Vedanshi Bhartia, an Earth5R member, visited was Radha Krishna Temple at Birhana Road, Kanpur where she worked on Paper Recycling Workshop from June 14th to June 23rd, 2016.
On the first day, she interacted with the group and introduced to them the idea of upcycling waste paper. The next day, she focused on spreading awareness about the harmful health effects of plastic and taught them how to make usable, sturdy bags and baskets out of waste newspapers. The super excited kids were very curious and happy to channelize their abundant energies to create something new everyday.
On the third and fourth day, the kids did a lot of paper folding for paper baskets and were overjoyed to see the final finished products. She also taught them how to make paper mache which the kids learned with great awe. They enjoyed the activity of tearing paper into pieces, which were then going to be used for making paper mache. They left it soaking in water for a few days.
After this, the group learned making envelopes out of wedding invitation cards. The beauty of using these invitation cards is that, they are immaculately designed papers which otherwise find their way to the raddi-vallahs; hence using them brings the high quality design factor into the envelopes. They came out with really beautiful pieces.
On the day 7th and 8th , they found themselves getting their hands in upcycling plastic bottles into beautiful flowers and butterflies. These cuttings can be utilized for making amazing wall hangings, wind-chimes, lamps and floating candles.
On the forthcoming days, they worked on the Paper Mache with the earlier soaked paper and ‘leyi’ which is an organic and make-it-yourself adhesive. Using plastic baskets as moulds, they settled the Paper Mache and left it for drying.
Through these fun activities, children in turn learned how to save the environment by not letting the waste products make it to the landfills and how can be turned into beautiful, usable items.
Report by Vedanshi Bhartia, Edited by Anushka Mehta, Photos by community residents