Some key ‘Green’ measures taken by the college are as follows:
- The direct generator set in the College (KVA capacity) is acoustically enclosed.
- Soil parameters are well within limits. The soil supports a large amount of green cover and at the moment the College has over 500 large trees.
- Survey of the ambient noise level, and the air quality statistics are within the limits set by the Central Pollution Control Board. All samples were collected by National Accreditation Board for Testing and Calibration Laboratories, NABL, Ministry of Environment and Forests, and accredited labs.
- To minimize air pollution, burning of garden waste is strictly prohibited on the Campus. All garden waste is used for making compost in compost pits.
- The MCD removes all solid waste from the campus.
- E waste is routed through appropriate channels for proper disposal.
- In order to ensure safe drinking water, the College has installed ROs in the campus.
Hindu College has two students’ run societies, Panchtatva (with more than 100 students) and Earthlings (around 30 students), which work alongside other societies such as the NSS, the Sustainability Cell of NSS and teachers to make the campus as eco-friendly as possible. The NSS wing of the College is the mainstay of most environmental related efforts in the campus. Many college teachers have, over the years worked on environmental questions, some keeping in view the issue of ecology.
- Each year on Van Mahotsav the College plants scores of saplings. Over a hundred saplings were planted in the Sports Complex of the College on Van Mahotsav in 2015; on this occasion the Chief Conservator of Forests was the chief guest.
- Panchtatva, the Hindu College Environment Society, organized tree plantation drives in the months of August and September 2015, in keeping with another annual tradition.
- The NSS unit also engages in tree plantation in and around the campus.
- Each year the College organizes tree plantations on its Founders Day.
- Earthlings, the wildlife society of Hindu College was part of a plantation drive organized by Dr. Faiyaz Khudsar, the Scientist in-Charge of the Yamuna Biodiversity Park. The plantation program aims at planting 50,000 saplings of 15 species native to the Aravalis to bring back birds and animals to their natural habitat.
- Panchtatva did an exhibit on scientific and eco-friendly tree-plantation for Antardhvani, the university festival, and gave away potted plants to guests.
Use of Renewable Energy
- Much of the College building, built decades ago, has been designed to keep energy requirements for cooling (during summer months) and heating (during winter months) minimal.
- Because of good availability of natural light and cross-ventilation in the building the College is able to minimize the use of electric lighting, air-conditioning etc.
- The College has numerous small lawns within built spaces. This helps keep energy requirements relatively lower: for example, the teachers use one such lawn facing the staff room, during winters facing the sun, instead of depending on high energy-consumption heaters.
Efforts for Carbon Neutrality
- The College hostel and staffroom are equipped with solar water heaters.
- The College hostel uses pellet fuel (Oorja) in the mess. This is made of food waste and saw dust, which, on burning releases much smaller amounts of harmful gases than most other fuels. It is renewable and non-polluting.
- The new girls’ hostel, which is briskly coming up, is also provided with solar energy systems.
- In the near future, plans to develop the use of such energy sources are in the pipeline.
- Hindu College has always had one of the greenest campuses in the university, with large green-patches, gardens, and a vast assortment of trees.
- The College has over a 100 species of herbs growing naturally.
- Much of the social and cultural life of students on the Hindu College campus has revolved around its green patches and trees.
- In order to reduce the use of paper in printing official notices etc. the College has installed three LCD screens to communicate with students and faculty.
- In 2009, the Ministry of Environment gifted the College with a paper-recycling machine.
- For additional paper waste, the College has a collaboration with an NGO, Jagriti: they collect all waste paper from the campus and give the College file covers, folders and A4 sheet reams and other stationery items in return.
- Panchtatva organizes campaigns for paper recycling every year around the university elections, because invariably a lot of paper gets wasted in these weeks.
- The College is increasingly shifting to the use of LED lights.
- Car-pooling: Students and faculty members are encouraged to share cars whenever possible to reduce their carbon footprint.
- Use of bicycles and public transport: The College has actively encouraged the use of bicycles by finding extra space in the campus for an enclosed shed to keep bicycles and two-wheelers. The College also encourages students to use public transportation whenever possible, and helps them acquire bus passes and metro concessions.
Waste Disposal and Eco-friendly Gardening
Both Panchtatva and Earthlings have organized numerous cleanliness campaigns over the last few years. These drives encourage students to separate recyclable and non-recyclable wastes. New dustbins are often installed as part of such drives.
- Students actively participated in the Swachch Bharat Abhiyan – the nation wide cleanliness drive, under the able guidance of the faculty.
- A cleanliness start-up campaign was also initiated on 2 October 2015 on the occasion of Gandhi Jayanti and is now an ongoing feature in the College.
- The NSS volunteers also regularly participate in campus cleaning initiatives.
- The College has banned the burning of leaves and branches. These are disposed of using the College’s active compost pits.
- The Garden Committee tries to ensure the use of natural fertilizers and natural material for supporting plants and climbers.
- E-Waste Management: E-waste generated in the campus is managed as per the E-Waste Management and Handling Rules, 2011, through a committee constituted for this purpose. The E-waste is disposed off to authorized recyclers.
- Student societies are encouraged to have their practice sessions in any of the numerous green patches the College maintains. So, for example the Hindi dramatic society, Ibtida, uses one lawn, the English dramatic society another. This cuts down on the energy that would be required in fans, lighting etc. if sessions were to take place indoors. Further, the Bharat Ram Centre also provides one such verdant venue.
- In the last five years students from Panchtatva have been involved in numerous environment related efforts, like the Clean Yamuna Drive, attempts to spread information about ozone depletion, global warming and issues around tobacco use etc. In addition to these efforts the students have come up with innovative ways involving the larger student body. Among them, one successful plan was to celebrate 14th February as “potted plant gift day”. This has supplemented the society’s regular plantation drives. In the near future, the society plans to develop a herbal garden and a green gas plant to provide labs with green gas.
- Panchtatva has organized workshops on the preparation of scientific and eco- friendly plantation for students. Both Panchtatva and Earthlings organize regular seminars and interactions with environmental and ecology experts like Dr. B.C. Sabata, Dr. Dinabandhu Sahoo (who was the first Indian student participant in the 7th Indian Scientific Expedition to Antarctica during 1987-88), Anoop Poonia, Dr. Michael Antoniou and Dr. S Majumdar. In 2013 Panchtatva organized a bicycle rally to support the cause of a tobacco-free campus. Both societies have been involved in numerous visits to wildlife parks and reserves and have actively gathered information from experts, which has been used whenever possible to enhance the eco-friendliness of the College campus. The Hindu Earth Summit – 2015 was organized in January 2015, in which many eminent environmentalists interacted with the students of the College.
- Some faculty members of the College, along with large groups of students over several batches, have over the years put in a lot of work in exploring the environmental costs of industry. This has been centred largely on the Bhopal industrial disaster. Certain signal achievements in this work have been under the aegis of ‘We for Bhopal Mission’ (WFB), a student’s group based in Delhi University and affiliated to International Campaign for Justice in Bhopal (ICJB), an eclectic group of academics, writers, students, lawyers, doctors and social activists, and Students for Bhopal (SFB), based in the US in 30 universities. This group is coordinated by Dr. Suroopa Mukherjee from the Department of English of the College. Groups of Hindu College students have participated in the World Social Forum, Mumbai, as official delegates of the ICJB under WFB. WFb set up a stall at Dilli Haat to create awareness about the Bhopal Padyatra, organised many street plays and awareness events, and launched a Report and film titled “Closer to Reality” at Hindu College Seminar Room.