The name Chhaya Taralekar is not new to our Global Tree Initiative community.
Last year, we published a news piece about Mrs. Taralekar, congratulating her on an award she had recently been given.
The awarded title is Nature to Nurture, a book where Taralekar writes about “her own experiences of growing a kitchen garden and the need for it in today’s changing world” (you can find this and other titles on our library of suggested books).
But this is not the only environmental work Chhaya has been investing time in. She advocates for more sustainable and simpler ways of living, with composting as a cornerstone of her activities.
During a session conducted by the Rotary Club of Navi Mumbai Sunrise, Chhaya showed how to turn kitchen waste into organic compost. She also explained its importance: apart from providing oneself with organic compost, a rich product with the potential to grow beautiful and edible plants, home composting can prevent the emission of a significant load of greenhouse gases.
Recently, in December 2023, Taralekar was again involved in an awareness-raising campaign, this time, on plastic pollution.
Guided by Chhaya, the group distributed 250 cloth bags made out of old bed sheets and curtains to the merchants and public attending the Grambhavan vegetable market (in India). This gesture was a humble suggestion to stop using single-use plastic bags.
Taralekar emphasized that taking care of the environment is accessible to anyone and everyone. There are simple changes one can apply to one’s life at little to no cost or inconvenience.
Children and young adolescents are frequently the public for Chhaya. Apart from having launched a book for children 8 and above, she also participates in face-to-face sessions with them. In December last year, Chhaya shared some of her knowledge about sustainable living with the young minds of Nere village Shantivan. Some of the topics addressed were reducing the use of synthetic materials and the consumption of processed foods, using personal vehicles less often, encouraging public transport, cycling, and walking, and tree planting as a community activity.
As we recently remembered during the International Day of Education, learning about how to decrease our environmental, social, and affective footprint is of vital importance. Formal education is key to mitigating environmental damage and preventing it from worsening. This said, it is crucial that we reconnect with deep but simple values such as love, kindness, and respect.
It seems Chhaya Taralekar shares this vision and for that, we are grateful.
Read our most recent success story, where Taralekar plants 16 trees with the children of Zilla Parishad School.