Amishi Parasrampuria

Roles at NAAEE:

30 Under 30

Founder
Upcycler's Lab

Mumbai, India
Age: 30

Amishi’s social enterprise creates sustainability-themed learning tools for young children to enable behaviour and mindset shifts around the environment.

How are you using education to build more sustainable and equitable communities? 

Most behaviour patterns in humans are developed by age 9. Research also suggests that play-based learning has a higher retention rate in children. Keeping those two facts at the forefront of our work, at Upcycler’s Lab we develop learning tools on environmental themes for children between ages 2 and 9 to influence environmental behaviour earlier in the child’s life. Our products include board games, story books, and puzzles on important topics such as waste segregation and ocean conservation, among others. Our products serve as an important first nudge in educating children about environmental topics and encouraging them to ask the right questions. Early childhood interventions such as ours not only influence future consumption patterns but also impact the actions of families as well. Children today are important stakeholders in the home, and they influence parents and other family members to practice positive environmental behaviour. This helps us build more sustainable communities.

Tell us about your journey to where you are today.

There are two main ways we can fight climate change. The first is aggressive policy change and implementation at the government level that can help reduce carbon emissions. The second is behaviour change and a subsequent change in consumption patterns by humans worldwide. I felt the second path was more unexplored than the first, and since most human behaviours are developed by the age of 9, it made sense to work in early education. I have been in the sustainability industry for over seven years where I have worked with both adults and children. Through my experiences, I have seen first-hand the power of young changemakers and their ability to influence others around them. This has inspired me to go down the path I am on today as Founder of Upcycler’s Lab.

What advice would you give to the next generation of leaders? 

Don’t get disheartened by the mammoth challenges in front of you. Instead, let the larger vision inspire you and let everyday small victories serve as the fuel that propels you forward. Whatever you do, don’t give up, and find like-minded people who will help lift you up and in return expect the same of you. Build a community that supports and guides you and gives you constructive criticism when it’s needed – it is a great tool to becoming a good leader.

What keeps you motivated and hopeful for the future?

The young generation of doers and grassroots activists keep me motivated, inspired, and hopeful for the future. There are many grassroots changemakers that work with local communities to change their own reality. They organize tree plantation drives, awareness programs for better environmental practices, and beach clean-ups, among other things. Their unrelenting spirit and focus on action are what inspire me.

Who do you look up to as inspiration?

I look up to Mary Robinson whose hard-work and unrelenting spirit has led to policy change and laser focus on climate-related issues. Her inclusive approach to combat climate change and her ability to amplify the voice of grassroots communities who are impacted by climate change inspire me.