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Scholar-Journalist of the Week: How we made eco-friendly bricks to save the environment

This week’s winners, Kanan and Kangna, are creating things of beauty to eradicate single-use plastic



In the Vij household situated in Jalandhar, Punjab, any single-use plastic waste is never thrown in the regular bins. It all started when the twins’ mother once saw a cow chewing on plastic. From that day onwards, she decided to encourage her family to never litter and discard plastics in bins. Kanan Vij and Kangna Vij, class 8 students of Apeejay School, Model Town in Jalandhar, since then fill one plastic bottle each day with the polythenes and wrappers that are commonly found in and around their home. Till date, they have collected about 100 such bottles that have been turned into beautiful décor items for their home. Read on: 

Please tell us about your interests/hobbies.

Kangna: I am passionate about conserving nature by practicing methods such as solid waste management. We took up an initiative to make eco-friendly bricks last year. To further this, we store single-use plastics in bottles every day. The other enterprise we do is to foster street dogs. We have adopted two strays for 7 years, namely, Blackie and Tycie. Our family provides them food and shelter.

Kanan: I feel that we must pay attention to the needs of animals. They can’t speak to express themselves, and so, humans must be empathetic towards their needs. Beyond academics, I am keen about sports such as badminton and chess.  

How does your initiative work in practice?

Kanan: We gather every wrapper of every article we use. Then, we bring it home and store it. Often, we turn it into flower pots, wall hangings, and so on. Our next plan is to create a dog-house out of single-use plastic. Seeing this, a few of our classmates have also felt inspired.

According to you, what could be the impact of this initiative?

Kangna: In doing so, we can stop littering. Many animals and species can be saved through such a drive because they consume the plastics by mistake. Eventually, these animals cannot digest it and they die. In our daily life, we use plastics from morning till evening. So be it our regular toothbrush, plates, spoons, we are massively dependent on the material that it is hard to do away with it completely.

What was your writing process for the Scholar-Journalist article?

Kangna: It was our joint venture. Our mother has been the driving force who has motivated us, and she too gave us some ideas on how we can plan it better.  

Your career ambition?

Kanan: I have a good grasp of Mathematics. Therefore, I want to become a Chartered Accountant like my father.

Kangna: I feel inclined towards subjects such as History, Civics, Geography and General Awareness. I want to pursue Archaeology. 

Mrini Devnani is a Principal Correspondent and Marketing Coordinator at Newsroom. She covers student achievements, conducts interviews, and contributes content to the website. Previously, she served as a Correspondent specialising in Edu-tech for the India Today Group. Her skill areas extend to Social Media and Digital Marketing. For any inquiries or correspondence, you can reach out to her at [email protected]