Vile Parle based Banker, Godwin Pinto, who has started a mini green revolution in his circles shares his recycling journey…..
I grew up in Vile Parle, Mumbai, in a chawl with nature all around. As a child I watched my mother give away our old clothes in exchange for aluminum vessels, garlic and sweet potatoes. We were recycling in our own way at home!
Through the years, I didn’t really think of recycling in a big way. But it all changed four years ago and I give RUR Greenlife credit for this paradigm shift.
Every Saturday I would visit Reliance Fresh Mall Acme Plaza Santacruz with my son Glenn, just 4-years-old then. We would pass a garden bench made of recycled Tetra Pak cartons and one day he asked me, “Dadda, what are these colourful bits on the bench?” I explained to him that it’s a recycled bench and took him through the process of recycling Tetra Pak cartons.
Pat came the reply, “So why aren’t we depositing our cartons here?” That got me thinking and from then we started depositing our cartons at the store.
As time went by we learnt that by depositing cartons we were a part of a program called “Cartons Le Aao, Classrooms Banao” run by Tetra Pak India, RUR Greenlife, Sahakari Bhandar and Reliance Fresh. Our cartons were being recycled into school desks which were donated to underprivileged schools! Wow…
We got in touch with RUR Greenlife and Glenn’s eyes gleamed to see all the recycled product – pen stands, trays, writing boards and even a chess board! It enthused us to collect more cartons and spread the word
Slowly we spread the word to our society and church and asked them to keep the Tetra Pak cartons aside for recycling. Glenn had started his own campaigning on his own and I would get calls from volunteers to bring a big bag to collect the cartons.
Glenn invited the RUR team to give a talk in his school, CNM School, which his school principal, Miss Kavita Sanghvi highly appreciated. Motivated by the talk, his school has also started collecting Tetra Pak cartons for recycling.Glenn had started his own campaigning at church and I would often get calls from volunteers to bring a big bag to collect the cartons after gatherings. We have now set up a successful recycling model in our building and St Francis Church in Vile Parle, for Tetra Pak cartons and plastic waste, which is appreciated by residents and BMC.
The beauty of the “Go Green With Tetra Pak“ Program is that anyone can participate in it. Simply register with the Program and request for a pick up from the RUR van or deposit them at any Sahakari Bhandar or Reliance Fresh store. There are 44 collection points at stores across Mumbai!
My philosophy is simple… I sincerely feel, do whatever you can do, and don’t ever think it’s small. It’s like the story of the starfish on the shore. Even if you throw one back into the sea, you make a difference to that one. You never know what ripple effect your act can have – the one person you convince, can convince ten people and the movement can grow. As Mahatma Gandhi said be the change you want to see in the world. So go out there and do your bit!
Godwin’s Recycling Impact:
Recycled Individually: 1400 cartons
Recycled by Building:1500 cartons
Recycled at Church: 4100 cartons