We are delighted to share a blog written by student Anandita Patil from D Y Patil International School, 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.
Gardening is Earth care, which, in turn, leads to self care.
We are the Green Girls from Mumbai, India. We want to encourage life on land through Urban Gardening in order to achieve good health and well-being, along with responsible consumption and production.
As per the records Mumbai occupies more than 370 square kilometers but approximately just 18.6 square kilometers is covered by open space. It ranked an abysmal 93rd in Nat Geo Survey On sustainable Urban Cities (2016). We have noticed excessive pollution in the air due to lack of open space and urbanization, leading to emission of carbon and poor quality of air.
Humans depend on plants in several ways such as medication and decreasing of carbon and as you can see the world is facing tremendous problems towards saving plants because of economic work, land for properties etc. We got inspired for this competition as we were learning about the grave disturbances in ecosystems today and how important it is to reestablish plant life on earth. We realized this is not just a local issue but a global challenge; and felt responsible to save the earth.
When you grow your own vegetables, fruits, herbs, or microgreens you know it is organic, fresh and better for your health. Urban gardening is important as it gives better oxygen supply and fresh food. Many people are cutting down trees and plants, when 1 plant dies = 1 life lost.
So much has happened in the past 2 months. We began with learning. Our community partner, Earthoholics, organised a microgreens workshop, for us Green Girls, teaching us the correct way to plant microgreens and how to take care of them. We visited a restaurant which uses their own herbs in the food they serve. We could taste the freshness of the herbs used to make and garnish our burgers. We also got to visit a bungalow in a small town just out of Mumbai. It had so many plants growing there and we were lucky enough to grow more.
Green Girl – Kiara had some ant bites on her feet so we put on our Doctor Green Girl coats and used aloe vera from the garden to reduce the pain, and it sure did. We also got the chance to harvest some spinach from the garden patch.
We then had a plastic collection drive at our school and collected five bags full of plastic bottles and containers. We believe in reusing plastic to reduce the carbon footprint on the Earth. We collected this plastic to reuse it as planters in our Starter Kits. These starter Kits have everything needed to grow your own micro greens.
We started our journey with a handful enthusiasts then went on by sharing this knowledge in our schools and societies. Thereafter, we visited a senior citizens park and taught them about microgreens. We captured a larger audience of over 100 people at the famous Yash Raj Film studios. 100 employees enthusiastically took our starter kits. We are spreading to spread ‘ Grow Fresh, Eat Fresh’ concept to the younger minds.
The Next Chapter
We, the green girls, are not thinking about today only, but also a sustainable solution for the future generations to come. Growing more plants in each home will not only increase the greenery but also decreases the pollution. We want to incorporate this view across the entire demographics of our City.
We are also having a gardening rack set up at our school for sustainable urban gardening. The produce from these will be used in our school canteen in students’ meals.
We have been regularly posting on Instagram to encourage people all over the world to put up their self-grown plants. In this way, we build a plant community. Thus, even when the challenge is over, ‘our Instagram plant families’, not only encourage each other with their posts, but also acts as problem solvers for their fresh home produce all across the globe.
Lastly, we would like to add that this road is less traveled, and our generation today should care and have more concern to make our Earth a greener and more sustainable planet as this is the only planet that has life on it. The next generation will surely need better health, fresh air and concern to keep life on land healthy. And for this, we, the youth of today have to not only create awareness but also take steps to make the environment cleaner, healthier and better. Which other way would be better than to plant a new life-a tree, a sapling, few seeds and give rise to a new life. This will create empathy and concern for the environment, create more oxygen, make the planet more beautiful and greener, reduce carbon footprint and neutralise the fumes generated by the industries around the world.
Here we are, the Green Girls changing the world, one plant at a time. With awareness, the youth will think not once but twice, before knocking off a tree or creating more carbon footprint with their actions.
Today, 25% of the world population is under 14. It is we who shall make that change.
It is we who believe and take action.
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.