Facilitated by UWBe, LM volunteers have tried to create awareness at the weekly market at Sompura about the environmental and health hazards of using plastic, especially single use plastic.
Their aim was to motivate the public for positive behavior change through selected activities carried for an extended period of time. The first week focused was on spreading awareness using the public announcement system which was continued for the next four weeks and so on. However, the first week also consisted of planting tree species in the market area and lake bund by market vendors and LM volunteers. The vendors were also asked to take responsibility of taking care of the plants planted by them. The third activity was the distribution of paper bags to customers to reduce the usage of plastic bags.
The next weeks were slated to have similar awareness sessions. However, instead of cloth bags, paper bags were distributed in all the other weeks. Both these are ongoing activities. Positive results were observed such as vendors using the paper bags for packing the vegetables and grocery, the happy disposition of the vendors as they happily greeted the LM volunteers and most importantly, the public showing interest to shift from plastic to alternate.
The most unique point of this story was that this event had inspired an old villager to take up this cause and fight for a plastic-free Sompura. He had patiently kept watch for few days to catch the ones who brought the plastic into the village red-handed. He also volunteered to make paper bags for free for the well-being of his village. This shows the importance of setting an example for the people to follow. Once we set the action in motion, there will be people to take it up and continue the domino effect.
More power to corporate volunteering!