My waste My responsibility 🙂
I belong to a family of modest means and live in the suburbs of New Delhi in a densely populated locality called Aya Nagar. When I heard of the topic for this essay, I was not sure if I would be able to write enough about it. I thought about it for a few days and came across the idea of “Waste not, want not” which made me realise that the topic of “My waste, my responsibility” was perfect. If we begin by first being mindful about not generating waste, then the world will become a better place for everyone.
I am a daughter, sister, student, friend, and most importantly, the captain of my own responsibilities. As a result of this, I have an important role not only towards myself but also towards my community. I need to make everyone around me more aware of the small changes that can keep Mother Earth clean and green, even in the future.
I became more aware of my responsibility towards the environment in Class 6. Before that, my parents took care of everything for me. However, even then, they set a very good example and I learnt a lot from their way of living.
Growing up, my mother was the one who took care of our household duties. She set a good example by never wasting anything. She took care while preparing vegetables to ensure minimum waste. If any waste was generated, she would take it to be fed to the cows in the neighbourhood. When we outgrew our clothes, she often passed it on to those in need, cut up the fabric pieces to make reusable kitchen cloth or layered pieces together to make quilts for cold winter nights. While growing up and even today, we don’t even waste water. We still use a bucket and mug to bathe instead of the shower.
Over time, I adapted these practices in my daily life and learnt to minimise the waste I generate. I now, even make a conscious effort to walk to places rather than use public transport. I can proudly say that my carbon footprint is truly minimal. This is something I achieved with minimal effort and maximum gain. I am healthier because I walk to places, too.
Like everyone else, I often end up with plastic wrappers when we buy anything. Such a small thing like a plastic wrapper will gradually build up to become a big problem. So, I collect all the plastic wrappers from material I buy and makes eco-bricks with them by stuffing them into disposable plastic bottles. In fact, I even collect wrappers from my neighbours and friends and use them in my eco-bricks. I regularly speak to them to encourage them to make eco-bricks at home or use the disposable plastic bottles to create vertical gardens.
To prevent the addition of chemical waste to our ground water, I have even started making my own soaps at home. These soaps contain no harmful chemicals which will not harm our groundwater and also do not need plastic wrappers, since it is made at home. I have also tried to encourage others to make their own soaps by visiting nearby villages and conducting workshops for them.
Living a sustainable life which is kind to Mother Earth involves working with the community. One person cannot make a change. Like they say, it takes a village to raise a child. In this case, it will take all of us to save the earth from being buried under waste. Luckily for me, I also have the opportunity to volunteer with an NGO called the SowGood Learning Farm, which works with children and government schools and encourages them to grow their own food and lead a more eco-friendly and sustainable life with do-it-yourself projects.
While volunteering at the farm, I often share my ideas with the children there and their parents too. We get together to make things like handmade paper, notebooks with one-sided paper, recycled bottled planters and often take the message to a larger community through online workshops.
Every a small step like carrying a cloth bag instead of taking a new bag from the shop every time we buy something or carrying a bottle of water instead of purchasing a disposable bottle every time can go a long way in preserving Mother Earth. This is something I do every time I step out of home.
Imagine if all of us come together as a community and decide to minimise the waste we generate. That one simple change can make a huge impact.
In the Atharvaveda, there is a line which says, “Mata Bhumi putroham prithivyah” which means the Earth is my mother and I am her child. Each of us have a responsibility to realise this and take every step possible to make our Mother Earth proud of us. Begin by making a small change today. It is not just my responsibility, it is our responsibility and will surely make a very big, positive difference.