Sunday, July 17, 2011

Essential Polluters - 2

How do we solve a problem like plastic and petroleoum?

I don't believe there is a solution except to stop using them completely. Which means we would have to find alternatives to these supported by tremendous political will power (in our country, this is nothing short of a miracle to ask for) to implement the alternatives... rather than bow down to pressures from businesses with vested interests.

Until then, a few things I try to do (as meagre as it might be… I am a firm believer in every drop counts):

(a) carry cloth or paper bags & minimize on the use of plastic bags (a bit obvious, that)

(b) if i do get bottles & containers in plastic that are reusable, I try to use them as much as possible - as storage, as holders of miscellaneous stuff, as food containers to give away.

(c) If there is plastic that I cannot reuse, I give it away at the scrap dealer (or kabadiwala) even if I have to give it away free, because they are some of the most resourceful people. Yes, believe it or not, the scrap chain is so systematic that they process anything that can be put to some use.

(d) Walk short distances or as much as I can instead of hopping into a cab or an autorickshaw (on a good day, I count it as part of my weight-loss program). Or use the public transport (wherever it's possible) - buses, trains/metro, when I have the time (I try and make a little extra time).

(f) Volunteer, donate or be an online activist with organizations that can work harder for the environment than I can.

I do have my 'lazy' days when the little voice in my head says, "Take the cab, it's more comfortable, less noisy" and I even succumb to it… but hey, I am no saint :). I know that there's much, much more that I can do but it's a start and soon I hope to get to the 'more'.

Some places you can check out for more info:

A few interesting articles to browse through:

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Essential Polluters - 1

Do you ever wonder how two of the most used and essential items, today, have also become the worst things that man could've invented?

1. Plastic - the world just cannot do without it… moi included. As hard as I might try, I cannot eliminate it completely from my life. It comes as the packaging around the food items I buy, as bottles & jars that hold cosmetics… heck! I even use plastic wrap, sometimes, as double-protection against oozing liquids while traveling.

2. Petro-products - As much as we tout the advent of electric cars and solar panelled vehicles, we are so hooked on to our racy speed machines that giving up on fossil fuels is just not going to be any time soon. Additionally, in India, what about the perpetual power problem that most states face. How do large manufacturing industries, hotels, retail and office complexes run their businesses when faced with prolonged power cuts? Generators….huge, gazillion-tonne ones which use diesel/ kerosene to run them.

Usage of both while highly helpful, are major contributors to environmental pollution building up across the world.

Not that I have any solutions to the pollution problem... not even close to it. But that doesn't stop me from thinking about it or trying to reduce my contribution to the mess.