Sunday, January 30, 2011

Innovative initiatives

Environment, Green Battle, Green Initiatives, Go Green, Save the Earth....slogans like this have become was one thing being concerned about the environment, other to glamorize it and a completely different ball game making it a fad.

That is when it all went downhill. "Green is the new black" and "Im green, are you?" t-shirts and posters became famous. It did not matter whether you actually did anything to save the environment or atleast not cause any more damage, it was just enough to show off these t-shirts and tags. But only flashing phrases is not enough. Doing all of this is not going to cleanse or conserve the environment.

With an overload of information from every corner possible, people soon got sick of hearing about the amount of pollution in the atmosphere, the number of trees being cut, the depletion of natural resources, it was all over the place.

This was exactly when a change was required. There was a need to think differently to make sure the seriousness got restored.

That is when the 350 campaign came in. A bunch of people took on a new statistic, one that wasn't sold to death and created a world wide revolution.

The 350 in 350 campaign stood for the ideal carbon parts per million that should be there in the atmosphere. Right now it is about 398 parts per million that is fatal for a lot of flora and fauna. The campaign touched upon this statistic and came up with a world wide campaign on 24th October, 2009 to mark the International Day of Climate Action. It turned out to be what CNN called, "the most widespread day of political action in our planet's history."

It was a movement where 181 countries joined hands to perform 5245 actions to create awareness about the ideal parts per million of carbon in the atmosphere.

Some bungee jumped, some got people to paint on canvases and made bags out of them to say ''say no to plastics,'' some created human chains and took aerial pictures to show their support. As an intern at an NGO in Vasco, Goa at the time, I had the opportunity to be a part of the 350 campaign.

Details about the event can be viewed on

There is a dire need for such initiatives. People need a different kind of outlook to the environment and its conservation. And rest assured, after taking part in the campaign, I was party to the reactions people had and the enthusiasm they showed to do something for the environment. There was  a record to be made with the initiative that was taken, in our case, we got 350 metre canvas, put it up outside the Town Hall in Vasco, Goa and got almost everyone who passed by to paint on it, write, or plain scribble. This was then stitched into bags by the girls of my NGO. When the entire canvas was used, stitched into bags and sold for a nominal amount to passer by's, we could inform the officials. They then took pictures and posted it on the 350 campaign website.

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