“Bring your own bags, containers and water bottles”, specified the invite to a festival with a difference.
The first ‘Zero Waste Festival’, that is under way till Sunday opposite the Gandhi Thidal is advocating an alternative and eco-conscious lifestyle without plastic in product packaging and where citizens self-dispose of their garbage.
Hosted by Shilpataru Foundation, a forum of artists, with support from other organisations including Alliance Francaise, the event has been put up to coincide with the 75th Independence anniversary and the 150th birth anniversary of Sri Aurobindo.
“We aim to popularise a lifestyle free of garbage and to create model cities of Puducherry and Auroville,” said Kirti Chandak, artist and convenor of the festival which is entirely being supported through volunteering, gift-economy and crowd-funding.
The broad aims of the event are to share ecocentric lifestyle solutions, evolve eco-friendly packaging alternatives and support upskilling incubators to inspire ‘do-it-yourself’ models. It also seeks to ensure in a decentralised way that citizens assume responsibility for their waste and that nothing goes to the landfill.
Helping eco-preneurs with innovative eco-friendly solutions for producing products and packaging and inspiring eco-consciousness through education and art are the other objectives.
The advocated lifestyle is one where each household engages in source segregation, establish individual or community composting pits and upcycles litter through upskilling.
The event also features vegetable markets hosted by farmers’ collectives, hands-on workshops and talks besides side-shows ranging from poetry, to music and games.
“Their two key objectives are to raise awareness on the concept and to provide packaging solutions to producers. Visitors to this event are not just consumers but active participants in a movement,” said S. Srinivas, of Shilpataru.
The underlying message is that each and every person can participate in this movement, wherever they are, by leading an eco-centric life and not allowing their garbage to go to the landfill — which represents the crux of a ‘zero waste lifestyle’.