The mundane activity of attending an environmental education class and then write an exam on it is not the way to go.
Bangalore’s Mount Carmel College believes in a more practical approach of teaching its students to go green.
Mount Carmel College’s (MCC) Solid Waste Management Team comprising the Science Association, NSS and CEE work towards making a greener campus. “We believed in segregation of waste and recycling as the positive steps towards reducing burden on landfills,” says Sheela Dhange, co-ordinator, CEE department of MCC.
From banning sale of plastic bottles in the canteen, to introducing solar panels for the hostel, MCC also offers credit courses such as Civic Awareness and Social Responsibility to its students. These courses allow students to participate in many campaigns such as the ‘Turn Green’ which was done in collaboration with Dr Meenakshi Bharath. It encouraged the use of paper bags and used the left over scraps of cloth from the tailors in making cloth bags and cushions.
Another important step taken in making the campus greener was by placing waste paper bins which are divided into plastic, paper, food, tetra packs and pen refills. Thereby segregating waste in the initial stage. However, many impasses have occurred, “It takes a lot to convince the attendants in college to participate in such an initiative and also the students might prove non-cooperative,” says Dhange.
The segregated garbage is then handed over to the ITC recycling centre, where the waste is not just burnt in a landfill but used constructively such as in the recycling of paper and the smaller scrapes of plastic are used in road building.
According to Murugeshan, Senior Manager at ITC, “even today over five million tonnes of paper waste is imported by India and this heavy dependency is due to poor waste segregation”.
ITC has tied up with 22 schools such as Bishop Cotton’s, St Xavier’s and colleges like Jyoti Nivas, Jain and Garden City College across the city for their campaign, Wealth Out of Waste.
Other colleges in the city are also doing their bit for a greener planet. Christ University, for example, started its own Zero Waste Programme and also segregates its waste into wet and dry. “We also have a paper recycling unit on campus and we get all are results online rather than a marks card, in order to conserve paper,” says Prachi M (name changed).
Although one may cry foul over Bangalore being called the ‘garden city’ with its lush greenery being devoured by development. The city’s colleges however, are in the mode of instilling awareness among students through a more practical approach, thereby, giving an opportunity to the youngsters to do their bit for the environment. Remember to Reduce, Re-use, Refuse and Recycle.
(The writer is a second year student of BA in Journalism of Mount Carmel College)