By Ritu Mahajan
Green initiatives are important for protecting the planet and creating a more sustainable future.
If the goals of sustainable development are to be realized, the attitudes of all the stakeholders of education at all levels with regard to our current lifestyles and the impact they have on the environment will need to change.
While the school boards have to ensure that environmental education is a significant part of the curriculum for all classes, seminars, field trips, competitions, and fairs on environmental themes to help the students identify their interest in nature and choose a related career, there are very few schools in Gurgaon which really focus on these values.
At Vega, we place a strong emphasis on character development, social responsibility, and environmental sustainability. All go hand in hand.
The school has implemented a number of green initiatives, such as using and promoting renewable energy sources, reducing water usage, and promoting sustainable practices.
- Recycling and waste reduction: This involves reducing waste through recycling and composting, and avoiding the use of single-use plastics.
- Green energy: This includes transitioning to renewable energy sources such as solar, wind, and hydropower.
- Sustainable transportation: This includes promoting the use of public transportation, electric vehicles, and active transportation such as biking and walking.
- Sustainable food production and consumption: This involves reducing food waste, promoting local and organic food, and reducing the use of harmful pesticides and fertilizers.
There are different projects which are undertaken by learners under the able guidance of their learning leaders, and each of those projects aims at promoting sustainable practices. To name a few,
- Grade 1 learners took on a project about life and the environment. They created environment-friendly eco-bricks made out of plastic. This is a sustainable way of reusing non-biodegradable plastic. The learners used plastic straws, pulses/snack packets, fruit and vegetable packaging, cling film, and styrofoam which is petroleum-based plastic used as a packaging material and in food containers. They also made newspaper bags using old newspapers.
- Grade 2 learners in their project about Health and Fitness learnt about organic farming and created organic products. They sold these products and donated the proceeds to an Anganwadi.
- Grade 3 learners took on a Project Sustaining People and Planet. They investigated global environmental issues faced by different countries and stated how each country is dealing with that environmental issue. While understanding the environmental issues, learners also investigated the air quality of different countries and how it is associated with environmental changes such as ozone depletion which is a worldwide issue.
- Grade 4 Learners took a project of being a change. In this project, learners worked towards bringing a change/reform in the environment. Learners tried to analyze and predict the countermeasures for some of the environmental problems faced by the people. Learners also developed a concern about their immediate surroundings and nature.
- Grade 5 Learners took on a project about endangered animals. ‘Speak for those who cannot speak’. Learners learnt how people are exploiting and killing animals for their skin, meat, tusks, fibers, or other useful products. They tried to find and suggest alternatives to animal products to a large audience. Learners had sessions with the people working with different NGOs for animal rescue and protection.
Not only the students, but the teachers are also trained to achieve the sustainable practices. In June 2021 Vega provided an opportunity to all its teachers to participate in an online training workshop of Green Campus Program. This was a venture of The Climate Reality Project India.
I can proudly say that I am working with one of the best CBSE schools in Gurgaon, that truly practices what it preaches, and lives it’s core values. Vega is empowering a learning society for sustainability.