Green Action Week 2019 – Sharing Community

Green Action Week (GAW) is a global people’s campaign for sustainable consumption initiated by the Swedish Society for Nature Conservation (SSNC). Since 2011, CUTS is partnering with SSNC in this campaign in Jaipur/Rajasthan. Since 2017, CUTS also coordinate GAW (India) campaign in 12 states in India.

From 2018 onwards, the theme of GAW is “Sharing Community”, as consumption patterns have changed drastically in recent years resulting in unsustainable lifestyles. Mass consumption is also due to innovations, technology, open markets etc. While this trend continues, there is a sizable population that is unable to meet even its basic needs, like access to food, clothing, shelter. Increased consumption is also resulting in generation of more waste, which is harmful to the environment. While sustainable consumption is all about the ‘use of services and related products which respond to basic needs and bring a better quality of life, by minimizing the use of natural resources and toxic materials, that also insist on minimum emissions of waste and pollutants’. It is important for consumers to recognize their rights to a healthy environment and behave responsibly.

This year’s campaign in Jaipur was mainly focused on collection & disposal of E-waste, as common man doesn’t know about how to dispose of E-waste or take it to recycle centers. In India, Rajasthan comes as 6th largest E-waste generator. Also, only 0.036 million tonnes of India’s 2 million tonnes E-waste was treated and 95% of India’s E-waste is recycled in the informal sector in a crude manner. E-waste contains toxic components such as lead, mercury and cadmium, which could lead to severe issues such as; birth defects, kidney failure, cancer, and it could even harm the skeletal system.

Looking at the seriousness of the issue, CUTS in collaboration with Etco E-Waste Recycler Pvt. Ltd. (An authorised recycler and dismantler for E-waste by State pollution control board, Rajasthan) has undertaken an awareness campaign and installed six E-waste collection bins at different localities of Jaipur, which can be used to deposit electronic as well as electrical waste items, which are of no use and worth for effective disposal of them.