While people around the globe were playing their parts in celebrating Earth Day – a day to collectively emphasise on the need to protect the planet and preserve its environment – an interesting event was arranged in the heart of Mumbai to take a step forward in leading an eco-friendly life.
A young passionate environmentalist entrepreneur from Mumbai, Lavinesh Dayalani, sought to arrange an event where eco-friendly pencils were distributed to hundreds of underprivileged kids in Worli with special assistance from the Kutumba Foundation, an NGO working towards reinstating the ‘right to education’ for underprivileged children. The event included an awareness drive to promote an environmentally responsible lifestyle and a handwriting competition as well.
Winners of Handwriting Competition conducted by Bhoomi eco pencils and Kutumba Foundation
The pencils, distributed at this event – Bhoomi eco pencils, are made from 100% recycled paper. The semi-automatic process of manufacturing is free of harmful environmental practices. Given its commitment to environmental protection, even the packaging of Bhoomi eco pencils is completely biodegradable.
A pencil, a seemingly tiny item of stationery, can cause an enormous stress on the environment. Every year, 82,000 trees are cut down to produce more than 14 billion pencils around the world. Wooden pencils are one of the major reasons for deforestation, which leads to severe environmental degradation. The process of pencil manufacturing, which involves the use of hazardous chemicals for wood processing and the utilisation of electricity and fuel on large scale, contributes towards increasing carbon footprints on the earth.
India has 1.5 million schools with around 315 million students. Well known for its demographic dividend, India naturally has the largest student population in the world. Even in this digital age, these writing instruments have not lost their demand as Indian schools have made the use of pencils compulsory till class 4. The writing instrument industry in India is estimated at ₹2,600 crore rupees a year. We can imagine the negative impact this must have on the environment given the mammoth scale of this industry.
“Our aim is to enable children to adopt sustainable practice at an early stage so that eco-friendly living becomes part of their lifestyle in future. Our future depends heavily on the actions of this new generation. It is important that they realise the need and urgency of reuse and recycling principles, to protect our environment,” says the founder of Bhoomi eco pencils – Lavinesh Dayalani.
“I was inspired by APJ Abdul Kalam’s quote – ‘Trees are my guru. They continue to give unconditionally even when you pelt them with stones to take their fruit, and even if you cut them down. Trees give life. Let’s reciprocate that. Plant more trees.’ Rather by his ideology- ‘my earth, my duty’ and I would like to pass it to the next generation. I would like to see the gen-next incorporating and carry forward his legacy,” He further added.
We must remember that the planet existed just fine even before life started on it. Mother earth can very much survive without human beings but we must realise that we cannot even live a single minute without her resources. It is not for ‘her’ that we must take care of her, it is for our own survival.
The sense and sensibility of young innovators like Lavinesh gives us a tiny ray of hope. Products like Bhoomi eco pencils are the need of the hour. As these children will march towards a sustainable lifestyle, let us too. On the occasion of this Earth Day, let us make a resolution to use eco-friendly products as much as possible and adopt eco-friendly lifestyles!