World Environment Day:
It really feels good when the activities around World Environment Day, which is on June 5th, engulf the aura. We all pity the sources of pollution and do pledge to give out bit back to nature. But ask yourself, how long do we follow? India is a huge country and even small steps taken individually can help us save a clean nature for our kids.
And this year, India is the official host of World Environment day, with the theme of Beat Plastic Pollution. (#Worldenvironmentday #beatplasticpollution). The theme is way too tricky as using plastic in almost everything is what we are doing and adding lots of weight on this earth. Low-grade Polythene’s, poor plastic bottles, non-recyclable plastics are rampant in every lane, with every retailer and we all happily buy it looking at our comfort.
Would you love a plastic floating by, in the waters closer to the beach you are relaxing at? I’m sure, none would love that.
Some grim facts about Plastic pollution :
Watch out this video, wherein Marine biologists help remove a plastic straw from a sea turtle’s nose. It made me cry, really cry! What are we doing as humans!
Take a pause, breathe for a moment, think on these facts, lay emphasis on like what would be the future years be for our kids and grandkids?
It’s not the problem of India alone, it is a global problem and we as global citizens need to fight with it. And this fight should start with small things along with educating kids, wherein we can really say bye to plastics and opt for more biodegradable options. Kids have be a focus here, as they are the future generations. They can easily say “No” to plastics right when they are small. They are the ones who will work upon biodegradable Plastics version and thus let this start begin right now.
Beat Plastic Pollution, Start from your home and life :
1. Make a list :
Let the start begin right from making the list, this is what I did. I listed down all the plastic items I had in my home and made a next column of “Biodegradable resources” against those listed items. Believe me, I researched a lot and could find so many reusable better options.
2. Kitchen utilities :
Think of what our grannies used? They had either copper or glass or stainless steel options. Then why are we using these plastic wares? Apart from looking gracious in those colors, they really have no benefit for us nor for the environment. Then why not ditch them with Silver/Steel/Glass plates, bowls, cutlery? Every alternate is available in these variants and they are good for our health as well.
Stop using zip locks/ Plastic Tiffin boxes :
When you readily have a better alternative in the form of steel tiffin boxes. Steel is a non-reactive material and never harms our bodies.
Water Bottles :
Always use steel bottles while on the go or for kids’ school time. For home, you can have the options as Glass bottles, copper Jug’s (which are very good for health). Strictly say “NO” to those plastic bottles, which are not reusable and actually add up maximum to the plastic pollution. Bottled water is not only expensive, the plastic in which the water is is hazardous for our health.
Packaged foods and Juices :
These are completely in the plastic packaging and most of it is not recycled. Promote kids to go “Plastic-free” as much as possible and a small step towards it is to stop these plastic canned juices and packaged foods. It is much better if we give our kids “Homemade fresh juices”, buttermilk, and fresh foods. This will not only keep them healthy, off the extra sugar, but it will also help us contribute our lot to reduce Plastic trash.
If you feel, yogurts and curds are also adding up to it, try alternates. Curd can be easily made at home, start using fresh curd. If you like flavored yogurts during summers, like us, then opt for a yogurt maker, and make almost any flavor you like.
Say NO to Plastic Straw’s :
You’ve already read the facts and video of how serious straws can be. Every other outlet has some mocktail to serve in those plastic cans with plastic straws. Did you ever think, what happens to them? These are single used and end up in oceans. Did you knew that, you have the option of Reusable / steel straws?
Yes, they might be costly compared to the plastic ones, but see the longevity. They shall remain always with you. Take your own cups / Mason jars and straws and try saying no to the shops giving plastic straws. Do try, if one can start, why not others? Mason jars are cheap, they look trendy and are really apt for any type of drink.
Reusable mug for coffee :
When I was abroad, I used to see every second person having disposable coffee cups in their hands. They might look like paper but they’re usually lined with polyethylene, a type of plastic resin. Though it can be recycled, in most of the places due to lack of Recycling infrastructure, they all end up in landfills. As an alternate, you can always keep your reusable coffee mug on the go. This will really lead to much lesser trash of lids, and coffee cans. In your offices, ask the admin to start using teacups instead of these plastic ones. Coffee chains should actually be banned from pouring coffee into these plastic cups.
Chewing Gum :
So many of us love it, right? Ever thought how is it made? Do we know which gums are made from a sapodilla tree and which are artificial, basically synthetic rubbers? Most of them are synthetically produced, which means we are chewing on plastic and its toxins? Stop that right today.
The plastic of bread can easily be ignored, if we plan to bake our homemade, good wheat bread, actually with the richness of pure wheat. Else you can even opt for bread in the bakery who give it bundled in the paper.
3. Baby feeding bottles :
There are some good options in glass bottles, do ditch the plastic ones, and allow your toddler or in fact to grasp the glass bottles. Hot milk retains its texture and purity in them:). You can easily buy them from amazon here.
4. Diapers :
Well, you all can imagine the number of waste diapers can create. You have a great option in the form of “Cloth diapers”. Read the comfort of Cloth diapers, since I used them on my child for 90% of the time. I know a few mamas would not be really happy with this suggestion, but try to reduce the use of normal diapers. Cloth diapers are really soft and they help the baby’s skin breathe in a better way. And then you will contribute to the environment as well. You can buy them here.
5. Shopping Bags :
They are havoc, to environment, and to animals. Why not get some cloth bags stitched and use them for different purposes? I remember that’s what my mom used to do for all sorts of shopping. She had all sizes of bags made out of cotton cloth and they are really a great alternative to the plastic ones. Reusable, washable, and best biodegradable.
6. Birthday party :
From party favors to decorative materials, synthetic balloons, disposable cutlery, Birthday parties are a big source of plastic pollution. There are many earth-friendly balloons options available (Natural latex), if you don’t wish to let them go completely from your party. Try making lanterns, use a cloth or recycled paper cutouts for the decoration. Use diya’s which our grannies used to do. Return gift bags can be filled with some eco-friendly things as pencil colors, cookies, homemade dough, ginger-man, which will amuse kids. Even the gift wrapping should be done with natural paper or recycled paper. Kids can rather decorate it basis their imaginations and creativity. It will be fun for kids and your contribution to the environment.
7. Cloth/Wooden Toys :
I love wooden toys, though I cannot say that there is a 100% replacement for all plastic toys. The market is flushed with really cheap quality plastic toys. Kids put them in mouth, chew the toxins and we watch all of this happily. Try using soft cloth and wooden toys wherever the options are available. If not, opt for high-quality toys, wherein the plastic can be recycled. When your child no longer uses it, dispose of them at the recycling center instead of adding in the bin.
8. Start a Garden :
If you have a backyard, go for gardening. If you have space crunch still many options are available. You can prepare your own indoor garden. This will not just help you in clean air, but food waste can be easily converted into fertilizer for plants. You can use your garden to grow your vegetables, which will result in less dependence on grocery stores, thus less of plastic bag use. More of pure and fresh food!
9. Family Fun time :
The list-making should be a family activity and every time one plastic item is shunned, there should be a reward for it. This will encourage kids to ditch every possible plastic use from their daily lives. Remember, we are building their future, and kids need to be a part of this revolution.
10. Teach Kids Eco-friendliness :
This can be really a tedious task since we cannot help really young kids to understand the real magnitude of Plastic pollution. But a simple image or narration or the video shared above, that a turtle can die if a straw gets fixed in their nose will help kids understand the need.
- Involve kids in beach cleaning activities.
- Help them understand recycling and how we should reduce trash.
- Reward them when they quit plastic packaged items at the store.
- Different art and theatre forms may help them develop this vision.
- Take them for a visit to a recycling factory
After reading and watching all this, can you say “NO” to plastics which can be easily replaced by other options? We don’t need an answer, your soul needs an answer! Keep educating kids, they will create a difference.
Happy World Environment day! #Beatplasticpollution