed by Earth5Rs Zero Waste Program under Green Citizens Project.
As a part of this project, Octavius Society has been converted into a Zero Waste building. With the help of Earth5R, the building has installed organic waste to compost unit which can convert 3 tons of organic waste per month into compost unit. Excess compost generated by the building can be donated to farmers who can’t afford compost in the nearby villages. This eventually helps citizens to grow food with rich nutrients on fertile soil.
Organic Waste to Compost Machine installed by Earth5R. Citizen and housekeeping staff receive operational training.
Through a one-day workshop, the citizens and housekeeping staffs have been introduced to what it means to be a Green Citizen.
A recurring question was- “Why should we segregate our waste?”
The answer is simple! Because by doing so you are becoming an executant in creating better living conditions for today and for the next generations. It is also an efficient way to make the community thrive collectively, whether benefiting the better environment or from new job opportunities: everybody is going to be better-off.
Environmentalist Saurabh Gupta discussing with citizens on the need of composting and benefits of it.
For a better understanding of everyone’s role in this mission, Mumbai based environmentalist and founder of Earth5R Saurabh Gupta trained them on waste segregation. From the recognition of the different type of waste, such as dry, wet or even sanitary to the importance of cleaning the packaging sent out for recycling, the staffs were able to get the big picture of the process.
Saurabh Gupta explaining to the citizens how segregated plastic gets shredded and recycled under Earth5R’s zero waste model.
As a part of the workshop, Saurabh showed them how waste can be turned into brand new products that can be sold in the market.
Displaying how solid waste like newspapers and waste papers are reused by making paper bags out of it.
Showcasing Coffee Doll which was made out of cloth and coffee waste by the local slum communities under livelihood program.
Then, Saurabh demonstrated how food waste can be ended through composting. Indeed, this building being equipped with our composting units with a capacity of 100 kg of waste per day, knowledge on how to take advantage of it is key. In a month, 1 Ton of compost could be produced given the total waste generation of this building. This not only benefits the environment by reducing the waste but also the farmers in the nearby villages through Earth5R’s compost donation program.
Saurabh Gupta giving live demonstration training on waste segregation with a quiz.
Concluding this dynamic and enriching workshop, it is with enthusiasm that our students of the day took a pledge to recycle, segregate and become part of the Green Citizens Movement.
The residents of Octavius building who organized the workshop along with Earth5R were Vivek Rijhwani, Captain C P Naidu, Anita Naidu, N Sridhar and MV Subhalakshmi.
Green Citizens and staff of Octavius building, Powai, Mumbai.
To know more about composting and how to turn your building into Zero Waste, contact Earth5R on +91 99200 45587.
-Reported by Stacy Algrain, Edited by Ketul Patel. Photos by MV Subhalakshmi.