Lunch on an Arecanut Leaf Plate!
Conferences need not be all about tall talk, tedious lectures and sumptuous lunches. Minimum waste and care for the environment around should also be part of conference logistics.
Conferences are great opportunities to meet people, to network and to gain new insights on various issues. ‘In Search of Well Being; Decoding Economics, Rethinking Education’ a conference organised by the Bhoomi College in Bangalore, in the last week of September 2019, was an amazing eye-opener in terms of sensible living.
Normally, at large seminars or conferences, lunch or tea or dinner is one of the highlights, which often becomes a messy pile of plastic plates, spoons, glasses and leftovers after the event concludes. But tea and meals at the two-day Bhoomi Conference were different! They were times to treat not just food, but even the way we eat, as a spiritual activity. Participants were requested to bring their own coffee or tea cups from their homes. Metal tumblers were sold at a reasonable price for those who couldn’t fetch their cups. The Bhoomi team had stocked bowls of soap-nut powder in the washrooms if the cups had to be washed. At lunch, the fare was simple, healthy, vegetarian food, which was served on disposable and biodegradable arecanut palm leaf plates. After use, the plates can be recycled.
Speakers at the conference included well-known national and international environmentalists, economists, social activists and educationists. They focussed on issues such as sustainable living, gaining wisdom from nature, alternate education and climate change. There were interactive sessions with people who are leading a different sort of life from the conventional rat race, trying to get closer to natural living.
The Bhoomi Conference focussed on walking on the earth gently, living simply so that the animals, birds, trees and mountains can also exist peacefully and we can leave the planet in a better condition for future generations than in the climatic mess it is now.
Conferences need not be all tall talk, tedious lectures or elaborate lunches. Minimal waste and care for the natural environment around us should also be part of conference logistics: that’s some of the wisdom I learnt at the Bhoomi Conference on Well Being!
(For more information, log on to https://bhoomicollege.org/