Reduce, Reuse and Recycle
In India, we are aligning towards Anti - RRR. With all the globalization, we have started believing Western is bestone. There is a huge surge in the way we used to consume and buy products. There are more and more super markets. More and more foreign products easily available locally, not to mention the increase in the fast food outlets , especially the ones which have known to cause obesity out there in the west - the KFCs and MCds.
So instead of reduce we are on the path of increase. The per capita production of waste in a developing country like India is still much lesser than the per capita Waste in a country like USA or UK. But while they are trying to reduce, if we get on the path of Increase, it is much more difficult to bring in a change in developing country like India.
The older generation in India is careful about this concept. I have always seen the old people at home try to think about how to use something before showing it the path of dust bin. But of late, people have learnt to throw things off. A very simple example is how once upon a time, a nice pair of dress in good condition made of silk would rotate across various cousins sisters in a family. Not anymore, we cannot think of reuse mostly. We are into the culture of throw and buy new. With more BigBazaars on our ways, things seem cheaper than earlier, the cost and ease of availability have made us think reuse as not prestigious.
We have a long way to go before we can even say we are recycling things. Even in the more educated environments like offices,I do not see waste segregation . At homes people just are not educated enough on importance of waste segregation. Cartons claim and show recycle symbol but where are we collecting stuff which can be recycled. Most of these are reaching landfills and polluting our environments.
Arguably the biggest contributors and the systems which need to make RRR their principle are the industries. The manufacturing Industry needs to inculcate the habit of RRR. To make sure the industries do this, the governance needs to bring in policies. But only when as a society we follow these can we ensure that it will enter our mainstream politics. Very rarely does an aspect like this become important agendas for government. Unless the waste causes breakout of epidemic or causes serious environmental issues, these don’t even fall in the list of issues the government would look at. Most often, while discussing these aspects, we feel totally helpless on what we could do. But things need to start at home. For example one day in a week, decide not to use plastic at all or say no to outside food atleast once a week or say no to a certain simple daily usable product which can be prepared more efficiently indigenously like tooth powder or a soap or a shampoo or a washing dish powder. It will give us a confidence that we could do something and encourage us to be creative in our ways.Leading a simple life will require us to think creatively. For example, I realized that the sodium lauryl Sulphate used in tooth powder for getting the froth is not very good for health. So while I searched for how to prepare toothpowder at home. It was very simple recipe – Salt, bakingsoda and clove oil . I tried it for a month , then continued it for a year. I never had any problems. When I made it next time, I added a few of my own ingredients like Neem powder, Turmeric. After another six months, I decided to switch my toothpowder to ayurvedic and am now using Vicco Vajradanti. Similar to this, I rarely use the Shampoo and even when using , it is mostly ayurvedic. It requires us to change our lifestyle slightly, but its doable. For all of my friends out their who have the practice of smoking or drinking, it goes without saying that if we can change some basic things in our day to day life and see them become better, why not try leaving the bad practices even if they are once in a while.