Bhumika Aparanji and family with paper bags Image Credit: Supplied

What you need to know:

  • Pupil recycles Gulf News newspapers and makes them into bags.

There is a growing buzz about preserving the environment in every field. Governments and people all around the world are starting different initiatives to decrease their carbon footprint for the future generations. Every time I thought about contributing to the cause, I was taken aback by the need of huge resources and time.

However, one fine day a thought came to my mind which eventually took shape into a project over the school break. The best part of this project was that it needed minimal investment and would churn out something that each one of us needs in our daily lives – a bag. Most commonly, we use plastic bags that are not environmentally friendly and take years and years to biodegrade, so I wanted to make a difference.

We are all familiar with Gulf News newspapers being delivered to our door step every morning. After being read, they get stored in a cabinet and ultimately gets disposed to a bin. The same bin also gets to swallow several plastic bags that we carry home from a grocery shop. I started wondering if these old newspapers can be put to a better use, instead of just dumping them into a bin or at best leaving them to someone else to recycle.

This motivated my family – my parents, sister and I, to work on the idea of creating paper bags out of old newspapers. We watched different videos on the internet to learn how to make these bags. Once we found an easy and practical method, we set out on a task over summer school break in 2018 to make our own.

What seemed to be an easy task at the beginning, turned out to be hard work. The project extended to the winter break as well. This is because we wanted to make sure that the bags were strong enough to carry a reasonable weight and could be used multiple times. Together we handmade 200 paper bags; the bags that you can take to a grocery store and bring stuff home. These paper bags are of two different kinds - each catered to a different use. Bigger bags can hold a reasonable amount of groceries and the smaller one to carry tiny things such as gift items, jewellery, stationary, toiletries and more.

Carrying out this project successfully, we have decided to continue the activities of this type in future over the school breaks. We will explore new ideas towards the same objective. We are very keen to give a demonstration to others, in hopes to not stop at 200 bags, which we made, but to take a much bigger shape. My mother, Meghana Aparanji, who was also a big part of the project said: “This project not only resulted in creating efficient environment friendly products but also helps channel the energy of children in a positive way.”

There are several things around us that we can reuse to preserve the environment, make small contributions to make this planet greener. I urge all people around us to keep looking for these small opportunities, which when put together, will create a huge impact. The best part is that when you work on such activities with your family and friends you further strengthen a bond with them. My father, Harsh Aparanji, said: “It was a fulfilling experience to work together as a family towards a genuine cause.”

It is a small contribution, surely not the last one, from us to save the planet for a better tomorrow.

The reader is a pupil based in Dubai. Send us your videos and pictures at readers@gulfnews.Salon goes sustainable

Beauty salon goes sustainable

Jyoti Mondal, owner of Jam Beauty Lounge in Dubai believes in all things natural. The salon has taken their motto of being sustainable to the next level, they are also using Gulf News newspapers to make bags.

The bags are used on the daily to hold products sold at the facility.

“It was a process. In the beginning, we had a hitch but we soon got a hang of making them,” said Mondal.

Staff members at Jam Beauty Lounge display bags made out of Gulf News newspapers. Image Credit: Supplied

Mondal has been a Gulf News subscriber from 1997 and said: “I have been a subscriber from so long, I knew it [Gulf News] has to be a part of the salon.”

Speaking about using alternatives for plastic bags, she said: “Newspapers get wasted on the daily, I thought why not put them to use.”

After introducing the idea at her beauty lounge, her staff members soon started producing the bags. They have made more than 150 bags so far. “The customers are very happy with the initiative and always take pictures of the bags,” she added.