There might be alleged violation of National Green Tribunal’s rules during the Chhath Puja celebration, at Rabindra Sarovar’s green zone but average Kolkatan are doing their bit to save the environment and make it a better place for future generations.
A number of city-based individuals, committees and institutions are coming forward to create a better environment for their city.
Puja goes green
During Durga Puja celebrations, it was noticed that several Durga Puja Committees had taken up initiatives to go eco-friendly. Purbapalli Durgabari Samiti, prepared an 18 feet tall Durga idol, using clay.
The Maddox Square Puja Committee replaced plastic paper and glasses with those plates made from Sal leaves and earthen glasses during puja bhog distribution.
Debashish Kumar, one of the key organizers of Tridhara Sammilani said, “The entire arena of our Puja was a plastic-free zone. We take this very seriously. Apart from working with KMC for waste management, we also take extra care to ensure that our festival does not flout any green norm.”
Food courts replace plastic with paper
The food court of South City Mall, a prominent shopping mall in South Kolkata, has opted to go green by taking up the initiative of using eco-friendly products. The food court caters to around 4000-5000 customers daily. They are now serving them in paper cups, paper straws, and wooden cutleries.
Outlets like Wok to Walk, Cream & Fudge, Café Coffee Day have strictly resorted to using eco-friendly products. Paper cutleries of Café Coffee Day are manufactured at Bengaluru.
An employee of MM! Maroosh said, “We should all work towards being eco-friendly to the fullest level possible.” While a regular customer said, “This is a very nice initiative. I have started using eco-friendly products back at home too.”
The mall authorities, decided in September, following notice was issued to all outlets to go green by October 1, 2019. Though the cost of production has increased, that has not found any reflection on the food price. As a result of which, the loss is being sustained by the respective companies.
“Plastic is bad for the environment and should be banned,” mentioned the Manager of the Food Court.
Customers have lauded this initiative. However, some complained of facing difficulty while using paper bags and wanted to revert to plastic bags for the sake of convenience.
Passing the baton on to the next generation
It’s not just individuals or eateries that are going green, but also educational institutes. Loreto College, Kolkata has committed itself to save the environment. “My dream is to ensure a green campus in the college. I’ve been working towards that goal ever since I came here. Although there is a long way to go, I hope this dream turns into reality someday.” said Sr Dr Christine Coutinho, Principal of Loreto College.
An official informed that even during major activities or event, no plastic poster or banner get used, or even allowed to outside organizations to display one inside the college.
The W.E Nature society of the college has played an active role in spreading awareness and curbing environmental problems by taking up various initiatives like organizing exhibitions on the flora and fauna of Ladakh, conducting seminars on healing herbs. The college has also taken up the task of vermicomposting and is now self-sufficient to sell vermicompost as well.
The college has an extensive green cover on campus and has an entire area devoted to herbal plants. Other initiatives include e-waste management and waste segregation at the canteen. Rainwater harvesting, drip irrigation and landscape gardening are on the college’s to-do list.
Students too have helped in the data collection for Green Audit. “This year, we started a signature drive for banning Chinese Manjha because of its material which is very dangerous for all, especially the birds. The college conducts programs to spread awareness on current environmental issues,” said Ritirupa Acharjee, Treasurer of W.E Nature Society.
With individuals from different quarters of the city, taking up initiatives to save the environment, all roads will be leading Kolkata to a greener future.