Dr Adeela Bashir, Lead Coordinator of National University of Medical Sciences’ Environmental Stewardship Committee (NESC) and Assistant Professor from NUMS Department of Health Professions Education (NDHPE) was invited by the Inter Services Public Relations (ISPR) for second consecutive year to deliver a lecture on ‘Zero Waste Life Style” at their annual internship program.

Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) is a media and public relations (PR) wing of Pakistan Armed Forces and it broadcasts and coordinates military news and information to the country’s media and civil society. The ISPR Directorate serves the purpose of aiming to strengthen public relations with the civil society and through interacting with media. ISPR organizes this annual internship programme which provides an inspiring forum for youth acquainting them with a practitioner perspective on upcoming professional pursuits in related subjects. For year 2022, this sought-after internship programme commenced from 18 July 2022, in which 350 students from more than 60 universities across Pakistan participated. During this program, lectures and talks by eminent guest speakers and subject matter experts are delivered.

Climate change has been declared as an existential threat and Pakistan is one of the most vulnerable countries. One of the potential contributors towards climate change is our unsustainable life styles. Global community especially the urban population has become a consumption driven-society and Pakistan is no exception. This hyper-consumption and consumerism coupled with increasing population is leading to generation of billions of tons of waste annually. Only15 % of this waste is recycled while remaining is taken to landfills or ends up in open dumps. This is not only leading to depletion of finite resources but also leads to other serious problems. In Pakistan, this excessive waste generation is even a bigger concern because of a collective lack of civic sense  and a lack of effective waste management system. Zero Waste is one of the potential solutions, whereas Zero Waste means “generating little or no waste”. Dr Adeela Bashir sensitised participants about environmental accountability of the institutions and media in context of threats to the environment. It was emphasised that adopting Zero waste practices is our collective civic responsibility.

Dr Adeela Bashir in her current appointment has been actively involved in campaigns for creating awareness and civic sense about environmental conservations within and outside National University of Medical Sciences. NESC is a multidisciplinary committee which consists of highly motivated representatives of the faculty, students from all the departments of NUMS. It has been actively involved in the campaign within NUMS and beyond for raising civic awareness regarding environmental issues and their potential solutions. NUMS is the first University in Pakistan that has taken pledge to go zero-waste in fulfillment of its environmental and social responsibility.

Participants of the ISPR internship programme showed keen interest in the concept and asked insightful questions about it.

At the end of the session, they took a pledge to propagate the cause of adopting zero waste practices within their universities and beyond for cleaner and greener Pakistan and a safer and healthier planet for our future generations.