For the past three years, Andrea George, 13, has participated in various nature conservation initiatives. The RN Podar School student has now signed up for the Grand Banyan Re-cycling Project that hopes to make a million notebooks from recycled paper.
She has approached the secretary of her Kandivli housing colony for permission to put up posters persuading residents to contribute old newspapers and books that will be re-cycled to make notebooks for under-privileged children.
Launched by I Love My Mother Earth Foundation, a city-based NGO, this project will involve collecting waste paper from schools, offices and households across 50 cities in India.
“This initiative we save trees and help children who cannot afford notebooks. Since my summer holiday has begun, I will try to convince everyone in my colony to donate their old books and newspapers,” said George.
“Climate change and other environmental problems will only become bigger. Any effort today towards sustainability will have an impact on our future,” said Sanjay Srinivas, founder of the NGO.
The foundation has tied up with 5,000 schools across India including six in Mumbai. The students will also encourage their own housing societies to join in.
“The building society secretaries will call us to confirm their participation. We have tied up with a call centre in Thane to answer calls from the housing societies,” said Srinivas adding that they have also partnered with More Than HR Global, a non-profit body that has human resource personnel as its members to help rope in support from corporates.
The wastepaper will be sent to a recycling plant and the pulp will be sent to a notebook manufacturer. “About 2.5 kg of paper is needed for a 192-page book, we hope to make at least a million notebooks. We will distribute the notebooks to underprivileged children in rural areas,” said Srinivas.