Published: 20th January 2021
Captain Environment: This 12-year-old has a start-up that's trying to reduce global warming
Shashank Arun, founder of the start-up Captain Environment, talks about how he is inspiring other kids to follow a greener lifestyle
He may not be able to fly, run at lightning speed, alter reality or see the future, but Captain Environment is a superhero in every sense. What else would you call a 12-year-old who's inspiring a whole generation of kids to protect the planet?
Twelve-year-old Shashank Arun started learning about global warming in school and immediately felt he should do something about it. He started researching and found a lot of facts that surprised him. After a lot of deliberation on how he could inspire others to preserve the planet, he decided to create a Youtube channel to create awareness among kids because, according to him, "kids are more determined and can inspire others better".
As most enjoy cartoons and comic strips, he decided to make comics and post them on Youtube. In his videos, he draws the characters, crafts them as comics and narrates the story. Then he gives information about the environment and ends with a theme song. Shashank and his mother also make superhero costumes for every video he posts.
While a lot of children enjoyed his videos, Shashank soon realised that it was not really making any impact. People weren't really doing what he taught them to. So he decided to make an app. He explains, "It's similar to the Blue Whale challenge, but used for the right reasons. The app is called Captain Environment vs Global Warming and I post a couple of activities for the kids to do. There are several activities, for instance, when biodegradable waste is discarded in the wrong way, it releases methane gases. So one of the activities is how you can decompose different kinds of waste. There is another feature where you can mention how long you use the light or fan, and the app calculates how much carbon emission you have created and how you can reduce it."
A multi-faceted superhero, Shashank has also published an activity book that's available on Amazon. It includes activities like growing a plant, how to recycle for bags or decor. He also organised a marathon run by kids for kids for the cause of reducing global warming. "We gave prizes like bicycles and the participation gifts were seed balls. About 300 people showed up," he says. Shashank's efforts have truly made an impact, at least in his school. Everybody in his school supported him and started following the cause. In fact, during the lockdown, he did a workshop on waste management and a lot of people sent him positive feedback.
Shashank presented his start-up in Thailand and received funding of Rs 50,000. He also went on a public speaking course and learnt how to speak to inspire people. In 2019, he was awarded the Kid Entrepreneur of the Year by South Indian Entrepreneur Awards for Captain Environment.