GNE student hosts "Living Green" webchat for US Department of State

Gurmehar Singh, student of 3rd year Department of Civil Engineering hosted a webchat "Living Green" organised by US Department of State in which he discussed the importance of individual action to combat climate change and how he is working to make GNE India's first carbon neutral campus.

The audio-video recording and text transcript of the same can be found at

CONX Moderator Lacey: Hello, and welcome! The ''Living Green'' webchat will begin on Wednesday, August 11 at 8:00 a.m. EDT (12:00 GMT).
CONX Moderator Lacey: Please feel free to post your questions for Gurmehar at any time before or during the program.

Supriya: anyone there?
CONX Moderator Gillian: Welcome Supriya! Please feel free to tell us where you are from and ask Gurmehar some questions!
CONX Moderator (Lacey): Welcome, Supriya!
Anil: Hello sir
CONX Moderator (Lacey): Welcome, Anil! Please feel free to post questions at any time.
hey any there
CONX Moderator (Lacey): Yes, we are beginning the webchat now.
Isabel: Hi Gurmehar!
Jaspreet: Hi!!!! Just want to know what should every student in this world have in his mind to help us out in doing something for climate change?
Melinda: Thanks for providing us with this opportunity to discuss living green.
Isabel: I agree with saving paper.
Isabel: Can you talk about how you got rid of plastic bags? This is very hard to do.
CONX Moderator Gillian: Gurmehar is saying that plastic cannot be decomposed or recycled easily
Melinda: HI Gurmehar, What kind of feedback are you receiving in your community?
Sonu: I am from Dallas,TX
CONX Moderator Gillian: Thanks Sonu!
Melinda: Do you feel you’ve been able to inspire other people in your community to take action? Please give examples
Isabel: Hi Sonu.
Melinda: Getting rid of plastic bags is a simple step, but can make a large difference.
irc Cairo: Have you shared your ideas with other student in other countries and if so what is the benefit you gain
CONX Moderator Gillian: Gurmehar talks with people in many other countries, including Texas!
Isabel: It is really interesting to meet someone from India who cares about the environment! I have never been to India. We all have to do our part.
CONX Moderator Gillian: Thanks Isabel. It is great to hear your questions and input as well.
CONX Moderator Gillian: Gurmehar is saying that every little bit helps - even just throwing things on the street into the garbage or into the recycling, and make use of public transportation instead of your personal car
CONX Moderator Gillian: He is also saying that switching off electricity, like your lights and air conditioning, and using email instead of paper. This all can help combat climate change
CONX Moderator Gillian: Gurmehar: Say NO to plastic!
Isabel: Cloth bags are good.
Isabel: But did people in your campus want to use plastic bags? Was it hard to convince them to give it up?
CONX Moderator Gillian: Gurmehar is saying that you need to give people an alternate to plastic
Isabel: Gurmehar- how did you get interested in the environment?
CONX Moderator Gillian: Gurmehar says that this is in his blood, and that he inherited this environmentally conscious behavior and passion from his father.
CONX Moderator Gillian: Global warming was taught to Gurmehar when he was nine or ten in school
Isabel: It has been hard for me to convince my father to care about the environment. You are lucky. Sometimes it is hard to get people to realize just what is going on and how they need to change.
Jaspreet: What do you think is the major problem coming your way while you implement your plans? How do you overcome?
CONX Moderator Gillian: Gurmehar says that funding is the greatest problem
Isabel: Sometimes it helps to get local sponsors to donate things.
Isabel: I don't know if they do that in India
CONX Moderator Gillian: Gurmehar started an initiative that planted 585 saplings at his college
Melinda: What are some of the negative impacts of climate change that you see in your everyday life, and what are you working on to counter these changes?
CONX Moderator Gillian: Gurmehar is saying that the temperatures are rising too much, and that summers (as well as winters) are rising in temperatures. Trees are being chopped down in large numbers as well, and deforestation is a problem
CONX Moderator Gillian: River and water pollution are also major problems
Isabel: This summer has been very hard.
CONX Moderator Gillian: Hold on, we momentarily lost Gurmehar
CONX Moderator Gillian: He is back now
Jaspreet: So do you think governments are not really interested in combating climate change? How can all people around the globe can be brought together even if governments remain cold about climate changge?
Obinna: Welcome
Jaspreet: Quite Right
Isabel: Do your friends support you in your green initiatives?
Sonu: 35%of the people in India are below poverty line. Why would they be concerned about climate when they dont earn more than $3 a day ?
CONX Moderator Gillian: Education, Employment, Economy and Environment are all important things to implement - these are the four things to focus on
Isabel: That is a good question. It's hard to worry about the climate if you are hungry.
Obinna: what is living green
Isabel: I think all of us who can, should do something about the environment and create change where we live.
CONX Moderator Gillian: Gurmehar: Be the change that you want to see in the world. Start with yourself.
Melinda: How can I begin a living green program at school? How would I start something like this?
CONX Moderator Gillian: Be the change
CONX Moderator Gillian: Gurmehar is saying that you can make use of green buildings in your daily life, making use of wind energy and natural energy
Melinda: Are there any incentive programs you would recommend starting with local vendors/stores to stop using plastic? How would I start something like this?
CONX Moderator Gillian: Gurmehar says that you can insist your vendors use recycled paper bags or alternative types of bags to plastic. You can also try to work with your government officials to ban plastic bags
CONX Moderator Gillian: Gurmehar recommends insisting on Jute bags
Isabel: Plastic is so hard to get rid of! Also, most people get take away and take away food containers are awful. What do you recommend?
Isabel: Every little bit helps. That's really the important thing to remember, even when it seems like a big battle, I think.
CONX Moderator Gillian: Gurmehar is saying to reduce the use of technology in your life. Don't use technology to harm your environment or yourself or your community. You need to use public transportation
Isabel: How did you get selected for this chat, Gurmehar?
Melinda: How do you respond to those that just don't seem to care about living green?
CONX Moderator Gillian: You can start with something as simple as planting a tree
Isabel: Thanks, Gurmehar!
Isabel: Very cool that you are here from India
CONX Moderator Gillian: Gurmehar is thanking people and he says people should feel free to ask him questions
CONX Moderator Gillian: Twitter is @conx
Isabel: On the other side of the world! :-)
Jaspreet: Nice to talk to you. Thanks.
Isabel: Very cool. Thanks
Obinna: Thanks
CONX Moderator (Lacey): Thank you everyone! Thank you Gurmehar!
CONX Moderator Gillian: Our facebook is and Gurmehar's facebook is
Karin Rives: Keep up the good work, Gurmehar!
CONX Moderator Gillian: Please read this article about Gurmehar and his efforts!
Gurmehar: Thanks everyone for being part of this program. If you still have any questions feel free to reach me at Send in your feedback to
Umang: Hey Gurmehar, nice work done!
Gurmehar: Thanks Umang.
CONX Moderator Gillian: Thank you all for coming in to the webchat! Please visit our facebook page at, and send Gurmehar any further questions that you may have.
Obinna: Ok
CONX Moderator Gillian: Thanks again for your participation in this webchat about living green!