An Outreach Programme on Raising Awareness on Plastic Hazards

Highlights of the Event:

> The Eastern Himalayan Naturenomics™ School had conducted an outreach programme at a local school in Balipara, Sonitpur District, Assam on 30th March 2019

> The objective of the programme was to spread awareness about the evils of plastic disposal and reducing the use of plastic.

One of the biggest environmental concerns in the contemporary era is about plastic pollution. Plastic contains toxic compounds that do not biodegrade; hence damages to the environment are long-lasting. This affects not only the present generations, but also jeopardize the future of our children. Children are the best change-makers and it is of utmost importance to empower them with the requisite knowledge and skills to be responsible citizens.

The Easteren Himalayan Naturenomics™ School had coordinated with student social workers from Tata Institute of Social Sciences (Guwahati, Assam) who have been interning with Balipara Foundation, to conduct an awareness programme for the children of Balipara L.P. School. The theme of the programme was set along the initiatives of the Earth Day Network, emphasizing on reducing the usage of plastics. The student social workers had prepared a hand-made flyer using plant leaves.

The programme set off with the student social workers explaining to the children what happens to the plastic food packing that are thrown away after they had consumed what was in it, further elaborating how plastic is an substance that does not eventually mix in the soil unlike kitchen-wastes, clothes or wood etc. Through practical experimentation, the children were taught on the procedure to differentiate between biodegradable and non- biodegradable products using separate waste-bins. They were advised to separate biodegradable and non- biodegradable wastes at home and school, to reduce plastic usage and use alternatives such as cloth bags. The last activity was a game which the children enjoyed. The waste bins were left on the school campus so that the children could practice what was taught to them.

Impacts of the event:

Through the one hour fifteen minutes programme, the children were inculcated to adopt environmentally- conscious habits that would lead to plastic-independent lifestyles.