Going green is easier said than done. It isn’t just about cutting down on plastic use or using solar power but involves taking many extensive steps to ensure a reduced carbon footprint and most importantly sustainability.
Ernakulam is setting a precedent in this front, and as per news reports, all government, collectorate and panchayat offices and other local bodies will adopt a green protocol. The force behind the project is Haritha Keralam Mission (HKM), and the decision has been taken in line with the Kerala government’s decision to implement eco-friendly systems.
Sujith Karun, HKM’s district coordinator, explains that the initiative will involve adopting guidelines under the green protocol proposed by the mission. The implementation of this protocol at government offices will spark a trend, he hopes.
Government institutions will be pushed to practice waste-treatment by setting up a mechanism. Smaller offices can adopt bio-composting as a practice to treat solid waste.
There are certain norms to be followed. They are as follows:
1) Non-biodegradable materials should be stored temporarily, either in the office premises or at a predetermined storage space in the buildings. Local bodies or agencies can collect these non-biodegradable materials, and shit them to the material recovery facility, once every two months.
2) Water and electricity use will be regulated. The participating departments and agencies will have to save money on water and electricity bills, and campaigns would be organised to stop the wastage of those two valuable resources.
3) Organic backyard farming will be encouraged, and as will the use of manure created from bio-composting in the vegetable gardens, near each building.
4) The employees working in these institutions will be encouraged to take part in planting saplings. They will also be asked to ensure that the offices don’t deviate from the green protocol.
HKM is going to start imparting intensive training to employees and department heads so that they can implement the green protocol in the coming months.
The mission will pick resource persons, who will visit each district and educate stakeholders. The first phase of the greening programme will be implemented in certain government institutions, and the second phase will include the three-tier local bodies.
Last but not the least, various architectural steps will be taken to ensure a green future. Buildings will be altered, to make sure that maximum sunlight and fresh air can enter these offices.
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Ernakulam is thus setting a valuable example—one that can be followed throughout India. An example of sustainable and green living, with a minimal carbon footprint.