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Thrust on switching to environmentally sustainable habits

The Tamil Nadu Government was embarking on a campaign, Meendum Manja Pai, to try and revive the use of the reusable yellow cloth bag that was traditionally distributed at weddings, said Supriya Sahu, principal secretary, Environment, Climate Change and Forest Department. She was speaking at a panel discussion titled, Green Signal to Green Warriors, hosted by the Press Institute of India and UNICEF State office for Tamil Nadu and Kerala in December. People were ready to switch to environmentally sustainable habits if there was an enabling infrastructure that permits it, Malini Parmar, co-founder of stonesoup.in, pointed out.

Prachi Shevgaonkar, founder of the mobile app, Cool the Globe, said that youngsters who wanted to reduce carbon emissions and ‘go green’ often struggled to quantify their efforts. Along with her father, she launched the app which allows users to track their carbon emissions every time they switch to an eco-friendly activity. The app currently has over 23 thousand users from 55 countries. Youngsters must also pay attention to gross negligence by big corporations that violate environmental laws, said Siddharth Aiyar, a law student and ‘green warrior’. Youngsters must use provisions such as the Right to Information Act to hold regulatory authorities, the state and corporations accountable for the environmental damage they cause, he suggested. K. Sujatha, a student activist from MOP Vaishnav College for Women, said that while many youngsters wanted to follow environmentally sustainable practices, they often could not afford the costs. Shashank Arun, founder, Captain Environment, a 10-year-old student, said that he was alarmed by the environmental damage and decided that even children had a role in saving the planet. The discussion was moderated by advocate and columnist Sanjay Pinto.

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