There’s been some noise around the ban on various single use plastics. I support the ban. I can see others support it too. And others yet trying to make it work. Despite the fact that I have pangs about people losing their livelihood and others being ‘inconvenienced.’ Funny. Plastic was undoubtedly introduced to make our lives more convenient. I had learnt to reduce plastic use early on. I think my parents got it from me and became better than me at it. Or may be they taught me, I don’t remember. Either ways, the problem, though, isn’t just that.
Garbage. I’ve been thinking I should do something about it.
That’s all I do – I think. I don’t ‘do’. I hope to change that, this year. Pick one thing. I’m picking the crap that you throw away. Like I picked the plastic bottle from atop and walked back half a dozen times as I was descending, because I would pause to take in the view, leave the bottle behind and remember only a little later, to go back. I finally dumped it in the first dustbin I found. Sadly, I didn’t find any until I had descended all the way down. Your crap. It was just a plastic bottle. There was more. I could have carried a sack and picked more. I didn’t.
This post is an attempt to get started. I wish I sustain myself. I pray for strength, for perseverance. I wish also for help. Those of you are are reading and wish to get associated with the cause, feel free to write to me. We’ll figure something together. Given who I am, I could do with some help. I can do the physical work. Someone please take up the cerebral stuff, will you?
Garbage. I have two huge bins that overflow, right across the street. I see that at the street corner a dozen times a day. I believe I’ve been normalised, if that’s the right way to put it. I want to change that. I want to stop accepting such things. At least one thing. I propose education, lobbying / legal routes & personal discipline as three ways to work towards it.
Garbage. It increases with consumption. You can’t escape that. The more you consume, the more crap you produce. Ever eat too much? The solution isn’t just banning plastics – because alternatives will easily be developed. They are, already. Soon we’ll have aluminium foil, cloth bags, those seedy cloth-bad like things and God knows what else. If it only a question of money & convenience, then we don’t think of the long term consequences. Money and convenience are as much our friends as they are foes. We have to be taught that, early on. Any single use ‘thing’ by definition is unsustainable. We must work towards reducing consumption of any kind and at least of packaging in particular. For instance, I carry bags when I step out of the house. I have half a dozen of them & I pick one or more according to the purpose. I have one stashed away in my laptop & travel bags, and one in my car. I just use them as much as possible. In fourteen years, I’ve used three phones. The third one is three years old. I am tempted to buy a newer and ‘better’ one. And I put off the temptation. This holds good for many other things. Reminds me of my home grown stalactites and stalagmites. Gee. Am I proud of remembering those terms! I’ve been steadfast in living with this refrigerator, even though it makes me slog. Over the years, with increasing frequency, I must add. Is anyone willing to take it from me? That may be an incentive to buy another one. I promise not to be sentimental about it.
Garbage. We must segregate it first. Then educate others to do it. And then we must lobby with the system for door to door collection at appointed times and in accordance with strictly enforced rules. Garbage can get out of homes only through people appointed to do the job, according to the rules set. People who violate must find rotting garbage left behind in their homes / premises. There’s no other way out. If I can just dump it somewhere, why would I care?
Garbage. Why would people segregate it? That it is collected once a day at the appointed time is the only incentive, I guess. We educate people to make the ‘right’ choices in life. What is ‘right’ can of course vary with time & place, but choice we must make – that’s at once a boon and a curse for the human race. And at this point of time in our evolution, I think this is one of those unavoidable choices. And how we choose can make all the difference. I won’t have anybody after me. I’m hoping the garbage truck will pick me up one day. Not the same for many of you, is it?
That apart, ever think how if there was one thing we could help our children with, it is the ability to make wise choices? Is that the crux of education itself, I wonder.
So please think about it. and unlike me, I hope you act as well.