by McCall Roy

How do you convey environmental education to the next generation in a way that is relatable, interesting, and impactful; through fun of course! Wasteless is an NGO based in Auroville dedicated to providing just that. 

We visited Ribhu, the co-founder of Wasteless, who explained how this non-profit organization is challenging environmental education standards by teaching kids about the problems that come with plastic, and micro-plastic pollution in a fun and interactive way. Working closely with students and teachers they have developed a curriculum called Sea change that is interactive and relatable.

Ribhu explained that as a society we place so much emphasis on cleaning up the mess we create but none on how to stop the problem. To convey the importance of integrating plastic education into elementary curriculum, He uses an analogy of a flowing water spigot; We tend to focus on cleaning the ever-flowing water without thinking about closing the tap! The Wasteless team is focused on just that. Through working closely with the students, and actively getting feedback to make the learning materials more exciting and understandable, Wasteless has produced textbooks, learning boards, and games, all with the help of the students. 

Supported by the National Geographic Society and the Thamul Government, Wasteless has engineered the first curriculum in the world that consists of games and fun activities to spread environmental education across the globe. Thus Far, Wasteless has trained and equipped over 300 teachers in India with a plastic curriculum. 

In addition to spreading plastic education in schools across India, Wasteless has organized beach cleanups, trash-sorting events, and a plastic fashion show where all of the clothing was created using discarded waste. 

Dedicated to spreading knowledge about plastic pollution, Wasteless is equipping future generations with the tools to make informed decisions in the realm of plastic consumption. By staying away from toxic materials and learning how to properly discard waste, Wasteless is disintegrating pollution as a cultural norm, teaching environmental sustainability, and ultimately “closing the tap” so that future generations can halt the flowing spigot. 

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