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…