With Great Power comes Great Responsibility, you might have heard this in the sensational movie, “The Amazing Spider Man”. This quote is something that we appreciate and acknowledge. But this becomes a total game changing belief, if you switch the nouns. That is “With Great Responsibility ,comes Great Power”. How? Let’s take waste management as an example. When we keep blaming the government, the municipal corporation, the residents of the colony for the unorganized waste disposal, we are actively giving away our power to contribute our bit! Now when you start believing ,”My waste, My responsibility” ,you fix the responsibility on yourself and hence have the power to change the tables! With this phenomenal belief in mind, let’s get going:
Why is waste management important in the first place?
(a)Do you know that all the waste we generate ends up in a landfill? Worse, we have built a Mountain of Trash, in Ghazipur, New Delhi , housing 13 million tons of garbage! The plight of the residents of Mulla Colony, Ghazipur who reside in the vicinity , would put things in perspective:
i)24×7 exposure to toxic gases
ii)There’s no fresh air to breathe
iii)Children and adults falling prey to diseases, alike
iv)Frequent cattle deaths due to the increased pollution
(b)Let’s talk about the ones with five senses: A feature, in The Hindu, on World Wildlife Day, titled “Meet the dumbest creature on the planet, the sea turtle”: “Such is the lack of intelligence that a sea turtle cannot even tell the difference between a plastic bag and a jellyfish. That says a lot when you consider that Jellyfish is the turtle’s favourite food.” This struck me hard! The article goes on to compare the unimaginable feats that humans have achieved, like we have landed on Mars through our intelligence, we have also set foot on the faraway Moon, but we are also the ones who put the plastic bag in the ocean!
And because, we have taken up responsibility for the waste that we dispose, let’s focus on how we can solve the problem in hand:
(a)The Game of Throws!
Here we come up with the Game of Throws, that you can play, using the 8R’s before you consider anything as “waste”:
1.Rethink your choices
2.Refuse single use
5.Refurbish old stuff
6.Repair before you replace
7.Repurpose by being creative
8.Recycle as the last option
Some note-worthy examples to throw light on these self explanatory rules, are :
i)Used up water like water left after we bathe, wash clothes; can be directed to water the plants in the garden.
ii)Kitchen waste into compost for the kitchen garden.
iii)Reusing old coffee mugs as pen stands, torn clothes as kerchief, photo frames as accessory hangers.
iv)Repainting an old chest of drawers instead of buying an entirely new one
(b)Responsible waste disposal
Responsible waste disposal comes into picture, after you have played “The Game of Throws”!
1.Segregation of waste into Wet and Dry waste
2.Collecting newspaper scrap and metal scrap ,to hand it over to a scrap dealer(yes, you gain money out of this!)
3.Handing over e-waste to e-waste collection centers
By doing this, you are helping the sanitation worker and reducing the amount of waste going to a landfill to an extent of 60%!
Lights, Camera, Action
I really hope that this essay has sensitized you on the importance of managing the waste that we generate. The real success is when you take action on the solutions!
So let’s go #zerowaste#GameofThrows#8R’s#minimalism