Do you know where the waste you produce on daily basis ends? Does it go back where it started? Is it recycled correctly so that it does not harm you in future? We do hardly pay attention to these small things, as we are not aware of the bigger impact of our action on the environment. Though sustainability is becoming a buzzword, however, lack of awareness at the grass-root level is one of the major obstacles. However, a few minor changes in your daily routine can help you start a sustainable life.
In a conversation with Mita Bannerjee who is the Founder of Team Miracle sheds some light on sustainability and environment degradation. She speaks about the mantra of Reduce, Reuse and Recycle
s that can help in leading a sustainable life.
The Team Miracle is a support group based in Pune that actively works with Paraplegic soldiers, poor cancer patient and orphans. For the last six years Miracle has been conducting environmental activities and since then they are working on saving the environment and making people more aware of adopting a sustainable lifestyle.
“The very word “Sustainable,” says it all! However, the development is not sustainable, how long can it go on? At some point of time, it’s bound to slow down, stop and go in the reverse direction. Let me just give you an example to make it clear. Look at the use of chemical-laden fertilisers and pesticides. When the crops are watered, these sink into the soil, contaminating our groundwater; or run off into adjacent lakes and rivers, again contaminating the water. Since drinking water is sourced from here, it gradually becomes unfit for drinking. Also, the fish and other water plants, which oxygenate the water, die off and as a result of the river also dies. We’re seeing this in many parts of India, and the world," said Mita Banerjee.
She further highlighted, "All-natural resources, whether water, fossil, fuel, metals – are finite and it's not sustainable to keep using them recklessly. Forest is being cut mercilessly, leading to rising temperature and forest fires which causes more destruction and everything together is causing global warming”.
What is sustainable development?
Sustainable development is the idea that human societies must live and meet their needs without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs. The “official” definition of sustainable development was developed for the first time in the Brundtland Report in 1987. (You matter, 2020)
Sustainable living is defined as what we choose responsibly today in our lifestyle to keep our environment in a good shape and for the future generations. Sustainability is not just only about buying eco-friendly products. It’s a full circle of how you use it and then decompose it giving back to earth.
Talking about the awareness about the sustainability, Mita said, “In, some cases we are not aware or educated enough. But here are some things I have noticed, when we hold an awareness program and talk to the group of people to adopt a more sustainable lifestyle – segregate your waste, give it for recycling. The more positive response is from the rural background that accepts the idea happily. They also add gems of wisdom about the unsustainable lifestyle as compared to their traditional ones, which respected nature. While in urban areas it is still preferred to have a conference and seminars where the issue can be discussed but still have a long way to be accepted.”
She also said, “Sustainable development is not rocket science… yes, it does take a bit of thought in the beginning. But just remember the keywords REDUCE, REUSE, RECYCLE. One of the key steps to sustainable living is to promote RECYCLING because as we know all resources are finite. But to recycle any product we have to start from the very first step that is SEGREGATION of all our trash so that it can ultimately be turned into treasure. It can be turned into rich compost; plastic can be recycled to make fuel; E-waste, tetra packs, glass, cardboard, each time we recycle we turn it into a valuable product.”
Sustainability is surely not rocket science and can be adopted easily with little modification, all it needs is the sense of responsibility towards resources available. Here are few ways to bring those little modifications in your lives and live a greener and sustainable life:
Using biodegradable products: Increase the use of bio-degradable products in your daily household chores. From using biodegradable garbage bags to a bamboo kitchen towel or even using biodegradable sanitary pads or a menstrual cup will help you build a better tomorrow without jeopardising your resources. To know more about alternatives: https://www.theearthview.in/saathi-a-peek-into-the-made-in-india-brand-making-a-difference-with-its-biodegradable-sanitary-pads/
Eliminate plastic: One of the most used material in our daily lives which is Plastic is toxic and results in damaging the environment. From the toothbrush to bottles we use in our household, everything is plastic. Little alterations such as using a bamboo toothbrush, mud bottle or even recycling the used plastic bottle instead of throwing in the garbage can help you save this earth. To Know the alternatives: https://www.theearthview.in/beco-helps-you-to-say-good-bye-to-plastic-with-its-eco-friendly-alternatives-for-daily-households/
Reduce water consumption: With changing for better we need to take the responsibility of using water wisely and effectively.
Decomposing: Decomposing your waste is the most important step towards sustainability. At source decomposition of your kitchen waste will lead to responsible waste management and help in reducing the landfills.
For a better and sustainable life, lets make better choices: For more DIY sustainable methods read: https://www.theearthview.in/saathi-a-peek-into-the-made-in-india-brand-making-a-difference-with-its-biodegradable-sanitary-pads/
Written by: Nidhi Choudhary