There is no such place as away. When you throw anything away it must go somewhere. – Anne Leonard.
Most of the waste, which is neither recycled nor upcycled, ends up in massive landfills. In India alone, 45 million of 62 million tons of annual garbage remains untreated, a dangerous statistic. Here are some more staggering statistics. There are around 5.25 trillion macro and microplastic pieces floating in the open ocean. It is observed that this plastic makes for 60 to 90 percent of the marine debris
Easy access and convenience have become the motto of the new world. Everything is available at the click of a finger, whether it is a commodity for personal use or to consume. People have become oblivious to the fact that everything they put inside their shopping cart will have some residue that will impact the world at large.
Let’s assimilate this information.
How do I make a difference to the world in my little way? What can I do to change the course of environmental degradation? How do I individually reduce the pressure on world resources?
There are simple measures to make a difference:
o Use less energy in your lifestyle – Driving and owning a car is like a social symbol in society. But if you choose to walk, cycle or use public transport, you can reduce the carbon emission, one person at a time.
Switch off your gadgets and power plugs before leaving a room. Energy conservation is one of the most important things you can do to reduce your carbon footprint
o Be alert about slow fashion trends – Most big brands outsource their goods. These products have to be packaged, boxed and shipped. There is a chemical dye component to the garments, which ends up in the sewers of countries where these products are manufactured. Also, the garment industry is a huge propeller of child labor. It is better to try handmade, homegrown, recycled or upcycled clothing. Choosing locally, clothes swaps and buying vintage are some ways to reduce our impact on the environment.
o Nurture Plants – Whether you live in a tiny cubicle or a house with a lawn, growing plants is the best way to go green. Indoor and outdoor plants have many benefits:
1. They reduce noise pollution
2. They emit positive energy
3. They act as a natural air fresheners
4. They add aesthetic value to your surrounding
5. They absorb impurities and toxins.
o Eat Local – Eating what is grown within your neighbourhood, ie farms closer to where you live means fewer preservatives, less packaging and less use of energy to keep the food fresh.
o Start a compost pile – If you put all your food waste in a homemade compost pile, it will reduce the pressure on landfills and in turn, you will have natural fertilizers for your plants. This link has a detailed explanation on how to make a composter: https://www.instructables.com/id/Terracotta-home-composter/
o Refuse, Reduce, Reuse and Recycle – The best way to ensure an eco-friendly lifestyle is to follow these four ‘R’s. Try refusing first and if that is not possible then make sure it can be reused. Try to recycle and upcycle your existing goods. Plastic is one of the biggest problems in our modern lives. Try to reuse, recycle or upcycle it as much as possible.
Imagine in a world where every single person is conscious and uses available natural resources optimally. Don’t you think our carbon footprint will reduce? Don’t you think we can change the tide and have a greener, less cluttered world for our children? Don’t you think we can sleep at night knowing we have done our bit not only for ourselves but also for our planet?
Written by – Arwa Mamaji