Coach calling: Students, here's how you can be sensibly sustainable

Climate change, pollution, global warming and environmental degradation are pressing concerns
Coach Calling | (Pic: EdexLive)
Coach Calling | (Pic: EdexLive)

SUSTAINABILITY. This is the most 'in-thing' and will become even more so going forward because if we don't sustain we'll not survive! Another aspect that I've time and again written about in my columns is that you, the youth, have the power to bring change. Especially in today's rapidly changing world, you are emerging as the heroes for positive change and today, I definitely need the help of all you superheroes to put across a message that's very important for our survival — becoming sensibly sustainable.

Climate change, pollution, global warming and environmental degradation are pressing concerns that need to be addressed immediately and the youth definitely has the unique opportunity to influence their educational institutions, society and nation towards sustainability. You're so well equipped that you can do wonders... 

So let's dive in and dwell upon some kickin' ideas to see how we can save our planet going forward.

We are known to be like live wires. Let's go electric!
I've always been a fan of the energy that the youth possess these days. Thus, I urge you to go electric in aspects of your life which really reduces your carbon footprint. I'm not just talking about using swanky electric vehicles; I'm pushing you to go the extra mile and focus on generating electricity in the most clean and green ways possible. Be it at your school, college, residential community, neighbourhood, or anywhere else, take up the initiative to identify and implement Green Energy wherever possible.

Not possible? Then, figure out a way to be a part of the next big green innovation, right on your campus! Many educational institutes have incubation and entrepreneurial development centres which are transforming into innovation hubs for sustainable technologies. Get involved in any way you can and do what you can for green energy. Search "Stella Terra Solar Car" on Google and I'm sure, you'll be amazed at what these students have achieved! You're no less and can achieve more.

Dispose, but do your best to decompose
I say DECOMPOSE only to emphasise and focus on using BIODEGRADABLE materials to the maximum extent possible. Ensure that you take the initiative for proper waste disposal and make an impact. Make a group, club, or even form an organisation that focuses on the above along with spreading awareness of the dangers of using single-use plastics and other such materials. Also, make it an objective to educate people on the availability of better, green and environment-friendly alternatives. 

Until recently, a village near Bengaluru didn't even know that plates made out of sugarcane waste were a reality, and once the village youth started an initiative to educate everyone, they made business owners switch most of their packaging materials to better alternatives. Go conquer! That is all I can say.

Oh! What a waste... Or is it?
We've all been hearing about RECYCLING for ages. But today, thanks to a lot of advancements in nearly every field, UPCYCLING is the key! In case you've not heard about it, it's the creative reuse of what's termed as wastage. 

Usually, upcycled stuff tends to be more valuable than the same when recycled. The best example I can think of is making natural incense sticks from flower waste. With the access to technology that you chaps already have and the amazing energy you already possess, all you need to do is focus and let your creativity run wild! You never know what you might upcycle and make the world a better place.

No money, no honey? Today, honey makes a lot of money
I'm metaphorically encouraging you to follow your entrepreneurial dream and focus on building sustainable startups. And it ain't a joke, if you can start a beekeeping business and sell organic honey, you'll realise that it's a lucrative business opportunity.

Based on my experience, college campuses are often brimming with the entrepreneurial spirit. Why not channel that energy into launching a sustainable start-up? You can take your pick of what truly drives you and decide to pursue that sector. From eco-friendly fashion brands to innovative recycling ventures or waste management services — I've constantly emphasised the ease of access to resources and mentorship that can turn your green dreams into reality. 

So, I appeal to you to walk the talk. Don't just talk about change — be the change by building a business that prioritises the planet. That's when the planet will look after you too.

Fast fashion is going out of commission
Fast fashion is out, and sustainable style is in. Even the legendary actor Zeenat Aman recently shared how she borrows clothes and advised the youth not to "break the bank". Bring in change and make the world embrace the trend of thrifting, upcycling, or supporting eco-conscious clothing brands. 

Host clothing swaps and sustainable fashion shows on campus to promote ethical fashion choices. Your wardrobe can be a statement of your commitment to the planet. I too have made it a pledge and have recently started using shoes and footwear from a brand that makes them from recycled plastic bottles. I literally feel like every step I'm taking is making the planet a better place to live in.

As I sign off by allowing you to munch the food for thought given here, I reemphasise: We've made a pretty exhaustive list and this will help you help Mother Earth. So let's rock, eco-warriors! Let's do our best to make sure that every rock survives along with the forests and all of nature. Let's not just dream but actually go green all the way!

With regards,
Your eco-friendly guru,
Adarsh Benakappa Basavaraj

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