The One Thing We Need to do This World Environment Day

Posted by Manya . . June 5, 2018 -
Politics and News

Today, June 5, is World Environment Day. Everyone is talking about it online whether they are tweeting, posting on Facebook, forwarding a gazillion WhatsApp messages and more. The theme of the day is – Beat Plastic Pollution. All this got me thinking, what are the few things which are in our control that we can do to ensure we are not contributing to the mess caused by increase in plastic in our environment.

I remember when we were growing up and there was a sudden introduction of plastic bags in the market. Each household took great pride in not just owning fancier plastic bags, which, mind you they would never lend to anyone, even the most favourite of family members, but in constantly reusing the bags till they had lost all colour and strength! However, there was a time not too long before that we managed perfectly well without plastic bags, with the use of cloth bags, products wrapped in newspaper and tied up with thread and groceries bundled up in dupattas or saree pallus.

None of us had any idea what this new source of pride would do to our environment decades later. How then, can we know what harms technologically-advanced products of today will bring decades down the line? Instead of being reactive shouldn’t we be proactive today about what we do and what examples we set for our future generations?

Here is the one thing I think we could do to make sure we are not needlessly corrupting our planet, after all we only have one and there is no Planet B!

So what is this one thing we can do? Every time we think of upgrading anything, be it a mobile phone, TV, laptop, refrigerator etc. let’s ask ourselves, “Do I really need this?” because remember, if you are upgrading a product, the old one needs to be disposed off. Do we have a smart enough garbage disposal system to ensure there is no harm to the environment when we dispose off a product?

Think repair before thinking upgrade.

Think need before thinking want.

“Earth provides enough to satisfy every man’s needs, but not every man’s greed” – Mahatma Gandhi

Having said that, in order to beat plastic pollution today, the immediate need is to consume less plastic, and for that here are six easy to follow steps we can take up as a way of life starting today-

  1. Refuse products that come in one-time-serve plastic containers
  2. Avoid straws altogether, else carry your own re-usable steel straws, paper straws or bamboo straws
  3. Use cloth or paper bags for shopping. What works best is to always have a spare cloth bag in your car, bag or bike.
  4. Carry your own coffee mug; use it where there is no choice but plastic or plastic-coated paper cups as options.
  5. Buy only unpackaged foods. Not all super market chains may have them, so buy from the local market vendors as much as possible.
  6. Always carry your garbage home and dispose it if you don’t find garbage bins whenever you go out.

Join in the movement and let’s work towards cleaning up our mess, right here, right now.

#BeatPlasticPollution #WorldEnvironmentDay

Manya . June 5, 2018

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