These medals deserve a medal! Tokyo 2020 makes medals out of recycled materials.

An Olympic medal is an athlete’s dream. It is perhaps the crowning glory of a career and something that is a matter of great pride. The athletes competing in Tokyo 2020 Games will have another reason to be proud of the medals around their necks – they will be made entirely from recycled metal.

The commitment of the Tokyo Organising Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games to making the Olympics as green as they can be was the reason for their ‘Tokyo 2020 Medal Project’.

How did they get the materials to make the medals with? Between April 2017 and March 2019, the Committee asked ordinary citizens to donate their old small electronic devices to them. This drive helped them collect all the metal that they required to create the approximately 5,000 gold, silver and bronze medals. From mobile phones and other devices, people gave in large numbers to fulfil the Committee’s dream of making 100% recycled medals. The donated devices were recycled by experts, and the medals were made after extracting gold, silver and bronze elements by the smelting.

What’s smelting? Smelting is the process of removing metal from its ore through heating and melting.

What does the medal look like? After successfully collecting all the metal they required, the Committee held an open competition to design the new Olympic medal. From the hundreds of entries that poured in, Junichi Kawanishi’s was declared the winner. The main face of the medal has the image of Nike, the Greek goddess of victory standing in front of the Panathinaikos stadium in Athens. On the reverse, the medal is engraved with ‘Tokyo 2020’. The symbolic five rings of the Olympics feature on both sides. Each medal will be presented in a box that has its own unique wood fibre pattern incorporated into the design. 

Besides the medals, Tokyo 2020 are taking sustainability very seriously and hope to make it this Olympics the greenest ever. Some of the other ideas are: 

💡Operation BATON, Building Athletes’ village with Timber Of the Nation, is an idea to make all the structures of the Olympic village using sustainably-sourced Japanese wood from local authorities across the country. When the games are done, the wood will be returned to be recycled in the communities e.g. making a park benches. 

💡Getting paper and palm oil from sustainable sources.

💡Tokyo 2020 signed the UN Sports for Climate Action Initiative to drive climate change in sporting communities. 

💡Recycling rules for most material used during the Olympics and hiring rather than buying as much as possible to reduce consumption. 

💡Energy saving ideas and renewable energy in as many venues as possible. 

Besides the environment, the Tokyo Games will also ensure the human rights of all those involved with the games including awareness- building trainings around diversity and inclusion. 

So while athletes make a mark on the field at the Games, their Olympics hope to leave very few on the environment. Kudos Japan!

Written by: Pereena Lamba. Pereena is a freelance writer, editor and creative consultant. She is also co-author of Totally Mumbai.

Poetry by CurrentKid Riva Raghavan

Fast Fashion: What is it and how is it polluting our environment?

When someone asks us what the main causes of pollution today are, we immediately think of plastic disposal, transportation, the burning of fossil fuels, and emissions from factories and industries, but we don’t really think about our clothes!

Did you know that the fashion industry is considered to be among the top 5 most polluting industries in the world today? Right from the minute the fabric for our clothes is sourced until the clothes are finally done with and disposed of, this $3 trillion global industry is harming our environment. 

What is Fast Fashion? The term ‘fast fashion’ means inexpensive clothing produced at a very fast pace and in large quantities to meet the latest trends in the market. These are the issues with ‘fast fashion’. 

  1. When clothing is priced low, it can mean that cheaper fabrics are being used to make it and that clothes will not last very long. 
  2. Earlier there were only two trends (new styles) in the year – Spring/Summer and Fall/Winter. Today, it is estimated that the industry has 52 ‘micro seasons’ each year. It means that fashion changes so fast that you need to keep buying new clothes all the time!

We get stuck in a cycle of buying clothes, getting rid of them and again buying new clothes. According to an organisation called re/make, nearly 80% of our discarded clothes end up in landfills or are burnt and only 20% get recycled – that is a huge pile of clothes going to waste!

How does the fashion industry harm the environment? If you are wondering how your clothes can have such an adverse effect on the environment, here are some facts to help you understand.


  1. The UN Climate Change website states that the fashion industry accounts for 10% of global carbon emissions. It is the second most polluting industry in the world, after the Oil industry! The industry accounts for 20% of global waste water. Furthermore, 85% of textiles are disposed of instead of being recycled. 
  2. To produce fabric, a lot of water is used for washing, dyeing, bleaching and cleaning the finished product. The waste water is contaminated with toxic chemicals and dye colours and this goes back into the sea affecting marine life. 
  1. Synthetic fabrics are non – biodegradable. When we wash them in our washing machines, tiny pieces of microplastic fibres get washed into the ocean and our fish end up eating these plastic pieces. 
  2. Clothes when disposed of take a long while to decompose depending on the material. For example, ‘Fashion Revolution’ says that a denim jacket takes 10 to 12 months whereas Lycra clothes take 20 to 200 years to decompose. 
  3. Some fabrics are made using wood pulp and nearly 70 million trees are cut every year to make them.  

The facts may seem alarming but there is always a solution to the problem. In this case, it is up to us to be conscious consumers of fashion. 

What can we do to help? Some fashion designers and companies are doing a lot to make sure that the industry becomes more eco friendly. They are using natural, sustainable fibres, or engineering fabric from waste like apple pulp and citrus waste!

Here are a few easy things we can do to be more conscious consumers.

  1. Buy clothes when you really need them, do not buy something just because it is the ‘fashion trend’ at the moment.
  2. Take good care of your clothes so that they last longer. That way you will end up buying less too.
  3. Share your clothes with your friends – that way you can have new outfits to wear without having to buy.
  4. Dispose of your clothes responsibly by giving them to someone who could use them.
  5. Wearing preloved clothes is not a bad thing, it shows that you love the person whose it was and the planet!

There are so many great sources of information we used for this story. Check them out to learn more!

Written by: Preetika Soni. Preetika is a full – time toddler mommy. In the time that is left, she enjoys writing, photography and crochet. She has worked with NDTV, Mumbai and has taught at SCMSophia. 

A prize for an Awesome Upcycling Idea! See what Devanshi sent in.

This is what she did, in her own words: “I just made a file folder out of old cereal box cardboard and covered it up with an old saree ( cloth ). To decorate I added pistachio shells to the front cover and a patch from an old garment . Hope you  liked my upcyle idea!”

It is World Upcycling Day! Here’s a DIY project and cool prizes!

World Environment Day

Star Kid: Param Jaggi

At 11 years old, Param Jaggi created something that could literally change the world. His was a simple and yet astonishing idea. Most of the good ones are. While stuck in a traffic jam one day, he saw horrible black emissions coming out of the exhaust pipe. In a flash of brilliance, he thought, why not tackle pollution that leads to global warming at its very source? He knew that what the car was spewing out contained carbon dioxide. What living thing uses carbon dioxide? Plants! Also, algae is a plant that grows really, really quickly, and is an excellent absorber of carbon dioxide for photosynthesis. So he created the Eco Tube, which fits directly onto the exhaust pipe of a car. It has plates of algae in it that absorb the carbon dioxide and then voila! sends out oxygen! What a green and clean machine! With well over a billion cars on the road, the impact that a device like this could make is unimaginable.

Credit: Ecoviate

Param did not stop with his one big idea though. Param started his own company, Ecoviate, ‘to create products that encourage sustainable living.’ They say that they plant a tree for every app downloaded or item bought from them. 

  • He is also CEO of HATCH, which is his new platform to create apps without coding to drive business.
  • He has designed EnergyLotus, a website that finds better energy options for you in your area (only in a few states of the US at the moment). You type in what kind of house you live in and which state you are in, and the website shows you all the greener options available for you locally.  So great and so easy!
  • He also works with Endesa, a leading energy company in Spain.
  • For fun, he created the 2016 Election Game, a card game, during the 2016 Presidential elections in America. 

So where is the Eco Tube now? It is currently in development.

Prizes and accolades for Param: All these amazing ideas and his work have definitely not gone unnoticed. Param Jaggi has been on Forbes ‘30 under 30’ twice. He has been profiled on CNN’s ‘Next List’. He was ​a nominee for Dallas Morning News “Texan of the Year”. He has won the Jefferson Award for Public Service, the EPA Patrick H. Hurd Award for Sustainability, Ashoka “Banking on Youth” Regional Winner & National Finalist and the 1st Grand Prize TJAS (Texas Junior Academy of Science), among other prizes. He also has 6 Fellowships. He is 23 years old. It seems a very very bright future is ahead.  

Written by: Pereena Lamba. Pereena is a freelance writer, editor and creative consultant . She is also co-author of Totally Mumbai.

Look how CurrentKid Arry Jeejeebhoy drew the world for his younger brother


In his words: “When my brother asked me to draw the world, I had a quick easy model. I drew a green and blue model of the earth and satisfied him. I started to look at the picture closer and I realised that that was only the world that people image! People see past the terrible things going on on the earth! I drew something that I thought represents selfishness and ignorance on the earth. So lets not be selfish anymore… Lets help the world! Our world.”

Aryaan Jeejeebhoy is a curious 12 year old who likes nothing better than to conduct various science experiments with kitchen stuff all day long.

Fun Facts from Sanctuary Asia!


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A Mixed Bag from Sanctuary Asia! September 25, 2018

We are excited to share the Mixed Bag from Cub Kids and Sanctuary Asia with you! Look for this page every week!

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