We have too much stuff in our lives. We have the new stuff we buy, the stuff we store and the stuff we discard. Everything we own will one day be discarded. And a lot of what we own is toxic, and sometimes, we don’t share well. Do we wonder where all our electronic, food and clothing waste goes?
Take some time to watch this video called the Story of Stuff.
Shocking isn’t it! However, things don’t have to be this way always. Together, we can build a society based on better not more, sharing not selfishness, community not division.
In the spirit of the World Environment Day that just went by, Desh Apnayen suggests some little and big things we can do to help the environment:
- Buy green, buy local, buy used, and most importantly, buy less.
- Flex your ‘Citizen Muscle’! Convince your local MLA to stop plastic bags in your neighbourhood, run a campaign for cleanliness, encourage the street-side food joints in your area to use recyclable plates, spoons and glasses.
- Recycle, recycle, recycle.
- Segregate your waste. Sort wet waste and dry waste for your cleaner in advance. Plastic waste like milk bags, snack packets and courier wrappers can be sold off locally for some extra pocket money!
- Leave the car at home for a change. Use local transport, or better still, cycle or walk!
- Unplug from TV and the Internet, plug into your family and community. For some time every day, leave your electronics behind and indulge in good old banter, developing and nurturing friendships and deepening your ties with the community.
Seems tough? Need a push to get started? Here are two inspirational stories of young Indians who are living ‘Zero-Waste’ lifestyles. To produce ‘zero-waste’ means living a lifestyle where more and more things are reused, and most importantly, seeing the value of things we use and managing our buying accordingly. Doesn’t it sound familiar? Much like the ideologies and life principles our parents and grandparents have followed for a long time?
Durgesh Nandhini is a homemaker with a three-year-old daughter and another baby on the way. Her whole family is proudly zero waste since 2015. She started this lifestyle as an experiment in environmentalism but now she has stuck with it because of the health and financial benefits it has brought her family.
“We (as a family) generate about a half kg of collective non- recyclable waste every year,” she says. Inspiring, isn’t it? She Read her full story here.
Young Sahar Mansoor’s story is equally encouraging. This master’s degree holder in Economic and Environmental Law from Cambridge University runs a zero-waste start-up called ‘Bare Necessities’. She believes that our trash problem is intricately linked to every environmental crisis looming over the world today. “We are subjects of this urbanisation-globalisation era and we are so caught up in this web of convenience that we don’t think about a plastic water bottle that we use for five minutes that then takes 700 years to start decomposing in the first place.” To read more about her journey and success, click here.
It pays to think long term in order to save the environment. Desh Apnayen invites all of us to walk on this environmentally conscious path together, doing everything we can to save the planet. Our small hands will undoubtedly make a big difference in the world.