The Hindustan Times Kala Ghoda Arts Festival that was organised between February 1 and 9 was more than just a cultural extravaganza; it also turned out to be a ‘green’ event, with an environmental organisation giving the festival a thumbs-up for its eco-friendly initiatives.
Two first-year management students interning with me2green, an environmental organisation that has been promoting the need for waste segregation, surveyed all venues of the festival and found that despite a footfall of lakhs of people over the nine days, the event managed to remain green.
Some of the important points noted by the two-member team included the use of cloth banners and absence of pamphlets at the venue as well as environmental-conscious messages conveyed through installations that were part of the visual arts segment of the festival.
“The waste management was very efficient at the venues, with dustbins placed at every foodstall. There was also a dustbin made from plastic bottles, which promoted the cause of recycling plastic,” said Anisha Mukhija, 24, who conducted the study along with Abhinandan Pal, 24. They also noted the use of compost toilets at all the venues.
The students, who undertook the study as part of their research on ‘how Mumbai’s festivals can be made more eco-friendly’ had used a checklist of parameters used globally to assess festivals, compiled through secondary research, and found that the festival met with most standards.
“While globally, such community festivals also have parameters such as serving only organic food, it is not feasible here. Most parameters were checked off at the Kala Ghoda festival, which is impressive,” said Charvi Parikh, founder of me2green. “The festival has set an example for how community festivals in the city can be green.”
Festival director Brinda Miller said the festival’s organising team had taken all efforts to make the event environmental-friendly. “We always promote installations and stalls that are eco-friendly. We instructed the team to ensure the venues looked as neat as our homes,” said Miller.