We generate a plethora of waste every day, but there are a set of schools that are reversing the trend…these schools are conserving and reducing waste in a big way
CSE’s Green Schools Programme (GSP) is a learning programme for schools that seeks to foster environmental literacy by moving beyond theories and textbooks and concentrates on “doing”.
This year, GSP launched GSP Gold—an exclusive engagement with ten selected schools in Delhi/NCR to bring about change and sustain the green initiatives launched. CSE and the selected ten GSP Gold partners have a committed partnership to work together for five years. The schools were selected by their experience of doing GSP audits and their commitment to implement the suggested environmental practice.
To rekindle the spirit of environmental conservation among young students of the ten selected schools; To monitor the consumption of natural resources within the campuses of the ten selected GSP Gold partners over a period of five years to help them be resource-efficient.
Solid Waste Management as a Focus Theme for Year One
This year GSP had a special emphasis on solid waste management under the aegis of Swachh Bharat Abhiyan, aiming to build zero-waste schools. It also highlighted the significance and relevance of eco-friendly practices, thus helping students to develop a holistic perspective, and suggested practical, doable mitigation measures.
At Queens Valley School, students claimed that their gardener is knowledgeable and knows the importance of various herbal plants in their school premises. While Queens Valley School has invested much in capacity-building of its staff, the Shri Ram School has decided to take expert help in sorting and disposing of their solid waste.
The Shri Ram School, Mousari, Gurgaon, is well equipped with many waste management disposals and has waste minimisation solutions in place. To manage wastepaper the school works with an NGO which is an authorised dealer for collecting wastepaper. A company that collects e-waste is the authorised dealer for the school.
Kendriya Vidyalaya, Vigyan Vihar, has a recycling workshop where the school community reuses and recycles waste has been constructed with waste materials. All paper generated by the school in the form of exam sheets, old newspapers, etc, is recycled into recycled paper and sculptures.
ASN Senior Secondary School, Mayur Vihar, has an excellent solid waste management system in place with a robust record-keeping of different categories of waste.
The school has collected 73 kilograms of e-waste, during e-waste-collection drive, which is stored in a specially designated place for safety purpose.
Modern Public School, Shalimar Bagh, is a zero-waste school—practicing segregation and composting. By composting horticultural waste, the school makes manure which is then used for their herbal garden. The school claims to have stopped the canteen facility to avoid plastic waste.
Working with Community
It is vital to involve the community to ensure the sustainability of any environmental initiative or project.
Katha Lab School is situated in the middle of a densely populated colony of Kalkaji Extension. The school strived for open space. There was a public park, right behind the school campus, which was mainly used for open defecation. The school administration with the help from local councillor, converted it into a beautiful lush green playfield. The community has access to the park but after school hours.
Government Girls Senior Secondary School, Chhattarpur, collaborated with a students’ group from a management college for the audit survey for 2015. The partnership was a part of the college’s CSR initiative. The school believed that by auditing in partnership, they could encourage the college students to take audit to their institute level and share the importance of evaluation and monitoring for any environmental project.
Cambridge School during their art-and-craft session recycles their newspaper into beautiful carry bags. These recycled carry bags are then transported to the famous Indira Market of Sector 27 Noida (also next to the school campus). Students carefully select small vendors and handover these carry bags free of cost. By doing this, students want to ensure that these vendors do not buy low-quality (less 20 micron) polythene bags as they cannot afford expensive biodegradable carry bags to give away goods to customers.
High fluoride level in groundwater and water hardness is a known fact in Noida.
Father Agnel School, in Sector 62 of Noida, Uttar Pradesh, harvests rainwater even though they have no water crisis. Rainwater may provide the best source of domestic water in areas affected by high fluoride and to dilute hardness of groundwater.
Mother’s Global School, Preet Vihar, has infused environmental issues into their daily curriculum as part of their project work. For example, Class 5 has been assigned the project of waste segregation. The class has been divided into groups of three. Each group is responsible for running an awareness drive for one day on their floor. Through this activity, each student of class 5 becomes aware and informed about the issue of waste segregation along with the audience, who are in other classes.
The GSP Gold partners started their five year’s journey in 2015. One year gone and they have showcased many good environmental practices. All the ten schools had submitted their GSP audit report on time. The analysis is awaited. Based on the analysis and feedback the next year’s target for greening will be set. CSE wishes to replicate the GSP Gold model in other states as well. This model will give each state at least ten model schools to be followed if a school aspires to be Green School.
Expert from daily dump at GSP Gold 1st Orientation Workshop
Students of Govt. Model Senior Secondary school 22-A, Chandigarh have built bird nests, feeders and food stands from empty shoe boxes, plastic bottles, straws and ice-cream sticks.