Leading a sustainable and eco-friendly lifestyle is not difficult. It just requires us to alter our mindset, as well as becoming concerned and sensitive towards the need of the hour. It is a simple idea which just needs us to readjust our consumption habits.
The “use and throw” culture that we have adopted shows our carefree attitude, clearly telling the world that the waste is not my problem as long as it does not enter my house. Little do we realise that this waste that we throw out each day from our homes, reaches landfills and water bodies. Most of this waste is non-biodegradable and will outlive us and our future generations, polluting and damaging our planet… the only ‘home’ known to mankind.
If we carry on living like we are, we will soon have no air to breathe and no water to drink. Our bodies will be plasticized—just like the plastics in the belly of fish, birds and animals. Micro plastics have been found in about 80% of the sea-salt we are eating and about 83% of drinking water contains single-use plastics. It’s only a matter of time, when medical scans will start showing plastics in our bodies as well. Do you know most of the water sold in plastic bottles, which many people buy thinking it is safer, is actually more toxic due to leaching of toxins from the plastic in the severe heat?
It is necessary for us to be compassionate and aware of our environment and the impact of our actions on the same. Where there is a will there are always options of environment friendly alternatives available for use. It may be slightly costlier than cheap plastic… but I want to ask, is there any cost that is too high, when it comes to saving our planet and the human race from extinction?
The day we all start treating our planet as our home, we will keep it clean. We need to look after our planet with love and care. We need to take actions in our lives and influence our friends and family. This will set into motion a domino effect of change towards sustainable living. Each one of us can influence and make a huge difference by changing the environment around us. All these little changes will fit like pieces of a puzzle, and our planet can be saved. No effort is either too big or too small when it is made to save our environment.
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Our over-consumptive nature must undergo a change. We should ask ourselves, “Do we actually need what we are buying? Is it just greed or desire to be more fashionable or to be ‘falsely inclusive’ in a materialistic society?” We must learn to appreciate what we have, and true human values rather than possessions. We, the youth, can change our world into a sustainable one.
Over the past year and a half, I have realized that our consumption habits are directly linked to the environment—its pollution and degradation. And the environment directly impacts our health—whether we feel the impact today or ten years down the line.
Few things that can be easily altered in our lifestyles:
- Refuse all single use plastics when eating out—like plastic straws, cutlery, stirrers, cups, etc. If you cannot drink without a straw then buy a metal/bamboo straw and carry with you.
- Carry your own steel/copper/glass bottle and refill it along the way. Refuse water in plastic bottles.
- Carry a cloth bag in your car, handbag, and school bag for use in shopping or bringing back extra books from school.
- Use paper files for school and office.
- Switch to bamboo toothbrushes.
- Do not buy fruits and vegetable packaged in plastic or Styrofoam.
- Use pens with refillable cartridge.
- Refuse balloons as decoration.
- Say no to glitter.
- Gift unwrapped presents. Avoid waste generation.
- Switch to glass or metal bottles at home.
- Switch to steel or glass containers for storage of food in the refrigerator.
- Keep a carton in your home, trash all your plastic waste like bread wrappers, empty packets of milk, chips, bottles, containers etc. Call a recycling agency to pick it up once a month from your home. This way we ensure “responsible recycling”, and less trash going to landfills and oceans.
- Send all your e-waste for proper dismantling and recycling to certified recyclers. Collect and send once in a month.
Though recycling is not the final solution for the huge mountains of waste we generate. Let’s all be a part of the solution to save your planet…