It is no secret that we are at the cusp of a huge climate crisis. And this has been looming over us for a long time. The unfortunate part is even though we are all aware of it, practically there is little we are doing. And yes governments need to step in but more importantly individuals also need to step up. Because once we start demanding it, changes will start making it’s way in. I come across friends and acquaintances who are all aware of this crisis but it saddens me to see how little they actually incorporate in their lives and this includes my own family.
Let me share with you some changes I brought into my life. The first and obvious one was plastic bags and water bottles. I don’t buy water unless I absolutely need it. One day I had walked in to my bathroom and I stared at all the various plastic bottles that adorned my shelf. Shampoos, cream, tooth brush etc etc. I felt a sudden wave of guilt.
The first thing I did was I replaced my toothbrush with a bamboo brush. Initially it was difficult and more expensive but I have begun to notice that it’s become more available and cheaper now.(Anyway I think its a small price to pay for change especially if we can afford it). Then I shifted to bath soaps instead of bath gels. I started figuring out an alternative to shampoos, and I have started discovering glass bottles and shampoo bars. That’s already 2 bottles off my shelf. I even took it a step further, I stopped using throwable ball points and started using ink pens. I have also started discovering toothpaste in glass jars. I make it a point to segregate my garbage. The next thing that caught my eye, was the amount of water our water purifiers waste to clean water. It’s criminal. So I started keeping a small bucket near the exit pipe. Each day easily 7 to 8 litres of water is saved. That water can be used for so many things. I have a little vice, I enjoy carbonated drinks. Now instead of buying plastic bottle of the shelf I buy the glass bottles, worse case scenario, I pick up a can.
Like I said if you start demanding products which encourage conscious living even the economy starts revolving around it. Bamboo tooth brushes were not easily available till 3 years back, now it’s easy. Now there are even tooth pastes that are sold in jars. Of course these products are slightly more expensive but I am sure when the demand increases they will no longer be that inaccessible. I also do believe that we don’t hesitate to spend 200 bucks on a coffee but we cringe when we need to spend a little more to change into these products. But it is us the more fortunate one’s financially who pollute the most.
There was another thing I started realizing as I started practicing these things, I was suddenly conscious of what I actually needed to buy and what I was just buying because I wanted to. Need vs want. And I realized there were so many things we junk up on because we are not conscious of our living. We just hoard whether we need it or not thereby producing more and more junk.
Now I am very aware of the fact that plastic or junk cannot be completely eradicated, but it probably doesn’t need to be, all we need to do is change where we can and use the rest judiciously. The plastic bag was created by Sten Gustaf Thulin, but not many are aware he didn’t make it to create clutter. He himself used to carry the same plastic bag in his pocket to re-use. It was just supposed to be an easier and more durable solution. It was never meant to be a throw away one time solution.
I am not sure if my actions will stop the Artic ice from melting or stop the Polar bears from starving or any of the countless things happening right now. And yes none of us can be completely carbon footprint free. Our existence itself is a burden nature bears. But as long as I am alive I owe it to be kinder to nature. If you have any practice you have incorporated in your life on these line, I would love to hear that.