Q. How did the collective There Is No Earth B come about and how long ago was it started?
On the 23rd of June 2018, a teammate was in Hauz Khas Village with a friend. They’d gone in through the deer park entry and there were some people distributing Chabeel (the Rooh afza drink with milk) in plastic cups. “While we were sitting at the Kunzum Travel Cafe with books, about 30 people suddenly walked in and started talking about plastic. Since I’d been composting, greywater harvesting, and rescuing and feeding stray birds and animals for about 3 years I felt like I should contribute and so I put the book down and joined the discourse. Even though being an introvert & myself I would have rather spent my time with the books, the call of duty was not something I could ignore. So when this group of strangers I had encountered by chance started to disperse, I took it as an opportunity to mention the littered-up entry to the Deer Park and proposed us utilizing that positive energy to actually do something about plastic rather than just talk about it. Of the 30 odd people, about 11 (12 including me) cared enough to actually get their hands dirty and so we had our first impromptu cleanup, of the Hauz Khas Deer Park entry and parking lot area. Back then we did it without gloves and bags, using the discarded bags and then emptying them into bins and starting again. It was pretty fun.”
Post that, starting 15th July 2018, every week has had inclusive, organic and decentralized Climate Action in some form; Cleanups in Parks, Forests, River banks et al, Climate Rallies, Waste-to-art & Climate change Workshops, Regeneration against eco-anxiety, Nukkad Natak on Climate change, Artivism, petition signing and more!
We're 3 years & 234 cleanups strong now and still earnestly committed to both action and activism.
However, after the lockdown due to the coronavirus pandemic we could no longer have cleanups outside as a team and hence most of our action turned digital. We began conducting virtual waste to art sessions over video calls and creating and using Augmented Reality filters & digital how-to guides to spread awareness about environmental issues on social media https://www.instagram.com/ar/579472912670095/
We’ve removed over 9 tons of non biodegradable waste from Sanjay Vann, Central Ridge Reserve Forest, Yamuna Bank and Central Park. We weigh all the waste collected post cleanup and all records are available publicly on our instagram. We’ve mobilied over 1998 people to action on-ground. While our online initiatives post lockdown have reached over 1.99 lakh. In the first 7 months of the lockdown we've mobilized at least 1,49,565 unique people to participate in online campaigns for the protection of our biodiversity.
In the past 2 years and 9 months we’ve successfully managed over 1998 unique volunteers and have volunteer goodwill in the social development sector. We have a good network and if we go ahead with the proposal it is highly probable we’d have a turnout far exceeding the 50 people we plan on hosting.
We have worked in Delhi (Sanjay Vann, Central Ridge Reserve Forest, Yamuna Bank and Central Park), Uttarakhand (Gopeshwar, Shimli ), Bangalore (Cubbon park), Bijnor, Dumna (Madhya Pradesh), Western Ghats (on treks) and are currently regularly active in Chandigarh (Sukhna Lake) too.
Total clean ups:
We're 234 cleanups strong now and still earnestly committed to action
Our Waste management model:
More than 9 tons of non biodegradable waste has been collected by us, weighed and segregated. We scientifically segregate on two levels. To begin with we do not pick-up only non-biodegradable waste. Bags are assigned for plastic waste and for other non-biodegradable waste such as cloth, thermocol, glass, metal. The Plastic waste is handed over to Indian Pollution Control Association for further processing, while the other category is directed to the municipality dump.