CRGR is not a mere acronym, but alphabets that have the power within them to give life to life! For the uninitiated, let CRGR be ‘Clean Raipur, green Raipur’, but for those who know what an unhealthy environment can do, it will serve as the clarion call to get and get going!! Caring for the environment is a meaningful communication between intentions that are targeting the future of the future generations!

It is organizations and individuals with a conscience who must make efforts to ‘stimulate worldwide awareness of the environment and enhance political attention and action’. Not just stimulate action by words but do it with meaningful action. What any meaningful action needs is a human face to environmental issues. One also needs to empower people to become active agents of sustainable and equitable development.

True. However, merely agreeing is insufficient. It is vital to promote an understanding that communities are pivotal to changing attitudes towards environmental issues; and advocate partnership, which will ensure all nations and peoples enjoy a safer and more prosperous future. Remember that PT Education has already initiated its much acclaimed efforts to promote a healthier environment and proudly calls itself the ‘eco-warrior’ and the ‘eco-mentor’ to give a deeper meaning and understanding to all the issues involved.

We at PT Education have planned an awareness campaign on the environmental concerns through our centres that are spread throughout India. The main vehicles were our more than 30,000 students, our faculty and staff who distributed saplings and tips on how to improve the environment to the public. Now that is something that all organizations as well as well-intentioned individuals must emulate.

Obviously then, caring for the environment must begin somewhere. And not merely a lip service but something tangible will be needed. It is intelligent to follow the dictum of the UN, and we must “consider carefully the actions which each of us must take, and then address ourselves to our common task of preserving all life on earth in a mood of sober resolution and quiet confidence.” We must all be eco-warriors and eco-mentors!

To begin with, educate yourself with insight.  For this one must choose a mentor wisely! The way to dream coherently and to achieve them is to think of the power ratio of self study and the right guidance! That is the essence of being an eco-mentor. And the truth is that we at PT are all eco-mentors to the core! Moreover, every individual must strive to become the epicenter of a healthy environment. The eco-mentor has to ensure that he creates eco-warriors. Eco-warriors are the world. Once you are aware and start caring for your immediate environment, you become a vital contributor to global health. Health, food, family, and education form the environment of the eco-matrix of good living for any individual. Global environment starts with YOU!

Let us all, therefore, be environment aspirants!

An important aspect for a clean and green environment also includes a thorough understanding of the concepts that are behind recycling!

Oh! That is simple. Most of our rubbish goes into holes in the ground called landfill sites, but these are filling up fast and we are running out of space to bury our rubbish. The good news is that nearly 60 per cent of what we throw away could be recycled or composted.

Roughly 90% of the recycling that takes place — only about 50% of all plastic waste is recycled — is in the unorganised sector and many of the units situated in residential areas, causing immense damage to health and environment. Depending upon the type of plastic being recycled, various pollutants like hydrochloric acid, carbon monoxide and carcinogenic elements are released, posing a serious risk to workers and environment. Use of colours adds even more toxins to the air while emissions from softer plastic is more than hard plastic.

Surprisingly, no clear rules exist for plastic waste management at present. With recycling happening almost entirely in the unorganised sector, our cities have no provision for dealing with its plastic waste. In fact, the organised sector recycles waste brought in from other cities. And strangely, other than expressing its helplessness, the government is not doing anything at present to regularise the steadily growing business.

Some interesting statistics point to 500 billion-1 trillion plastic bags being used worldwide each year. Department stores started using plastic bags in the late 1970s. They were introduced in supermarket chains in the early 1980s. Plastic bags start off as crude oil, natural gas and petrochemical derivatives. First plastic bags for food appeared in the US in 1957. North America and Western Europe account for nearly 80% of world’s plastic usage. A quarter of plastic bags used in wealthy nations are produced in Asia.

That is rather shocking statistics. What can we do to counter this trend? Avoid taking plastic bags if purchases are small. Always keep canvas or cloth bags handy when going shopping. Encourage shopkeepers to stop providing free plastic bags on purchases. Do not throw plastic bags in water bodies or on the road — they are not bio-degradable.

Thus the message for Raipur is clear! This is a message that must be communicated effectively. Do not throw plastic bags in water bodies or on the road — they are not bio-degradable.

Yes, many types of material can be recycled, including glass, food and drink cans, metal, paper, cardboard, plastic, wood, clothes, food and garden waste, TVs and more. Interestingly, recycling also applies to the spread of knowledge. We at PT Education believe that even knowledge, once shared with an open mind, has all the value-additions of recycling!
Yes sir, and we also believe that the power is in your actions! Act NOW!

So if CRGR is to become a reality, the action has to begin NOW!

[Arvind Passey]