Last month I had the honour of attending a lecture that son gave (I won’t reveal the topic because I can’t even begin to unravel that level of theoretical physics) at the new International Centre for Theoretical Sciences in Bangalore. Below are a few snapshots. It seems that most of the folks there are following the … More Water & waste done right
It’s Deepavali again and once again debates are raging about whether or not one should burst crackers. The first I heard about this was at a school assembly a few years ago. One senior student focused her presentation on the problem of child labour in factories that make fireworks. But there are other arguments circulating … More Deepavali consumption
I just finished reading the new book Not in my Backyard and viewing the short accompanying documentary of the same title. Both are put out by the Centre for Science and Environment, publishers of Down to Earth magazine. This is such important work–to do a survey of solid waste management across the country and to share the … More Not in my Backyard
So said a young boy in the 7th standard class who finished up Devika akka’s upcycling workshop today. I’m so happy that he–and actually many others in this class–realised that the point isn’t about upcycling and making things out of trash. The point is to get a sense of what we throw away and what … More “It’s about learning not to buy so much stuff”.
This week my Garbology 101 students began to learn about e-waste. We did a little exercise which asked them to colour in all the objects on the page that require batteries to operate. It was interesting to see what they missed. Most of them didn’t pay attention to what was outside the window. Not everyone noticed … More Spot the Batteries
Here is the awful truth: most of what we “throw away” at school cannot be recycled. It is not worth the kabadiwalla’s time and energy and the scrap dealers won’t take it either–even if you want to give it to them. In the classroom, what one finds in the trashcan is torn up chits (those … More Plastic Pause, part 2
School began this week and I had my first Garbology 101 class with my 4th standard students yesterday. I realise that it is going to be quite a bit different than it was last year. In a lot of ways this is going to be a better test of whether this curriculum works. Last year … More Back to School
It’s true: I constantly lecture myself and others about reducing what you buy. A parent of one of my little 9-year-old students even told me that she couldn’t get her to buy a new pair of chappals–even though she needed them!–because I told them to reduce and avoid! Another piece of evidence that Garbology 101 … More Cotton: It’s Complicated
Kamikatsu, Japan: the town that has no trash. Something to replicate!
I’ve been shopping at Organicz4U for over a year, but for some reason it hadn’t occurred to me that they sold food in bulk. Yes, their bins were right in front of my eyes, but I hadn’t looked inside nor had I thought to ask about it until last night. I have also found a number … More Buying in bulk