Little Things for Better Future #WorldEnvironmentDay

Jun 6, 2019



In 2012, I planned a trip to Andaman. On day 1, our driver informed that we might be able to get entry to Jolly Buoy. I had not done much research, and I was not aware of what I was about to witness. Without a doubt, what I saw was the best things that my eyes have ever seen - coral in a myriad of colors. Beautiful creatures that I could not believe are in the same planet we live in. In the next 15 days of our trips, I saw more corals. Scuba dived at Havelock Island and witnessed lovely fishes. However, I also learned how plastics are damaging them. How the change in water temperature is harming them! I want them to survive. I want them to live. I want my future generations to see what I have seen. 

I was always against the use of plastics. I hated how stray animals will eat food in them and the plastics later developing issues. I do not want to dig deep. Please google this. Even writing about it gives me chills. 

But, after I returned, I realized that something needs to be done. It was a slow change but the biggest change started to come around last year. I am still far from perfect. Here are just some little things I do to do my part: 

1. Refuse: I refuse a plastic bag altogether. I never buy groceries from malls because they need to tag everything and even a small item needs to be inside a plastics bag. Luckily, I have a farmers market outside my society every Friday where I get my weekly vegetables. Even at Malls, I say no to paper bags. I always carry a tote with me in which I shove in everything I buy. There have been days when I have a cart full of things but because I forgot my tote and the shore had no option of the cloth bag, I have dropped everything and returned without buying anything. 




Another thing is the plastic straws. I carry my own steel straw and use it if needed. I have grown to the idea of liking drinks without a straw. I do not remember the last time I had anything with a plastic straw. Luckily, most restaurants now give a paper, steel, or bamboo straws but I have started to specify these days the moment I order - No straws. 

Same goes for plastic cutlery. I am that weird person who carries a spoon with them. (Hey! Joey had made it cool already. Remember when he pulled out a fork from his pocket when Rachel and Chandler were eating cheesecake off the floor? ) 




I am thankful that the food delivery apps now have options to skip cutlery. In addition, food tastes much better with a steel spoon. 

I also keep a ceramic mug at my office desk. I never even used paper cups for water. 

2. Reduce: Fast fashion is one of the biggest culprits when it comes to harming the planet. I saw it first hand when I visited a towel-manufacturing factory in 2016. The number of chemicals, textile waste, and water pollution created in insane. Now, I try to buy things that will last me for years and/or things that will decompose easily like cotton or silk. I do not recall when the last time I purchased a PU bag was. PU does not last long and end up in garbage quicker but they are not biodegradable. No matter how much the design is tempting, if anything is made of PU, I do not buy them. 

Another thing is the dinnerware. All we use is ceramics (thanks to Khurja that are so many designs to choose from). I have never purchased paper plates, plastic glass, or that ugly Styrofoam dinnerware no matter how big a party we are hosting. We have some melamine plates that we use when there are guests. 

I have started water coloring and even in that, I use very little water. Here I am using the cap of a bottle to hold the water I need! 

I have also started to use Bamboo toothbrush



Bamboo Straws used even at small towns like Bhilai



3. Reuse: Most glass bottles turn into a vase for my pothos/money plants/ivies. Lost count of the number of times I have presented them to friends. All whiskey bottles with cork become our water bottle. There is not a single plastic water bottle or purchased glass water bottle in my home.



All glass jars are used as containers for masalas etc - something that I have seen my mother and grandma doing.

3. Recycle: In India, though we things are recyclable, most of them are not since we depend on manual scavengers. Luckily, we also have a system of kabadwalas. I try not to buy anything that comes in a plastic bottle and try my best to choose the option in tin or glass. 

However, when plastic bottles, do come to my house, they never leave via the garbage bag. I keep all of them together. When I have enough of them, I call the housekeeping staff at our society to take them and the newspapers. They sell it to be the kabadwalas so, my waste in recycled and someone who needs the money get to earn. 

Also, have you heard about the new initiate by The Body Shop? You can deposit their empty bottles back to store. There are some other brands who did this long back. I did a post in 2013 regarding this.

Recently, The Body Shop launched a Community Trade Recycled Plastic Program in India. This ensures the right price for plastics to the waste picker ensuring a steady livelihood. In fact, TBS recycled 250ml haircare bottles will contain 15% Community Trade recycled plastic. 


Things I wish to do: 

1. Start using Menstrual Cups. I hate using pads - the amount of plastic breaks my heart. There are several versions online and I am confused. Is there any way I can check them before I buy? Anyone knows any shop in NCR where I can get them? Any recomendations?

2. Reduce the number of plastic bottles while traveling. I actually started doing this. I used to carry a plastic or steel bottle and refill it when and where I could. But, water in India is not that great. I need to find some solution here.

Love,
Shayoni


(PS: This post was supposed to go up yesterday but I got caught up in few other things. I will also add some more images here later)

2 comments

  1. Even i want to start using Menstrual Cups. I will buy this month for sure. Its in my to do list now

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It is my top priority too but the more I research about it, the more confused I get. I need to buy a couple to test out soon. Let me know if you find a great one.

      Delete

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