The issue of environment is huge and it requires massive action.
Though the drastic steps to save Earth can be taken by the governments, major corporate companies and big environmental organisations, there are certain small steps that every individual can take to have a significant impact.
‘Green’s Better’ is a non-profit company that was started as a green initiative four years ago by two Doha-based sisters from Pakistan. Doha College students Lina Osama, Grade 8, and Ruba Osama, Grade 5, believe that some small individual steps can make a difference. The schoolgirls have been raising awareness, recycling used items and carrying out plantation drives both in Qatar and Pakistan.
The inspiration for the initiative did not come from something extraordinary. The sisters realised the enormity of the issues as they were introduced to the subject by their parents through social media some four years ago. “Since then, we’ve devoted quite some time into thinking of solutions. A challenge that we faced was that we had to think of solutions that everyone could do and access everywhere. The realisation that world is changing, and not in a good way, has been keeping us motivated to continue this project,” said Lina, who is CEO of Green’s Better.
The young CEO is happy with what they have achieved in four years but certainly not done with it. “We started off at our previous school with a plantation drive; sessions with every grade, teaching them the importance of taking care of the environment. We gave them each an empty plastic bottle that was cut from the top, some soil and a few seeds. The drive was partnered with Ezdan Mall, Doha. It went very well. We repeated this around 10 times in different schools and institutions both in Doha and Pakistan.”
They work on spreading the message that global warming is real. “We need to act and what minimal we can do is to reuse materials at home. If you have an empty soda can, why don’t you cut the top and use it as a pencil holder? Wouldn’t that save some material? Green’s Better made 50 planters out of abandoned wooden palettes that we found in the street. We made them by hand and we even hired help.”
Lina wants children to plant with passion and love because they are the leaders of tomorrow. “Without spending a lot of money, we managed to use pots and soil in every school we went to, because we made planters with wooden pallets and plenty of compost. You don’t need a detailed solution or an inspirational startup to help the planet. Just by putting in extra effort into things like spreading the word, cutting down on materials harmful to the environment, planting something and getting people you know to do the same, you’re helping. Everything counts. We shouldn’t only depend on things like eco organisations or government campaigns. Our role matters. We are the change.”
Ruba is Chief Green Warrior of Green’s Better. Green warriors are all the children who take part in the campaigns of Green’s Better. “My job is to guide them and make sure they understand what they have to do. I started when I was six years old. We started our work in Doha by going to Newton International School for a plantation drive. We encouraged them to plant their own seeds and water them every day. At the end of the school year, they took their plans home. We also went to The Next Generation School to do the same. We went to Tiny Town, Edison International and Pak Shama school as well.
“In Pakistan, we managed to plant more than 1, 000 trees in Karachi University, and as many in Dewa Academy. We also have plantation drives with Montessori Children House, Ilmesters Academy, Dewa Academy, Laureate School, Happy Palace School, and Government Girls School Quetta.”
For the green warriors, during Covid-19, there were not many options to help save the environment. “However, we decided to make awareness videos and post them on social media. We made videos about recycling, how to keep yourself entertained with eco-friendly activities, how to stay safe during Covid-19 while also being eco-friendly, and growing different vegetables in your home garden.”
Some of the personal efforts made by the sisters at home include recycling plastic bottles and wooden pallets. “With plastic bottles, we made small planters and grew tomatoes. With wooden pallets, we made big planters and put pots of cacti, flowers, money-plants and a few more. We also recycle yoghurt and ice cream tubs, using them as pots for many different small plants. We reuse paper and cardboard boxes too, to stop deforestation,” said Ruba.
The young green warriors strive to show people how they can help. “A message we want to convey all the children of the world is that we are the next generation and if we don’t clean up the mess that our current world leaders have ignored for so long, the future generations will struggle even harder. We believe that children can make a bigger difference than adults. With our imagination, determination, and passion we can
bring real change.”
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