My Waste, My Responsibility
“Air quality index in Delhi continues to be severe”, “Review meet held over plastic waste management”, “Waste should not be thrown into the water bodies”, “Fire crackers banned in Delhi-NCR, places with poor air quality across India till Nov 30”. We get up early in the morning and read these headlines in the newspaper almost every day. ‘Waste’, Pollution’ and ‘Waste Management’ are the terms everyone is aware of in today’s time and they need not be defined because everyone is bearing the ill effects of the pollution caused by the generation of tons of waste every day.
We are in the 21st century and we have progressed in the fields of science and technology. We have become more civilized from the pre-historic man and adopted new ways of life. Science has gifted us with machines and new technology which has made our work easier but every coin has two sides and the other side of the coin shows the problems faced by the generation of large amount of waste which is hazardous to mankind if not properly managed. The problem lies not in the advancement of new technology, we must progress as progress is necessary for the goodness of mankind but we must also not neglect the waste that is caused due to this. Waste is ought to be generated if something has to be produced because every reaction will produce some end product that can sometimes be useful or sometimes be waste. The problem lies in the poor management of this waste, if we would have been concerned with the its management from the very beginning, then the world would not have been facing the ill effects of this waste to such an extent as it is facing now. We actually never even consider giving time to something which is not useful to us and the only way we find to get rid of it is to throw it away. But this is not the solution. Cleanliness should not only be confined to our homes. The area where we live, our city, our nation and this entire world is our home. Our planet Earth has been very generous to each and every organism that thrives on it, it provides oxygen to each and every organism to an optimum amount to breathe and never differentiates between any as it considers us one, in the same way it provides us water, soil, air and everything that is required for our survival so we must consider our moral duty to take care of the entire planet and not just our homes or our lanes and streets. Therefore, this waste is our responsibility. We cannot even think of a life without water, air and soil. In our Indian culture we consider our country as a mother which provides us food, water, oxygen and nourishes us so we must take care of our mother. Considering the waste as our responsibility is not just our moral duty but also the need of the hour. If it is borne in the mind of each one of us then that day is not far when we would free from the menace of this waste.
Big changes can only happen when small efforts are added in the right direction.
THINGS WE CAN DO AS AN INDIVIDUAL
1. Before the manufacture of a product we must keep in mind that the product and the waste is eco-friendly. For instance, Plastic is a useful and cheap product but non-biodegradable so it has become a problem now. If we would keep this in mind before manufacturing then we can be saved from future problems. Also, if the waste produced is harmful then we must think of ways to manage it properly or to lessen its toxic nature.
2. We must avoid using the products that are harmful to the environment and look for some eco-friendly alternatives.
3. We must keep our streets and localities clean. The SWACCH BHARAT MISSION started by the government of India is a step in this direction and we all must actively participate in this. If proper rules are followed in every locality for the waste management then we can easily manage this waste.
4. We must promote the use of dustbins instead of throwing the
waste on streets.
5. For managing the air pollution, we must properly filter the waste that is released from factories several times before releasing it into the atmosphere.
6. We should use lead free petrol and promote carpooling in the urban areas where the air quality is extremely poor.
7. We should not use fire crackers but use diyas and lights to celebrate our festivals.
8. We must try to make the best out of waste because something that is waste for one person can be useful to the other person. All we need to have is an innovative mind full of ideas. I would like to elaborate more on this point because I feel that this is a way in which can save money and also contribute to the environment. I would like to cite the article that I recently read in the newspaper where best use of plastic has been made. Plastics for Change India Foundation, an NGO has constructed a free-of-cost house using the plastic waste such as wrappers of potato chips and other non-recyclable plastic for the construction of a house for a retired pourakarmika. It is made from 1500 kg of non-recyclable plastic material. And the best part is that this house has a life of 30 years. This is the best way to help the needy and contribute to the environment. There are so many homeless people in India if each one of them gets to live in such a house then the plastic which is toxic to the environment can be the reason for the happiness of so many people. Sometimes we just need to think a little out of the box and the things which were once problematic can be the reason for our happiness. Similarly, many items big or small can be made out of the waste.
9. We must follow the guidelines of the government for controlling pollution and should not violate them.
10. Use of scientific techniques and technology can help us tackle the problem of waste and pollution. I want to specifically mention the point of stubble burning which has peaked Delhi’s Air Pollution by 44% on November 1, according to SAFAR data. To solve this issue, an NGO, Green Gears is utilising the agricultural waste to make eco-friendly products like cups, plates, egg trays, and insulation boards. It is an alternative to the single-use plastic products. They also use hemp, coir banana, and corn residues and turn them into manure and when thrown in water it also serves as feed for algae and some varieties of plants. They have also made idols of Lord Ganesh with agricultural residue which is eco-friendly and has also helped farmers to earn little money.
11. Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) is also an effective way to protect our environment. The environmental impact of your business can be reduced in many ways like- reducing the use of water, creating products that can be recycled, reducing the amount of paper you waste etc.
12. Last but the most important point is that we need to be more sensitive towards our environment because it is a gift to us by the God and once it gets destroyed, it will ultimately lead to the destruction of the mankind.
If we carefully read the above points then we would find one thing common in each one of them, it is- we need to be more sensitive about our daily activities which affect the environment. The above points highlight that we need not do any extraordinary things daily to help save the environment, we only need to change our habits and be a little more sensitive towards the environment. We need to be more aware and spread the awareness about the daily activities which harm the environment adversely then we can save our environment. Moreover, I think that every individual should love the environment. If this love would be in the heart of every individual then we would not have to put any efforts to save our environment, the things will come naturally as a process. It is high time for us now and if we still do not do anything about it then we would be in great trouble in the near future. Each one of us has to come together and say ‘MY WASTE IS MY RESPONSIBILITY’ and I would conclude this by saying- SAVE YOUR ENVIRONMENT AND HENCE SAVE YOUR FUTURE. And we all must remember that the buzz word today to encourage waste management is based on- REDUCE, REUSE, and RECYCLE.