Chennai Coastal Cleanup 2015 - Role Models - Part II

Friday, May 22, 2015

In this "Role Models" series of the #ChennaiCoastalCleanup we are sharing some most inspirational stories with you from neighborhoods, companies, individuals with you who are the change:

Single Email from an employee (CTCian) shut downed Paper Cup Usage

It’s all about the taking our first step towards the actions. Being a CTCians, we believe “98% of the people always speak and rest of the 2% act”. We never wait for someone to take the action and follow it. Here is the action/story taken by one of our proud CTCian Vignesh, who has taken an initiative in his workplace to avoid the Paper Cup usage.
He is one among the 10 participants who has taken the #NoPlasticChallenge. In turn started implementing lot in his personal life. Vignesh works in a small company where 30-40 employees are working.  Being aware of the impacts of drinking Coffee/Tea in Paper Cups and its Wax Coating, he initiated an Email conversation to his Senior Manager of his company. Within two days he got a positive response from his Manager and in another two days they have distributed the Ceramic reusable, ecofriendly cups to all the employees.

The small step made a huge impact. Think about the small math below.
No of Employees – 30
No of Tea/Coffee consumption by the employee per day – 3
No of cups used per day – 30 * 3 = 90
No of cups used per month – 90 * 20 = 1800
No of cups used per Year – 1800 * 12 = 21,600

Think about the environmental impact and how the small initiative has avoided paper cups being used. Be the change what we want to see in the world.

Are you ready to talk to your employer to stop using Paper cups? Be the change what do you want to see!
Composting in Velachery TCS office by “Aram Seiya Virumbu”

Group of families who found the same interest and spirit among themselves and stated involving in many social activities along with their kids. Here are the words from Mr.Damodharan, Founder of “Aram Seiya Virumbu” team. This all started with a small family walk to Nagalapuram. We found the energy among our kids and also to leave behind something for the next generation. Then we participated in the Beach cleaning activity organized by CTC. Our thought further strengthened. The kids are happy and at the same time completing the task with ease.
 Then we thought of a monthly activity for the kids to know outside TV and films. Fault is not with them, we never exposed them to the beautiful outside world. This time we went for seed bed preparation for saplings at Velachery.

Then we thought about the oldest business models of mankind. Pot making, Harvesting and family food. Kids enjoyed like anything.
  Now the team is inching towards nature, we are inspired by Ainthinai, Nizhal and wanted to do tree plantation. It’s new and with the help of Masanamuthu, Siva, Elancheyian, Team Magesh (CREW) and Shoba (Nizhal). We have done the tree plantation at Ponmar. We got the place from the Panchayat. We want to do the plantation with school kids. They are the front runners for the next generation.
 When we heard close to 5000 tonnes of degradable waste generated each day in Chennai. Out of which major portion comes from individual homes. Visited Pammal and met Mr.Indrakumar and also Ms.Mangalam Balasubramanian. We have to take this to the public and only around 250 gms of kitchen waste they have to compost. Individually we are doing at home and as a next level we want to do more so we can use it for the trees and also prevent the waste from reaching the dumb yard. It is indeed a very small step. We started with the food supplier for our staff and collected around 25 kg of vegetable waste every day. Then we approached the small restaurants, tea shops and sugar cane vendors in MGR Salai and collected around 20 to 25 kg a day. With this now we collected close to 3000 kg of vegetable waste.

We thought of reaching the next level and approached the admin of TCS Velachery. He was more than happy to be part of it and informed their juice shop at the canteen to provide the fruit waste.

From Software engineer to Nammaboomi - Arul Priya

A wonderful initiative from a Ex-Software Engineer Arul Priya. Let’s hear the words from her.

I quit my job after my second boy born to come out of 9 hrs IT job. Sitting at home with 3 months baby, my mind went through several thoughts .One of the thoughts were "WHY MY WASTE IS GOING IN PLASTIC COVER". This thought paved the path to learn about composting and found "WASTE HAS ITS OWN VALUE"..I learnt that cow cant differentiate  between the smell of watermelon peels and Plastic covers which leads to ingestion of plastic covers .It’s really created an impact on me and made me to find alternative for Plastics..The first alternative I found was Areca palm plates, alternative for thermocole plates which were used in our community. The search of Palm Plate gave me an intro to Geetha who was running a Palm plate unit and our similar thoughts and Passion gave birth to Nammaboomi. I was able to explain the impact of thermocole on human health as well as the environment and successfully changed the plates from thermocole to Palm in our temple. 

Nammaboomi's three step process to slowly bid adieu to plastics

  1. By kicking off used plastics to its quick dead zone (recycling units) i.e., by disposing plastics in a safe way so that they are recycled instead of adding up to landfills.
  2. By reducing usage of plastics.
  3. By using bio-degradable alternatives in place of plastics wherever possible, ultimately it will help us to lead a “Zero Waste” life.
The use of Plastics in our day to day life is indispensable. From cell phones to computers to artificial hearts to tooth brushes.  We are surrounded by it. Plastic is strong and durable and should be made for things that need to last a long time like tires, computers even Currency. But plastics Should NOT be for “disposable” things that are used for a minute or two and then thrown away-- Plastic carry bags, water bottles, Paper/Plastic cups, Styro-foam /paper plates.

This throw-away culture generates disgusting amounts of plastic waste which ends up in landfills. And this filling of land with plastics lead to air, water pollution resulting in various life threatening diseases such as cancer Plastics also endanger life of animals pollute environment and the complete eco-system.

Nammaboomi proposes
  • An alternative to non eco-friendly virgin paper products by promoting 100% environment friendly ,100% recycled paper stationary products, made from 100% post-consumer waste
  • An alternative to wooden pencils by promoting 100% recycled pencils made from 100% post consumer newspaper.
  • An alternative to Plastic bags by promoting and encouraging using and reusing cloth bags. 
  • An alternative to thermocole plate and paper plate by promoting 100% biodegradable and healthy palm plates.
  • An alternative to Plastic spoons by promoting 100% biodegradable, healthy and edible Jowar spoons.
  • An alternative to Plastic water bottles by promoting 100% safe stainless steel water bottle. An alternative to sanitary napkins by promoting 100% healthy and environment friendly reusable cloth pads.



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