Ernakulam went eco-friendly on voting day with several polling booths turning ‘green’ in the district for the local body polls. In keeping with the green protocol, non-recyclable material such as plastic and flex boards were kept away from the model green booths, as it was during election campaigns.
The initiative is a joint one by the Haritha Kerala Mission as well as the Suchitwa Mission, which ensured that the most popular polling stations in 14 municipalities and 82 panchayats within Ernakulam were turned into model green booths.
The booths were decorated with eco-friendly material, and messages about the environment were also put up in and around the buildings with the help of the Haritha Karma Sena and volunteers of municipal health wings and the National Service Scheme.
Prior to voting day, the booths were reviewed by the Suchitwa Mission and the Haritha Kerala Mission and on Thursday (day of voting), volunteers were posted in these booths to ensure that voters did not litter and complied with the green protocol.
The model green booths are one among several initiatives of the Suchitwa mission to make the local body elections in Kerala eco-friendly. Further, to propagate messages on the environment, the district saw flash mobs and Ottamthulal (dance and poetic performance) being held in different parts. The idea was to reduce waste generation during the elections, especially during the campaign stage. For this purpose, resource persons from Suchitwa Mission held sessions with polling officers, election officials and various candidates besides issuing pamphlets and posters on the same.
The campaign material used by the candidates will also be removed and segregated to ensure eco-friendly disposal of waste. Voters were also discouraged from carrying plastic covers and disposable water bottles to the polling booths.