Bhumi NGO – How Eco-cool is your school contest

Bhumi NGO Eco Cool School Contest RRIS slider 1200-800

It is a proud moment for RRIS as the green initiatives of our school powered by our students, teachers and staff has been recognized by Bhumi NGO through our participation and winning the 1st prize in the How Eco Cool is your School Contest. Here we share a few details from our contest entry form with glimpses of the sustainable development initiatives that were the highlight of our success. 

Bhumi NGO - How Eco Cool is Your School
Composter at RRIS

Q – Do you have National Green Corps/Eco Clubs/any council related to environment or climate action in your school?

We have an environmental club called – ECO- minions. Through this club, students’ take up environmental initiatives to develop environmental sensitivity and a sense of responsibility towards our environment. One of the important initiatives taken up by our Eco- minions is the project ‘Nurture the Nature’. The main objective of this project is to reduce floral waste from religious places and convert it into compost. For this project, students communicated with the management team of few temples in our locality and explained to them their project. With the help of KeshavSrushti and an NGO, ‘My Green Society’, our school has donated 4 composters to these temples. These composters are used by the temples to put the floral waste and convert it into compost fertiliser.

One such composter is kept in the school and is managed by the Eco- minions. The members of the Eco minion club motivate the students to get the kitchen and floral waste from their home and they also collect the vegetable and fruit waste from the school mess. Club members also visit temples and pandals after important occasions like Navratri and Ganesh Utsav to collect floral waste. All this organic waste is put into the composter and the compost from the same is given to the parents during the school PTMs.

Q – What are the eco – friendly infrastructure facilities in your school?

Our school is located in the 220 acres campus of Keshav Srushti, which houses herbal refinery centre, Gaushala, Environmental and energy conservation centre that runs several projects like Apiculture, Pisciculture, Gobar gas plant, Agriculture and has diverse species of plants. Surrounded with these environment based projects, students are constantly engagedin academic learning in association with these projects. Students know about varied species of plants and birds being so close to the nature.

Gobar Gas plant, where along with cow dung, the waste food from the school mess is allowed to decompose and the bio gas is used as a cooking gas in the school mess.

There is an Agriculture college, where students get chance to practically understand the sustainable agriculture practices.

Students also got chance to learn making a bio coal from waste rice. Students studied the process and presented in the Synergy Interschool Science Exhibition organised by MISA and won a consolation prize for the same.

We also have a Cyanofarm lab in our campus for the research on Spirulina. Our students have got opportunity to learn and research about Spirulina under the guidance of renowned scientist Dr. Rutvik Thengodkar. With this study students have presented a project on ‘Use of spirulina as a protein supplement’ in Synergy Science exhibition and they won the first prize for the same.

Students have also have done investigation on ‘Importance of mangroves’ under the guidance of Dr. Ritvik T.

In Science club activity, students under the guidance of Dr. Rutvik Thengodkar, researched and made organic colours from seasonal flowers palaash. It too was the part of Synergy Interschool Science Exhibition.

During overnight camps, the activities involve trekking, knowing the medicinal plants, bird gazing, Be a farmer activity, handmade paper making activity.

Students also visit Gaushala to observe how cows over there are treated with care. They also observe how the milk is taken from the cows without any machine or without any torture.

There is also a vermicompost project, where students get to understand the process of vermicomposting and students also have performed investigations on the habitat of earthworm.

Our students were also a part of an event called, ‘Suryakumbh’, where around 4000 students have made small solar cookers and they cooked noodles in the same solar cooker.

Students also get to learn pond ecosystem through several ponds made in the campus like lotus pond, fish pond etc.

Our school has a Rain water harvesting system, where the rain water from the roof is collected through pipes and allowed to percolate into the ground. This increases the ground water level. Students, parents and our management team were involved in making the pits for the rain water harvesting system.

We also have an E- waste collection box in the school. Students bring the electronic waste and put it into the box. Once the box is full it is given for recycling to an NGO- Indian Development Foundation.

Q – What are some practices, exercises and routines the school has initiated to empower students to be environmentally responsible?

There are many eco- friendly practices that we follow,

On birthdays, students do not distribute sweets or gifts; instead they get a plant sapling in the school. The plant saplings gifted by the students is kept in ‘student’s nursery.’

School has a tradition of offering Tulsi plant, bird feeder and seed balls for the felicitation of guests, instead of flower bouquet or any other gift.

We conduct several inter house competitions and events to create environmental awareness, like best out of waste. In our Art exhibition, students make the articles with waste materials to show how we can reuse our resources.

All the class decoration and the decoration for the school events are done with Eco- friendly materials. We follow Thermocol- free culture in the school. We also encourage students to use eco- friendly materials for their projects.

Every year we have RRIS MUN, where students represent themselves as delegates of different countries and they discuss the global issues and give the solutions for the same. There is a committee on ‘Climate change’, where students view points of different countries on climate change and also discuss solutions on the same.

We have ‘Sustainable Development Goals’ as a special subject where students get to study the SDG’s given by UN and students get involved in various activities related to the SDG’s. Students also organize Exhibitions based on ‘Sustainable Development Goals’.

Our campus is ‘Plastic bag free’ campus. The students and staff are not allowed to use and carry the plastic bags in the school. Our students religiously follow this system and also ensure that they do the same at home also.

We also follow paper- less office communication. We make use of other media like e-mails to avoid use of papers.

We pay gratitude every Thursday through prayers and we have Thank you Thursday prayer for our Mother Earth, thanking for the umpteen treasures gifted to us by the nature and students promising to take care of it.

What eco-projects/activities/initiatives has your school undertaken in the past 2 years?

 Eco- Friendly projects are an ongoing process in our school. Following are few which are taken up in last 2 years,

Dense Forest project was one of the highlight of the last 2 years activities. Through this project, we have planted around 1500 plants in the area of 2000sq feet using a Japanese Miawaki dense forest technique. Around 50 other schools had participated in this noble cause. In coming, 4-5 years the plants will grow and it will become a dense forest and will provide a habitat for many birds and helping in conserving bio-diversity.

Seed Bank– Our students collect seeds of the vegetables and fruits which they eat at home. They dry the seeds and bring the seeds in the school. These seeds are kept in the Seed bank. In seed bank we try to maintain variety of seeds for conserving and protecting biodiversity.

The seeds from the seed bank are used for making seed balls. These seed balls are packed and gifted to the guest as a token of love.

The seeds from the seed bank will also be used for our upcoming project of Organic farming.

Eco- brick project is an ongoing project which was taken up during this pandemic. Students are collecting different wrappers and plastic bags in a plastic bottle to make an ‘Eco- brick’. All the eco bricks collected by the students will be sent for the recycling.

Every year during Gandhi Jayanti, we have Shramdhan where students clean their surrounding in the school campus thus bringing a sense of keeping the environment clean.

Students painted boundary wall of a mall in the locality with nature-conservation related messages.

Q – Please use the space below to share additional information which has not been captured anywhere else in the entry form, and might help us understand your school’s candidature better.

 In our school, we try to involve all the stakeholders in our projects so that each and every one involved in the project should get the feeling of being responsible towards the environment. One of the best examples of this is ‘Walkathon’. We had walking rally, where all the students, parents and the staff walked around 6 km distance.  Through this rally we as a team displayed our love towards the environment and also created awareness in the society.  

Our students have also performed street play in the mall to explain the importance of the cleanliness.

Our students actively participate in the forest clean up with Afros Shah’s team at National Park and beach cleanup activities.

Students have visited residential societies to explain the importance of waste segregation and how waste can be segregated.

The school ensures students celebrate festivals meaningfully without harming the environment. For ex. RakshaBandhan was celebrated by tying rakhi to trees, pledging to save the trees.

We also have conducted, Eco- Friendly Ganesha making workshop for the students. Students made their own Ganesh idol using Eco friendly clay and the idols were displayed during the science exhibition. During the exhibition students explained how the marine ecosystem is affected due to the use of Ganesh Idols made from Plaster of Paris.

The students made birdfeeders in the ‘Best out of waste activity’ which students hung out of their classroom window to feed the birds. We have birdfeeders in the school campus too and also gift birdfeeders to the guests.

Assemblies held showing compassion towards nature and animals.

Session with experts was conducted for students to show compassion towards animals.

Workshop on pottery was conducted to be close to the nature. The students made coin boxes from clay with their own hands which they used to save money for a cause that was used to install handpump in a nearby village Jhamjadpada which the school has adopted.

The school picnics and international Tours are planned in such a way that students get opportunity to understand sustainable development. Students were taken to the Jim Corbet National Park where students could see the plant and animal biodiversity.

Our students also visited Singapore where students were taken to the Wildlife Reserve to understand the importance of conservation of wildlife. In Singapore, students also visited ‘Newater’- water recycling plant to understand the process of water recycling and conservation of water.

For this upcoming Academic year 2021-22, we are adapting ‘Project Based Learning’ pedagogy. We have taken projects based on sustainable environment. Students are going to take up the projects like Water Footprints, Organic farming, Celebration of festivals and its impact on the Environment. Students will study the above topics through different activities, survey, data collection and students will also present their solutions.

Has your school received any certifications, recognitions or awards based on environmental sustainability? If YES explain the details of the specific projects that helped your school earn them.

We have received an award for Special Morning Assembly for ending plastic pollution by Earth Day Network.

Our Students have participated in competition, ‘Young Reporters for the Environment’ organized by CEE. One video got the first prize and the same got selected for the International round.

Students studied the ‘zero waste’ process from Keshav Srushti’ and presented report for a competition called, ‘Young reporters for the Environment’ conducted by CCE. The report written by Ms. Ameya Gupta was selected at the National level.

During Pandemic, our students attended a workshop by ParisarAsha on million caring citizens program and received a certificate of participation in Green army Workshop.

Students have received prizes in Interschool Science Exhibition organized by MISA,

  1. Spirulina and its uses as protein supplement- 1st prize
  2. Biocoal making- Consolation prize
  3. Study on Effect of air pollution on mosses and Lichens- 3rd Prize