“Zero Waste” living in India is a buzzword now. But each of us agree with the fact that our ancestors were the OGs of this alternative lifestyle. Scratch that, It wasn’t even an alternative lifestyle – it was the ONLY logical lifestyle!
But only around the 1970s plastic overuse has started. Now it’s its just straight up “Plastic abuse”. Plastic when invented was a game changer. It made life easier for medical professionals especially! Due to plastics non-corrosive nature, lightweightedness & durability it really made a lot of sense to see plastic as an advantage in many fields of life. However, plastic became a concern when it started to replace most of our traditional materials/goods made of wood. steel & aluminium. Now, wherever you go – the bathroom, the bedroom, the kitchen or even your Puja space, there’s plastic everywhere. Even the camphor and cotton wicks we use come packed in plastic.
Here are 5 easy tips you can start off with right from this second to reduce your plastic waste as a starter if you’re trying to be environmentally conscious.
1. BYOB – Bring your own bottle
Yup, let’s start right there.
As basic as that sounds, start carrying your own bottle! It’s gonna save you money & reduce your plastic foorprint. Let’s say you go out 4 times a week, and 3 out of 4 times you buy a water bottle. Thats 20/- X 3 = 60/- and multiply this with 52 and that equals 3120/- per year that you spend packaged water bottles and this amount will only go higher but never less because water bottles are sold for 40 INR too now. Now thats 50 plastic bottles & 3120/- rupees per year for 1 person. Do the math for 10,000 people or 1 lakh people. The amount of plastic waste generated is crazy. So BYOB! Bring your bottle!
2. BYOB – Bring your own bag!
Everytime we go out to buy vegetables, we may end up getting atleast 10 really thin really low micron plastic covers that are banned yet used.
The problem is, plastic bags begin as fossil fuels and end up as lethal trash in landfills and the ocean. Birds frequently confuse shredded plastic bags for food, resulting in harmful waste filling their bellies. These covers breakdown in the water bodies and become microplastics and enter our food chain. There are a hundred reasons as to why plastic bags are unnecessary. & carrying your bag isn’t even hard. Always have a rolled up bag stored in your vehicle storage and your handbags/backpacks. Trust me, you will use it very frequently.
3. Choose shampoo bars over toxic liquid shampoos
Every year around 552 million shampoo bottles are dumped into the landfills. That is a huge number. And shampoo bottles are not recyclable. The chemicals in the shampoo disrupt the endocrine system and could potentially cause cancer and induce early puberty in girls.
These chemicals also bleach the coral reefs and disrupt the marine ecosystem too. Many researches have proved the link between parabens in shampoo and cancer and endocrine disruptors.
An alternative to this is to use soap nuts or shampoo bars. The age old trick was to use soapnuts to wash hair. Authentic Soapnuts truly are amazing! But if you really do not have the time to spend with soap nuts, shampoo bars maybe the solution. In 2019 I came across shampoo bars and ever since I’ve been using only shampoo bars for my hair. I’ve been so mesmerized with Shampoo bars so much that we are launching our own range of Shampoo bars!
4. Bath with a bucket and mug instead of using shower head.
Only 0.1% of the available water is drinkable, while the remainder is kept in glaciers. As a result, it is critical that we save every drop of water. Water is required for all human activity and consumes a significant amount of energy. Conserving water also saves energy. Water becomes incredibly important since there would be no produce if there was no water. Despite being surrounded by water on three sides, India confronts several water challenges in the north and north west.
A showerhead may release up to 5 litres of water in one minute.Nearly 500 million people live in India, a country whose terrain is highly drought-prone on 42% of the time. This is a crucial piece of sustainable living information. Time your showers as well. You really need not bathe in the shower for too long as it also damages your skin and hair. We all like taking warm showers for an hour, but at what cost? #2minuteshower was popular on Twitter a few years ago. I hope by now you understand the value of water as a resource and why it is necessary to preserve it.
5. Reduce eating junk food that comes in plastic. Good for planet, great for your gut!
50% of the plastic in the Pacific ocean garbage patch gyre comes only from plastic packaging of junk food.
Remember that snickers bar you ate 6 years ago? Yeah that one – Its cover is still existing somewhere in some form of microplastic.
I was a junk food addict a few years ago and I really did not see the amount of plastic waste I was producing just by eating junk food. Now when I go to the supermarket, I don’t see junk food as food at all but a creative way of selling highly salted and sugary substances in attractive plastic packaging. I wouldn’t ask you to quit eating junk food like chips and chocolates completely, but at least reduce eating them by 50%. This change alone will impact your health and the environment in a positive way.
Read here about Pacific ocean garbage patch :
Tip: You can buy chips and snacks at the hot chips without any packaging by carrying your own boxes.