On September 8th, 1000 kids + adults learnt exactly what they can do to help save our climate. As Robert Swan repeatedly states “Show It, don’t just say it”… children from various schools in Mumbai gathered together for PROJECT SEARCH Phase 2 – an initiative by TERI and TetraPak to encourage recycling Tetrapak cartons. With the success of Phase 1, it was decided to take it one step further and “Cartons to Classrooms” was incorporated in order to help donate desks and chairs to schools that do not have any furniture.
Many schools in India have inadequate classroom infrastructure but with the help of Project Search, there is a solution. Robert Swan visited the winning school in Mumbai (MET Rishikul Vidyalaya, Bandra) that collected the most number of TetraPak cartons to be recycled into desks. In his usual spirited manner, bicycling 15 kms to get to this school, he inspired the young minds to ACT and continue their positive efforts to help conserve our planet’s resources. Robert helped the children understand exactly how important it is to take actions that really matter and in order to emphasize this, he made everybody in the room sit on the floor for ten minutes and then asked them to think about how it would be if they were to sit there for the entire day. This made the kids and the teachers realize how important it is to support the “Cartons to Classrooms” initiative. With Rob’s powerful and gripping motivational talk, the school has gone beyond this competition to make recycling a part of their yearly curriculum/ activities
In order to sustain the inspiration, Robert bicycled another 10 kms to join the team at the TRASH (Thinking, Reflecting and Acting for a Sustainable Habitat) event held at Shishuvan School in Mumbai for an inter-school competition organized by TetraPak and TERI. Amazing Earth dance performances, T-shirt painting activities and ‘Craft from Waste’ Workshops were held at the event. With excitement and energy, the children interacted with Robert asking him questions about his journey to Antarctica and his tremendous work in India.
Having inspired the young children from these schools, it was time to get the parents and the people from Mumbai to participate in Recycling. In order to do this, Reliance Mart, a national chain of departmental stores was his next platform. Inquisitive onlookers stopped to hear what Robert was saying and continued to listen to what they can do. Robert urged them to bring their cartons back to the store and TetraPak showed them how easy it was to recycle the cartons and displayed the desks made by the recycled cartons. It takes 45 kgs of TetraPak cartons to donate 1 desk but it doesn’t even take 4.5 seconds to realize how important that decision to recycle is.
For everyone involved, this is just the beginning of the Recycling Revolution- there are now a thousand young children in Mumbai that are inspired to Protect What’s Good.
See more photos from the TRASH events with Project Search by TetraPak on their facebook page.