Go Green with Tetra Pak is now ten years old, with a 35% percent growth in cartons collected every year! 

Assoc. Prof. Dr. Giselle D’Souza, St. Teresa’s Institute of Education (S.T.I.E.), Santacruz West, Mumbai

To what can we attribute this? Well, of course, to our green champs and their passion for recycling, but even more so to “Green Warriors” as we call them, who voluntarily take up the onus of pushing the program forward. 

One such ‘Green Warrior’ is Assoc. Prof. Dr. Giselle D’Souza, Senior Faculty, St. Teresa’s Institute of Education (STIE), Santacruz West, Mumbai, who has developed a ‘RIPPLE MODEL’ to spread the word of Tetra Pak Cartons Recycling far and wide. It made the institution the highest performing spoke of the 2020! We caught up with Dr Giselle to learn more about her winning model…  

A CALLING

“My journey at St. Teresa’s Institute of Education(STIE) dates back to 21 years ago. STIE has always been committed to the goal of Environmental stewardship, thanks to the whole-hearted support of our Principal Dr. Sr. Tanuja Waghmare. In 2015, I had the perfect opportunity to embark on my Green Mission when I took on Environment Education as a subject of the B.Ed curriculum. 

It is my firm belief that teaching must go beyond the boundaries of a classroom and ensure students are responsible future inhabitants of the planet.

To begin with we launched “PLANIT E” – the first ever All-Mumbai Inter-school cum Inter-collegiate Eco-fest dedicated to environmental consciousness and protection! In the first year itself, we saw an overwhelming participation of 70 educational institutions across the Metropolitan giving it the status of a Mini Earth Summit! From thereon we’ve made it bigger and better year on year, making it to the headlines of Hindustan Times and Bandra Buzz! We’re proud to say that Planit-E is the ‘Green Jewel’ in the crown of STIE!

STIE – A Green Institution 

STIE is committed to several environment initiatives. One time use plastic is banned on campus, we advocate the use of metal and glass containers for carrying food. To move towards our goal of a paperless office we encourage online submissions of projects, spiral binding is prohibited and so are plastic folders. Saplings and ecofriendly gifts such as cloth carry bags are presented to visiting faculty and for valedictory functions. 

THE RIPPLE EFFECT 

In 2018, I got introduced to the Tetra Pak recycling program, through Monisha Narke and Neha Mundra of RUR Greenlife. I was completely taken in by the concept when I saw some of the recycled products like pen stand, photo frames and more. Tetra Pak cartons are being recycled into products of such utility, I was fascinated. 

Driven by my passion to propagate this awareness further, I evolved the RIPPLE model, wherein RIPPLE is an acronym, and also symbolic, as it signifies an effect which originates at a focal point and can be transmitted outwards incrementally.  The modus operandi is as follows:

Everyone from our Principal, Faculty, Support Staff and Student-teachers personally take part in the Cut Clean Flatten process of Tetra Pak cartons at STIE

R – Research for a relevant theme 

I – Inform and involve all the stakeholders of the Institution

P- Plan how the activity will be carried out 

P – Phase the plan of action

L – Lead by example – which I consider most important – from our Principal to the Support Staff, everyone has cleaned and washed cartons and thus walked the talk.

E – Evaluate whether the objectives have been achieved and extend the reach for the following year.

This model has met with roaring success in the Tetra Pak program. 

Phase 1: Educating the leaders of the program. Neha oriented our student-teachers along with representatives of the 4 institutions to the Cut-Clean-Flatten process. So we had a Green Army of 50 trained students on board. 

Phase 2: involving everyone on campus. These Green Champions oriented the Primary, Secondary sections of the school, Special School and Junior College on the campus to their role in carton collection. 

Phase 3: spreading the message. This is when school students carry the knowledge and awareness into the societies where they live, making the ripples spread wider. In this manner 10,255 cartons were collected in 2019! 

This year we extended the program to 10 of our practice teaching schools where trainees are placed for their internships. Cartons collected from the school students were brought back to the college, though sometimes a bit dirty and unwashed. But that did not deter Team STIE with every member participating in the cut-clean-flatten process, neatly tying the cartons in packs of 10  and taking the dream to fruition! 

Trainee teachers of the institute brought back cartons from schools where they were placed for internships, thus sensitizing 25,000 students!

We met with laudable success this year, as in just three months, we reached the 14,251 all-time high! We were awarded the title of the ‘Highest Performing Spoke’ in the Go Green with Tetra Pak program across Mumbai, not only in the school category, but in all categories, including Corporates, Churches and Societies.  

This venture has been greatly appreciated by the members of our Regulatory Bodies as well, proving the green-vantage of the RIPPLE model. 

A special thank you to my colleague Dr. Cindrella D’Mello who has been instrumental in streamlining this project. Each time we cross a target our students get super excited about it which only boosts their morale to set higher benchmarks for the next year. 

In my 21 years of teaching, nothing has given me more happiness than the satisfaction I have experienced through all these projects. The future seems promising as even after our students graduate from the Institution, they continue to communicate their passion for the environment in a myriad different ways. My colleagues at STIE certainly need to be applauded for their invaluable contribution as they have been instrumental as a Green Team to rock the Green Dream.

STIE proudly receiving it’s first bench from the Go Green with Tetra Pak program.

 

I want to commend RUR for the great work they are doing. I hope they continue to inspire more people to join in their mission of saving the Environment. 

Signing off, I’d like to say, the journey of a thousand miles begins with one tiny green step. And I am grateful that in my journey, I have not only been able to make some change but I can more importantly say, I have made a green difference!

Spoke since:2018 September 
Total Tetra Pak cartons collected – 26,026
Rewarded  1 bench, eligible to 1 more, 2000 cartons for 3rd one
CREATING GREEN RIPPLES!

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