Waste is a serious and growing global problem. The way we use and discard is quickly destroying the earth and damaging our health more than most people realise. Our planet can’t handle it, and neither can we. It’s time to change. It’s time to become conscious of the impact of the products we choose, use and throw away every day. It’s time to waste less.
Having realised and formulated the above realities, a group of young Aurovilians, several of whom were born in Auroville, started a non-profit social enterprise called WasteLess.
Their first project is a highly innovative, animating and fun approach to this serious global challenge. They called it ‘Garbology 101’ and it’s an interactive, interdisciplinary, multi-age educational kit for children from 6 to 12 years of age.
The curriculum is divided into 5 different themes (waste, avoidance & reduction, resource conservation, conscious consumerism, and system change) each providing a unique perspective on waste and its responsible management.
101 innovative & multi-intelligence activitiesThe concept originated from the engaging Litter Free Campaign, held in Auroville in January 2010 and which had a extremely positive response from children.
After some two years brainstorming, designing and finalising their ideas, the WasteLess team produced the ‘Garbology 101’ toolkit, consisting of a teacher’s guidebook with 101 innovative and multi-intelligence activities that encourage hands-on learning.
There are stories with attractive illustrations, research and analysis activities, tests and quizzes, crossword puzzles, physical activities such as a trash relay race, trash art and crafts activities and even yoga nidra activities (called Garbonidra) that connect students on a much deeper level to waste, the environment and their own role therein.
There are also critical thinking activities such as ‘greenwashing’, which teach students to identify products and companies that make themselves look more environmentally friendly than they actually are. The toolkit also includes fun board games, memory cards (called Trash Concentration), large colourful posters for each theme, and 11 colour-coded waste bin stickers. And more..
Organic toolkitThe team spent a long time researching and testing materials and have printed a portion of the tool kit on a revolutionary tree-less paper from Japan. This durable material is made from 100% recyclable polypropylene plastic (the same plastic used to make baby bottles). It can be washed clean, does not mould, is tear resistant and is coated to ensure that the colour and printing lasts for a very very long time.
The whole tool kit is placed in a beautiful recycled paper box donated by Auroville Papers, made of discarded printed office paper from Auroville’s units mixed with organic cotton waste from a local t-shirt manufacturer.
Garbology for the world..The project was introduced during the Auroville Festival that took place at Delhi’s India International Centre in September 2012.
Presently it is being presented to 18 schools and educational institutions in Auroville and its surrounding villages.
The response has been positive and the Wasteless team is interested in adapting and spreading Garbology all around the world. Their goal is to ‘change the world one piece of Garbage at a time’!
See also www.iwasteless.org or
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