|Teachers taking an interview with two local elders|
The education of teachers in the Lhomon Education (LME) approach is fundamental to its success. It is recognized that research and teacher education are complementary activities, and documentation and research need to be part and parcel of LME’s on-going activities. As a part of professional development, LME teachers (Researcher) carried out mini action research about zero waste feast offering practices at Chokyi Gyatso Institute (CGI). Through the research, the team intended to find statistics that will show the impacts of eco-friendly feast offering practices at CGI in the reduction of mass plastics. It was also to educate researchers about how a simple and wise choice can make a big difference to our environment, health, community, and world at large.
The researcher took into account the feast offering composition for three middle days (28th, 29th, and 30th of September, 2018) of 5 days of Phama Nyingtik Drubchen ceremony (Heart drop of White Tara, Jamyang Khyentse Wangpo's terma). We listed 58 different kinds of feast offerings made during the Drubchen including foods, fruits, dairy products, vegetables, Indian sweets, and others. Out of 58 total feasts, 50 are categorized under the homemade offering, 7 of them under the fruit category and 1 item under the plastic packaged category. When these figures are converted into percentage we have 86% of the homemade feast, 12 % of fruits and 2 % of Plastic Packaged offerings.
|Taking down feast offering list by the teacher|
Further, these three food categories are divided into two groups, Non-Plastic Items, and Plastic Items. The homemade foods and fruits, in general, are non-plastic items and the plastic packaged items are categorized under Plastic Items. Therefore, 98% of the feast offerings did not produce plastics while 2% offering has some plastics. The 2% plastic came from bread offering.
The team also looked into how many numbers of plastic plates and cups are reduced in 5 days of Phagma Nyingtik Drubchen. This is done considering the average counting of devotees (248) present during the feast offering session, the number of banana leaves (247) distributed and also the number of cups (231) distributed to the devotees. Further, the average of all these three average countings was considered as a final average figure (that is 242), that represents the number of plastics plates and cups reduced in a day. Therefore, we have concluded that the number of plastic plates reduced in one day of feast offering is 242. Similarly, the number of plastic cups reduced is also 242. The total plastic plates and plastic cups reduced in five consecutive days of Phagma Nyingtik Drubchen are 1,210 plastic plates and 1,210 plastic cups. So, we have found that the total plastic reduced in 5 days of Drubchen is 2,420 plastics.
The team also found that the CGI administration has spent 54% of its total budget on feast offering in this particular Drubchen and this entire amount is invested in 100% plastic free feasts offering. The feast included Rice 20%, vegetables 21%, Fruits 17%, and India Sweets 42%.
The eco-friendly feast offering is H.E. Dzongsar Khyentse Rinpoche’s vision initiated several years ago at Chokyi Gyatso Institute, Dewathang and today this sustainable practice of beautiful feast offering continues to be a living example of Rinpoche’s vision.