Learning in the time of Pandemic… Zero Waste

An important life changing habit to learn from this lock down is ‘Zero waste’.

The concept of zero waste is not new but not taken seriously by urbanities. How much waste we produce daily just have a look at land filth site where some part of city waste end up probably millions of tons monthly, if this is not possible than at least start looking at your house trash bin, how much waste you or your family produce weekly, and how much of this waste is reusable, recyclable and large quantity of it is a trash bad for humans, animals and planet health?

Homo Sapiens the only species on planet earth that produces big mountains of waste enough to corrupt the planet’s environment and invite climate change catastrophe, pollution levels are dangerously high, climate change effects are visible, Homo sapiens become the biggest threat to other species and nature. According to World Bank data the world generates 2.01 billion tonnes of municipal solid waste annually.

In urban way of life citizens are obsessed with plastic consumption, from water bottle to cheap plastic bag a grocery store offered, things stored in refrigerator, things used in wash room like shampoo, conditioner, gel soap, toothpaste, deodorant ETC, and most of them cannot be recycled so dangerous for environment and hazardous for human health. The consumer market is obsessed with plastic packaging because it is cheap, so start discouraging plastic that ultimately will force MNCs to rethink and invest in plastic alternate and biodegradable packaging.

‘Zero Waste: The conservation of all resources by mean of responsible production, consumption, reuse, and recovery of product, packaging, and materials without burning and with no discharge to land, water, air that threatens the environment or human health’. (zwia.org/zero-waste-definition/). “Zero Waste is a goal that is ethical, economical, and efficient and visionary, to guide people in changing their lifestyles and practices to emulate sustainable natural cycles, where all discarded materials are designed to become resources for others to use. Implementing Zero Waste will eliminate all discharges to land, water or air that are a threat to planetary, human, animal or plant health.”

The reasoning behind the Zero Waste movement is simple:

  •  If you refuse to buy or accept products with wasteful packaging, the demand for those products will decline.
  •  By refusing to purchase products stored in single-use plastic, you’ll help address our planet’s burgeoning plastics problem. You’ll also eliminate many toxins from your life and our environment.

· By streamlining your shopping list and what you accept into your house, you’ll also streamline your life. You may find you have more time as a result—to do the things that matter.

Urbanites often have more choices and they are the ones with excessive use of plastic packaging, here their role is important to break consumer market status quo, and push hard for eco- friendly manufacturing and packaging.

Here are few simple tips to live with ‘Zero waste’;

Few things I tried and sharing;

  • Stop buying in plastic packaging. Wooden pots, Clay pots, Stainless steel and glass containers are alternatives, can be reused.
  • Use cloth or organic bags made of plants i.e. bamboo baskets, baskets made of date leaves, banana leaves for packaging food items.
  • Stop buying preserved and cooked food in a plastic container; try to cook food as much you need. Avoid food waste, do meal planning for a week.
  • Segregate compost bin, use it for plant fertilizer specifically kitchen waste. Compostable items are fruits, vegetables parts, eggshells, coffee and tea bags, these items are very useful for plants organic fertilizer.
  • Try using natural cleaner like vinegar, lemon for dish washing and can be easily produced at home. A multipurpose cleaner for cleaning.
  • Water bottle; Use metal or glass water bottles, healthy and reusable.
  • Lunch Box; Carry your lunch box that is reusable, and use metal and wooden utensils, never use plastic utensils.
  • Recycle; recycle everything you can.

I would suggest this is very helpful to review your shopping list twice before going to market, keep examining your trash bin regularly for what mistake has been done by buying a product that is not eco-friendly. Before you go shopping , carry your paper or cloth bag that purchases open uncooked food items like vegetables, fruits , eggs, spices, grains, pulses, pasta, from the market where it is available for open selling. Refill shampoo or hand wash bottles, start using soap than gel body products, canned or cooked food in plastic packages do not buy, stop buying preserved and cooked food in plastic packages.

This is actually a mind set to adopt zero waste living style, then you will tune to act like conserving water, waste recycling, avoid plastic and other products that are dangerous for the environment. We must act now for the sustainability of nature and adopt a zero waste’ way of living, start from home and multiply it to your street rather than city and to business offices for the greater benefit of humankind and nature. The MNCs must turn their corporate social responsibility wings towards this, States must ensure legislation and enforcement for a sustainable environment, and most importantly start now, start from yourself, start from home.

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