“We believe that approaching spiritual leaders gets us better results than approaching politicians, on matters related to influencing the masses,” said UNEP chief Erik Solheim while speaking at the symposium organised by Sri Sri Ravi Shankar’s The Art of Living (AOL) foundation on World Environment Day in New Delhi on June 5, 2018.
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, founder of The Art of Living, made a worldwide appeal to reduce the use of plastic by half, as India hosted this year’s World Environment Day. People from almost 80 countries joined the spiritual leader in the pledge, at a symposium titled ‘Voices Against Pollution, Moving towards Green Energy’ organised by The Art of Living in association with United Nations Environment Program. He was joined by UNEP Chief Erik Solheim, and Dr Harsh Vardhan, union minister for science and technology, earth sciences, environment, forests, and climate change, who briefed the gathering about the measures taken by the government to reduce plastic pollution in the country.
Sri Sri urged people to choose recyclable plastic over disposable one, carry one’s own recyclable bags and water bottles, and avoid use-and-throw items. He suggested that farmers must avoid burning the leftovers after harvesting and instead mulch and reuse it organically. The Art of Living signed a MOU with Mr J K Sharma, DG Home Guards, to create 1000 honorary environment marshals who will create awareness on the dangers of plastic and the importance of waste segregation.
AOL also enlightened the attendees about its various sustainability-related measures. To avoid temple waste from entering the rivers, AOL has taken the initiative of processing the temple waste. It has already processed 1.15 million kg of temple waste through seven waste management plants at temples like Kashi Vishwanath, Kamakhya Devi, Dakshineshwar, and Udupi. The foundation has rejuvenated 37 rivers and tributaries, planted 71 million trees across 36 countries, developed an eco-friendly enzyme that segregates plastic waste from organic waste in a few days, trained 5000 rural women to make reusable bags, and has made 200 acres of farmland chemical free by introducing farmers to natural farming.
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