We are delighted to share a blog written by student Deva Nanda Manoj from Private International English School (Bhavans), who is part of a team delivering a Global Goals project for the 2019-20 Global Goals Competition.

Their project is among over 957 social action projects currently running as part of the GSL movement and we are excited to be supporting them to design and lead positive social change in their community. 

A splendid green venture of walking towards zero waste and establishing a greener,cleaner and sustainable community.

Project Overview

We all do a mass a large amount of food waste is what we perceive from our surroundings. And the action that follows this would be disposing it off in a normal manner, which is absolutely futile according to us. And hence we have come up with an effective new idea dubbed as A WALK TOWARDS ZERO WASTE. The protagonist of this mission was our smart cara which is a brilliant machine that is capable of converting food waste into a very useful produce, which is manure. This manure is then used in our organic garden for improvising the health conditions and prolonging the lifespan of our green kins. It is an automated machine that can produce manure in an odorless and less noise polluting manner, no matter how much ever the moisture content of the food waste may be. The e-waste campaign that was conducted also turned out to be a big hit. In fact, the word ‘e-waste’ was extremely new to some of them. This new knowledge of the plethora of chemicals released into the atmosphere helped them terminate their action of simply disposing off damaged electronic wastes and instead began providing these to environmental groups for recycling

The substantially big quantity of food waste that we spot in the school canteen and also the students’ tiffin boxes is what became our food for thought, subsequently leading to this idea. We decided to provide it the wings to fly, by proclaiming this idea at our school campus. We conducted a presentation at school and this idea seeked asylum in the hearts and minds of every individual present there. They received it with a lot of acclaim. We placed bins to segregate food waste from other kinds of wastes. The students were instructed to dispose waste in accordance with the type stuck above the bins. After disposal, this was then put into the machine and our manure would be ready in no time. Our club also effectively undertakes recycling projects. We have recycled e-waste,paper and we have also begun a battery collection mission recently. We have collaborated with various prominent organizations like the Emirates Environment Group and others. Nearly 35% of all the trees cut down in the world are for the purpose of producing paper, which we normally use for once and there you have it, it lies in the waste bin. This isn’t a very sensible scheme according to us. Hence we participated in the OROC paper collection and had a major collection of 4770 kgs of paper, which means quite a number of trees.

Our Journey

This served an inspiration to take it a step further.

That’s how we reached the parent level. They were more than happy to join us on this green venture. We provided them instructions on the usage of the machine and they seemed very much surprised and at the same time found it thought-provoking, considering this procedure that turned futile food waste into the product of manure within just 4 hours. Hence we requested the own transportation students’ parents to dispose off whatever food waste that they acquire at their homes. This activity became a grand success at the school campus and amidst the parent community and we were stimulated to clamber a stepping stone more towards our ambition of a greener, cleaner and sustainable community.

That was the level of community. We divided ourselves on the basis of our place of abode and thus we could cover the areas of Abu Dhabi (city area) as well as Mussaffah. We placed our smart cara machine at various groceries, hotels and other places prone to food waste. The amount of manure that we collected accounted to a maximum of 1.5kg per person and a minimum of 150g and some others in between ,that sums up to a substantially good quantity.

The community’s mindsets have changed from vouchsafing the fact that food waste is ‘just smelly organic waste’ to saying ‘food waste is absolutely useful to us’. When we blindly dispose off food waste into dustbins and dump it in a landfill or whatsoever, it simply leads to it remaining the capricious food waste with zero value. But our mission has helped change this perspective and food waste is an impeccable source for the healthy growth of our green mates through the manure that is produced when doing so. In this way the waste production rate has subsided considerably and people have begun to have a second thought about the unnecessary quantity of food that they prepare on a daily basis which then imminently moves into the dustbin after all, which isn’t that tough for them. This green venture has enabled us to develop our collaboration and teamwork skills. We have improvised our communication skills by interacting with the public, subsequently leading to better public relations. It has also inculcated values of saving this partially green planet for the future generations as well.

There was the leaching of harmful chemicals from old batteries during their segregation process, however we solved this problem by using required gloves and hence broke down this hazardous barrier. There was also the problem of odour being given off from food waste that was yet to be converted,as a solution to this we have adopted schemes of timely processing our food waste,so that nothing remains as waste. Funding would be normally an anticipated problem, but in our case it came last in the list. Our funds were obtained from a green event called the SATURDAY FETE conducted in our school campus during the parent-teacher meeting, when there’s a crowd at school with parents, students and of course teachers. We put on our entrepreneurial caps and sold sustainable products ranging from home décor to sustainable spoons that you could eat up after usage. This is what helped us gain the money that we required at that point and when we accomplish a green mission through a green step, we find it very satisfying.

The Next Chapter

This mission of paper and e-waste recycling still continues in our school campus from time to time. We even keep grade-wise competitions for the largest amount collected, which serves a constant source of inspiration for the students to put in their complete efforts. And hence we still have time to time collections from the community. We have also planned a visit to the Madar Farm where we will be donating our manure. This would then lead to better fruits and vegetables in a more organic manner, which when supplied to a million consumers would be especially beneficial. We have also received invitations from school and thus we are keen on spreading our green thoughts and ideas.

Age is just a number, any child or adult can contribute to these green causes. Just put on your green thinking caps and within no time you will have tonnes of ideas gushing into your heads. This is an extensively practical project as far as the school environment is concerned and so we hope this provides a momentum to kids and adults of various age groups to implement these green footsteps in their lives.

We believe we have partially accomplished our obligations towards mother earth. We believe in continuing this chain of green events and will contribute our level best to sustainable ventures wherever and whenever possible.We hope to collaborate with prominent environmental agencies and will continue our green activities with enviro-serve, EEG, Bee’ah and many others. Let’s add in our little steps to making mother earth a better planet of inhabitance.

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The 2019-20 GSL Global Goals Competition is now open and runs until June 2020. If you belong to one of the 700+ teams of students currently delivering a social action project as part of the competition we would love to hear from you and feature your blog and project photos on our website to inspire others.