It’s that time of the year again when sparkling stars brighten up the whole world and gifts are exchanged. It's Christmas! It’s a time for merrymaking and decorations. It’s also a festival that reminds everyone of the importance of being caring and compassionate, and doing something special for others. Hotel Casino, Kochi, gets all decked up to celebrate Christmas every year, but this time, there is a slight difference in the decorations. This year, the hotel associated with Raksha School for disabled for setting up the decorations. The highlight of the venture is that waste materials were used for preparing all the decorative items, with the aim of avoiding use of plastic in the hotel as far as possible. Saran, head of housekeeping department at the hotel, was the master brain behind this idea.
“We were planning to do something different this year. So, we zeroed in on the theme ‘green Christmas’. Cardboard, bottle caps and tube light frames were the basic materials used for making the Christmas decorative iems,” he says.
The hotel authorities gave him all the support in the endeavor. Stars, large and miniature Xmas trees and gingerbread house were the major artifacts. They made all these with recyclable and waste materials like newspapers, old magazines, mop sticks, and iron frames of old tube lights. The gingerbread house is edible. Saran says it would not have been a success without the support of General Manager George Joseph and Room Division Manager Bijoy George.
Raksha School played a major role in the venture. Casino Hotel helps in the skill development of differently-abled students of Raksha School, which can provide them with an income. Saran and other hotel staff taught the teachers and students of the school the concept of upcycling waste. The hotel authorities had begun planning for the venture in the very first week of November. Saran was already adept at craft works. He learned make decorative materials from old newspapers and magazines and took classes at Raksha School. He taught them how to make decorative materials and different kinds of stars. It was great fun for the students and gave satisfaction to Saran. “The smile that we see on their faces after creating each item is beyond explanations,” a happy Saran says.
“Those decorations were then hung up in the hotel and the hotel authorities invited the school children to see what they had made. A small tea party was also arranged for them. The children put in a lot of effort to make this a huge success,” adds Saran. They have made 140 Christmas stars from old newspapers. School principal Elizabeth Philip is the backbone of the school; she stands for the success of children. The hotel pioneers promoting the principle of sustainability and encouraging more hotels and homes to put up eco-friendly decorations and spread ‘go green’ concept. “Buying plastic decor will only increase wastes. Our success is that other hotels and organisations in the city have begun opting up-cycled decor,” says George Joseph....