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Small steps, big result

If you still thought that global warming was a myth, this school from South Delhi can show you the impact of greenhouse gases on our environment. Welcome to Amity International School, Saket.

delhi Updated: Nov 27, 2009 00:06 IST
HT Corresppndent

If you still thought that global warming was a myth, this school from South Delhi can show you the impact of greenhouse gases on our environment. Welcome to Amity International School, Saket.

As a school project, a group of students has meticulously calculated the carbon footprint of each student, faculty member as well as that of the whole school -- all in a pioneering environmental endeavor, now on display as a neat and structured report.

“The project was undertaken last year by a mixed batch of 30 students from classes X and XI,” said Archana Singh, project coordinator and a Chemistry teacher at Amity International, Saket.

Based on an energy consumption survey carried out by students in late October last year, the first step for the project was to count the number of electrical appliances being operated in the school.

Data was also collected about the mode of conveyance chosen by each faculty and student member.

This data was then fed into software provided by British Petroleum to calculate both the carbon footprint of individuals, and that of the institution as a whole.

The project — which succeeded in ascertaining that the school's chemistry lab was largely responsible for its carbon footprint was finally presented at the 'Students' Science Congress', an inter-school event by a team of four in November 2008.

And, that's not all.

Proud of their school's in-house paper-recycling plant, Amitians make it a point to bring all their used plastic tetra packs to school for recycling, everyday.

All this and more was revealed at a meeting to discuss climate change that a batch of 100 Amitians had with Samar Halarnkar, Managing Editor, Hindustan Times on Thursday morning.

This was the third in a series of meetings between HT and prominent Delhi schools in the countdown to the UN's international conference on Climate Change to be held at Copenhagen, Denmark in early December.

As in the last meeting, 'development versus energy efficiency' was a moot point at Amity, but with students pushing for India to play a leader's role when it came to cutting carbon emissions.

“If developing countries like India and China decide to curb their emissions, the US can be brought on board too, considering that it is way more developed," said Kiran Hans, a student of class nine to Halarnkar when asked what India should push for at the Copenhagen summit on Climate Change.

Halarnkar lauded the children for their awareness about environmental issues closer home, “The personal choices that we make will make a difference to the environment,” he said.

“I had no idea that gases like methane were so much to blame for global warming. We need to be made aware about such things through such platforms,” said Hans.

Agreed eighth-grader Snighda Gautam, who wrote an extempore poem on climate change even as the session was going on, "We do know a lot, but not enough. I just wish we had more such events on a usual basis," she said.

“The future of the earth depends on our own conviction to make the necessary change,” said Bharati Sharma, Principal, Amity International School, Saket.