On 15 April, The Walt Disney Company (India) joined Exnora Green Pammal, CMS Environment and students from Sarada Matriculation Higher Secondary School, Pammal, and Teresa Convent School, Palaavaram, to celebrate Earth Day.
Environmental conservation is the cornerstone of the Walt Disney Company’s Global Outreach initiatives. So it was natural that representatives of Disney’s office in Chennai, through CMS Environment, requested Exnora Green Pammal to organize an Earth Day celebration that would give young people a hands-on opportunity to help the environment. The Walt Disney Company and Exnora Green Pammal share a determination to involve young people in environmental conservation and protection. The Walt Disney Company does this through ‘Friends for Change: Project Green’ as a part of Disney’s Signature Project for India. Through Friends for Change: Project Green, Disney donated $1 million to conservation projects in 15 countries in 2010. Exnora Green Pammal educates and mobilizes students for environmental stewardship through our Green Generation Programme, which has reached over 4,000 students in 50 schools in India.
CMS Environment is a Delhi-based think tank working towards enhancing corporate understanding and responsibility on environmental issues through their unique and innovative employee engagement programmes. It has successfully launched employee engagement campaigns for several corporate houses throughout the country. Focussing on environmental issues in the immediate neighbourhood through these activities employees are involved in the community by contributing their time and skills with their company’s encouragement and support.
On the morning of 15 April, representatives of the Walt Disney Company, the staff of Exnora Green Pammal, representatives of Engineers Without Borders Australia, and students from Sarada Matriculation Higher Secondary School, Pammal, and Teresa Convent School, Palaavaram, celebrated Earth Day in Pammal by planting trees and recycling arakia nut palm leaves into plates and dishes.
The students and visitors were fascinated to see how Exnora Green Pammal’s presses convert arakia nut palm leaves into useful and commercially-valuable eco-friendly plates and dishes for picnics and public gatherings. In addition to pressing the leaves, the presses heat the leaves so the plates and dishes maintain their shape. This heating process is powered with electricity generated by Exnora Green Pammal’s quarter-ton biogas plant, which converts kitchen waste into methane gas, and then to electricity.
The sharp sunshine and intense heat didn’t deter people from enthusiastically taking tools to the soil and planting saplings. Each sapling was fertilized with Exorco vermicompost, which Exnora Green Pammal produces out of biodegradable waste from homes in Pammal. Home owners and residents of the neighborhood were invited to participate, and given the responsibility of nurturing the saplings until they become established.
After the work was done, everybody enjoyed a locally-prepared meal during which we discussed plans for future collaboration to increase young people’s environmental awareness.