Cultivating a sense of consciousness towards the environment and its conservation in the present generation is a prerequisite in the current times, and will possibly play a crucial role in salvaging the planet from the damage being caused by the insatiable wants of humanity.
As the children of today are tomorrow’s future, it is pivotal that they grow up with the awareness of the ever-growing carbon footprint on the planet and consciously adapt to more sustainable livelihoods.
And what could be a better place than schools and colleges!
Through the optimal implementation of environment-friendly practices in their premises, two schools in Kerala are amongst the top winners of 2017-18 awards under the annual Green Schools Programme (GSP) by Centre for Science and Environment (CSE).
Kendriya Vidyalaya, Pangode, in Thiruvananthapuram and Kendriya Vidyalaya, Ottapalam, have achieved this feat through all-encompassing exercises like waste management, water conservation and allocation of green zones in their school precincts.
So how did these two schools set a precedent among the 2,863 schools across the country that had registered for the programme?
More than half of the school premises at KV Pangode are well supplemented with trees and plants, and about 71 percent of the school population relies on sustainable modes of transport and another 8 percent commutes through non-polluting activities like cycling and walking.
Based on the review by CSE, the waste generated at the school is optimised as the fuel for an in-house biogas plant, which ensures a regular supply of gas, and the authorities collect rainwater in various trenches as well, with the aim of revitalising the groundwater table.
The school also has the accreditation of being a plastic-free zone.
For KV Ottapalam, it was an achievement in every aspect. From huge savings in electricity bills for over a year, to a solar energy powered administrative block, the school also has a biogas plant that produces around 10 kg of gas, with a waste storage capacity of 50 kg.
The campus also practices the principle of ‘reduce your trash,’ under which even primary classes have a two-bin system. Every day, the school dedicates a five-minute slot in the last period to collect waste.
After the renovation of an old rainwater harvesting structure, the school has been using the stored water in the toilets and for mopping and gardening requirements. Only one percent of the school population depends on private vehicles for to commute.
According to Sunita Narain, the director general of CSE, the schools, which claimed to be green, indeed stood by their word with discernible proof.
“In this green exam, 54 schools have been assessed by CSE to be scoring an above 70 percent mark. This is a big number, but we need more. We must walk the talk. We must, and will be the change. The possibility and hope that we see for this change is what excites us,” she said at the award ceremony.
Besides these two schools, one school each from Bihar, Haryana, and Rajasthan made it to the winning list.