A pleasant sight in Koyembedu, Chennai led to many cars stopping and peeping through their windows. It was a unique sight to witness children and adults alike sitting on the roads, cutting bottles and planting table roses in them.
The little ones later carried these roses to the wall and placed them as a vertical garden. “As a concept we thought we’ll let kids learn about plastic pollution and use the plastic bottles to covert them into pots for plants and have the kids maintain them and due to the space constraint, vertical garden was the best idea”, said CV Ravi, a resident of Chennai.
Children and their parents from a residential area in Koyembedu planted 158 saplings in honour of environment day, as a lesson tin reusing and recycling.
Instead of bottles being thrown after use, they have been utilised to plant saplings. Children have been given the responsibility of watering their saplings.
“People throw bottles in the roads. So we are putting mud in it and planting saplings”, said Rohit who added that we was excited about telling his friends to do the same.
“We are looking at garbage disposal also. We are coordinating with Chennai corporation and have had a couple of meetings with them. It is out duty to protect nature. We can’t do do a full fledged gardening due to space restraint. But assigning a plant per child will teach them a lot”, said Jaya, a resident of the area.
The sense of pride and excitement was evident on their faces as each child carried their little roses to the wall, placed them in the allocated spot and took out markers to write their names on the bottles.
“We want to make a change and we will try doing this for nature. Last year also we planted herbs and shurbs in the community. When friends come home I show them what we do as community. We are also considering doing some terrace gardening”, said Mansa, a young girl who just completed her 12th grade.
While there is an increase in pollution levels, rapid construction, climate change, never ending use of plastic and space restriction in metropolitan cities, these children are trying their best to put forth a strong heartfelt message to save mother nature before it’s too late.