Best Ideas 2019 features all the nominated entries submitted under ‘Submit your Idea’ category. All the entries consist of innovative solutions or propositions for an enterprise that champions the Sustainable Development Goals. They can be on the conceptual, planning, or start-up stage.
Explain your idea in details:
Kudrat (Hindi word for 'environment'), being a student-led recycling and upcycling initiative, is aimed at achieving two things: a cleaner and a more sustainable society, and engagement of students with community service and environment conservation. We intend to recycle and upcycle frequently-disposed waste material such as plastic and paper. What sets us apart is the way in which we plan to run our operations- through a network of student volunteers. In a lot of non-metropolitan cities, the presence of non-profits and social or environmental initiatives is scarce and those present do not readily engage with high school students. In a lot of schools as well, community service and environmental awareness is absent and not talked about. Through Kudrat, we plan to give high school (and college) students the opportunity to make real, measurable impact and become environmentally-conscious and sustainable human beings from an early stage. This is done in the form of volunteerism wherein student volunteers act as the cogs which set Kudrat's activities in motion. Volunteers, on our behalf, connect with households and institutions, collect and transport waste material, send it for recycling, and advocate for sustainable consumer practices. Through students, again, we also plan to partner with educational institutions (such as local schools and coaching centers) and student-led events (such as interschool competitions and Model UN conferences) so that we have the opportunity to work with educators in the field of recycling, upcycling and sustainable consumption patterns. These partnerships would lead us to collect and recycle or upcycle the waste that these institutions and events generate. In order to deepen our social impact, the funds generated from recycling and upcycling would be used to feed the poor and/or the underprivileged, or provide educational supplies to them. Here again, volunteers would play a crucial role in such excursions and drives.
Expected impact of your idea on sustainable development
Paper and plastic are two products that our used daily and widely. While plastic is a well-known pollutant and a growing concern for people around the world, the pollution caused due to production and incineration of paper has gone unnoticed by many. These are two materials that we, at Kudrat, intend to target. By promoting reuse, recycling and upcycling of plastic and paper, we intend to tackle these two major contributors to environmental pollution (water and air pollution, in particular). Through Kudrat, we contribute to 4 Sustainable Development Goals- Goal 11: Sustainable Cities and Communities, Goal 13: Climate Action, Goal 14: Life below Water, and Goal 15: Life on Land. Our impact is on the micro level as we engage with individuals within communities, and we prepare for a macro impact in the long term as we help forge environmentally-conscious and sustainable future policy-makers. Our activities and advocacy for sustainable consumption patterns reach the poor and underprivileged strata of the society, too, thereby making the impact we have much more diverse. Through our networks and partnerships with common households and local institutions, we intend to make as many people as possible a part of the fight for a cleaner and a safer world. Through our Paper Recycling Initiative, we aim to recycle 500 kilograms of paper by the end of 2019 with the help of our student volunteer network. We also aim to feed at least a 100 mouths by the end of 2019 using the funds we generate from recycling.
Plans for implementation and sustainability
Kudrat runs entirely on a network of motivated student volunteers which reduces operational costs while providing students with the opportunity to engage in meaningful community service. Our volunteers act as links in a chain, being responsible for collection and transportation of waste materials. Currently, all operational costs are being borne by me and volunteers but we're exploring crowdfunding methods since that is the easiest way to secure funds while making people more aware about the things we advocate against. In addition to that, a lot of our work is based on collaboration with local institutions, organizations and events which allows us to expand our networks and reach more people. Our first out-of-city collaboration will be in August in Hyderabad, India. The Paper Recycling Initiative is the first phase of operations which has just begun. Soon after this, we intend to engage in Paper Upcycling, wherein we use our volunteer network to create useful objects out of waste paper. These objects would then be donated or sold to raise funds, which would be used to feed the poor and the underprivileged. Thereafter, we intend to expand our work to cover plastic as well. The first step would be Plastic Upcycling, which would work in the same way as Paper Upcycling would. Following this, we'd collect, sort and distribute plastic products (mostly bottles and containers) as part of our Reuse Plastic Program (RPP).
I'm 17 years old and I hail from the city of Lucknow in India. Im currently in grade 12 at The Millennium School, South City, Lucknow. I've been extensively engaged in public speaking and Model UN since grade 9 which is where I was first introduced to the problems of the world such as climate change, unsustainable consumption patterns, human rights violations, refugee crises and armed conflicts. The motivation for initiating Kudrat came when I attended Harvard University's MUN conference in Hyderabad, India. The projects and ideas presented there really inspired me to be part of the change. My city also offered scarce opportunities for students interested in community service and thus, I wanted to initiative something which was simple and allowed extensive participation of students. After months of brainstorming, planning and scrapped pieces of paper, Kudrat was born. The idea was simple - to create positive environmental impact while making students a part of the process. Through Kudrat, I've been able to connect with potential change-makers in my city, some whom I was already acquainted with, and some whom I met for the first time. This has exposed me to new ideals and perspectives when it comes to environmental awareness. Apart from my environmental and social goals, I intend to study economics and engineering during college and work a bit on policy matters as well. I hope to start business ventures in the future which are economically-profitable and sustainable at the same time. My other interests include playing the piano, reading, graphic designing and public speaking.