June 5, 2012 – World Environment Day
The school calendar (of all things!) reminded me of the occasion just a day earlier. I contemplated reaching out to Green Print and Street Cause EForce, but realized there wasn’t much time. Perhaps you could reach out to them, reader, and maybe I will, sometime in the future.
But thank God inspiration was on my bedside table – I picked up my big Change the World Guidebook , gathered some stationery and got down to greening the world with Mom.
We came up with these colourful posters and baby-steps to coax people into doing their bit (yes, they are like blissfully unaware kids who need to be bribed). One of them, along with the You are a Super Power intro of the book, was put on the notice board of our apartment and accordingly a “Super Power” meeting was scheduled for 4 pm.
4:30 pm, and there were only five of us in place of the estimated 20 kids. My ex-school friends who come to the apartment for tutions saw how the carpets were still empty and I read a “Unschooling and changing the world it seems…hmph!” expression on their face. Not done. Not done at all. Resorting to desperation, I put on my adorable expression and excitedly pleaded (!) with all the kids on the block to come to my SuperPower meeting. Turns out that they were old enough to stop believing in such fallacies but I managed to drag them anyway. With the number at 15 we began. And it was a hit.
Turns out that my suspicions were right. Kids are kind, thoughtful and sensitive, but with the people and environment around they get conditioned to the comfort and thoughtlessness that comes with a carbon-heavy lifestyle. My mom told them, “Yes, we parents are selfish – we want lots of water to clean the vessels and a car to go even till the next lane. But you have to stop us from polluting and wasting things, just like myy daughter does.” *Beautiful moment* Then the kids went on to identify and make small doable commitments to make life a little more eco-friendly. Madhurya promised to make do with half a bucket of water (“except on Sundays Akka. I have to wash my hair no?”). Mehul said he’d give up riding his dad’s scooter because it was polluting (and illegal, since Mehul is just 12) Liya said she’d eat when her mom called so as to avoid re-heating on the gas or in the oven. And with that, we concluded our first Super Power meeting.
Then came the part of reaching out to the adults. The big, responsible ones who drive fancy cars and frequent expensive stores. The ones who think its their right to exploit and dirty the earth. Armed with the colourful posters, a pretty friend came along with me to stick them on the walls and windows of R.S.Puram.
I don’t know how many gave an eye or brought this to their life, but I was glad to start off somewhere. The energy never gets lost – it’s out there, working it’s magic in ways we can’t see. Let the universe work its mystery.