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Earth Week and Living Routes..

Articles from India India | Apr 29, 2011

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I wonder how many study abroad programs get to participate fully in Earth Day as an integral  part of their semeseter.?...well we do!

Earth Week began with a bang! Carbon offsetting and Water Harvesting presentations from current and past Living Routes faculty, and Aurovillians. These were presented at town hall, the hub of central activities in Auroville, open to all who wanted to attend. Then it was  Living Routes students turn. The students had been working throughout the semester in three groups, tackling three major issues in Auroville..Food, Waste, and Energy. The groups were facilitated by Faculty, and Aurovillians who were involved in those issues. The first to present was the Energy group, who over the course of the semester built a peanut butter bike to use at one of the communities. The bike entirely foot powered, was a great sucess, and the students put a great deal of effort into getting it running, and researching the cost/benefit carbon analysis of making one's own peanut butter, rather than buying it from a local supermarket. They even had samples and snacks to share. The next day the waste group presented on "Zero Waste: International Pavillion as a Model", and highlighted the many ways in which the International Pavilion (formerly known as American Pavaillion) is moving toward zero-waste. Though building materials, recycled, and re-created into walls and celieings (such as tetra-pak roofing), to mud bricks, and pottery shards, the design will meet its mark. The conversation became heated when a local activist pointed out that repurposing is not enough, waste has to stop from the source. Then the food group presented on local, and organinc food production, and awareness. They are implementing a program in which local  food will be labled from its origin. These signs will be posted in the Auroville stores, Por Tous, and New Por Tous. Overall, it was an exciting and activiating week

On Friday, the actual Earth Day, Living Routes students volunteered in the events at Visitors Center by making peanut butter, selling tee shirts, and re-purposing fabric into headbands. In the evening, Ethan led a walk at Buddha Garden, about the Universe Story.

Of course I almost forgot to mention that we the faculty also played a big part by offering the Awakening the Dreamer Symposium to the students, and to the Auroville community. The five hour long seminar is designed to leave the learner in a state of "blessed unrest" , and ready to go out into the world as a "changemaker". The students were inspired, and committed.

Earth Week was a great adventure, and a huge success.  

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