Thursday, November 3, 2011

Heal this earth for our children

This year on Independence day an announcement was made at the gathering in our apartment that shortly they would take up zero waste management project and asked each resident to co-operate to make it a success. Now our apartment complex has some three hundred forty odd flats and even if we say four members per flat it would be a whopping thousand four hundred (rounding off) residents in this complex alone!

Imagine the waste produced by each of these flats and the apartment complex on the whole, on a day to day basis? Phew! is it not colossal?  I am taking the instance of only our apartment! One can then imagine the waste that gets collected all over the world! I was therefore very happy that here was an opportunity where we will leave lesser carbon imprint on this earth and not only that, my children would practically learn what would otherwise have been just another lesson in their textbook.

The project went underway from September onwards in a phase-wise manner. The first thing was to create awareness and this was done by having exhibitions and hosting a talk show with one of the experts in this field of zero waste management from Vellore, who spoke not only to the residents but also to the maids and other helpers. After this each and every flat was provided with clear cut instructions on how to segregate wet waste and dry waste. Also all the flats were given two different coloured dust bins- one red (for dry waste) and one green (for wet waste). No plastic liners were to be used and dustbins were to be covered with newspaper only.

Now the dry waste like plastic covers, milk covers, bottles etc were to be thoroughly rinsed and dried before putting into the bin as these would later  be sold and used for recycling. The wet waste like kitchen waste, dry flowers etc would be made into compost which could then be used to grow the very fruits and vegetables that we eat organically.

Initially some of the residents showed resistance and felt it was tedious and difficult.Some felt it was not their job in the first place to do this, the bins would be filthy when plastic liners are not used so on and so forth. But then I guess it is all about the change in mindset. If we cannot do our might in saving this earth then who will I wonder? Anyways now the initial glitches and hitches are done away with and things are going smoothly.

I think even with no research and education our ancestors were in sync with nature. They knew even then that they had to co-exist with nature on its own terms and disturbing nature would mean disruption of the very existence of human beings. Hence every single item used was eco- friendly, made from raw materials available in nature which would easily disintegrate and decompose and merge into nature once more to be  reused again. But post industrialisation has got us into the use and throw culture added with the most dangerous and toxic plastic and e-waste, poisoning  our very earth on which we live. So does it not then make each one of us responsible? Should we not start now and save our beautiful planet 'Earth' for generations to come? 

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