Our Prime Minister Mr. Narendra Modi got the prestigious Global Goalkeeper Award for the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan from Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. India has definitely improved its sanitisation coverage but we still have a poor waste management infrastructure.
We can help manage waste right from where it all starts and that is our home. The 3 important R’s that everyone talks about when we come across waste are Reduce, Reuse and Recycle.
Now the question, why should we use the 3Rs? Once we dump our trash properly, our duty is over, right? Absolutely wrong!! The current population of India is 1,387,160,324 as of January 2021. Think about the amount of trash generated on daily basis, then weekly basis and yearly basis.
The 3Rs help our environment and keep our planet clean. They also make one’s life eco-friendly and sustainable. Don’t forget that it will save you some bucks as well. Thanks to books and Peppa Pig, kids already have an idea about it. But how can we make sure that even our kids implement it in their daily lives.
We need to make sure that they know how and when can they reduce, reuse and recycle.
Reducing is nothing but cutting back on the amount of trash we make. This is the best way to keep our earth clean. Making less trash means no need to clean the mess. You are tackling the problem at the start itself.
Pack your kid’s lunch in lunchbox instead of paper or plastic bag. Even if its a sandwich, do not use cling wrap. Instead of using small plastic use and throw containers for sauces, chutneys and pickles, do one time investment in reusable containers like Tupperware.
Make kids carry reusable shopping bags like cloth ones instead of using plastic bags or ending up buying paper bags at the supermarket. Some people do prefer to carry their own bags but only to the vegetable market or supermarket. When it comes to shopping at the mall, a reusable bag might not look nice but think about the difference are you making. Less buying of paper bags means less production and even lesser cutting of trees to make them. All in all, good for the environment.
Make sure kids turn off the lights of their room when not in use. They cannot see any waste made out of overusing or wasting electricity but a lot of work goes behind making it and we try to avoid that waste as well while saving some money over the electricity bills.
Make sure kids do not waste water by leaving the faucets open while brushing. Use water only as much as you require. Switch to plain old bath from a bucket instead of a shower or a bathtub. Lack of water issues are very well known to all that we face almost every year in India. We even have organisations who keep looking for donations to build hand-pumps with pipelines in small villages where water needs are hardly met.
Use vegetable skins to make soups and broth. Garlic skin, onion skin and peels from vegetables like carrots, cucumbers and gourds can be used in an excellent way by adding them to the pot of vegetable broth or bone broth. Boil them nice and good and then strain them away. You are left with a broth full of nutrition. Eggshells are high in calcium and can also be used in your garden. Orange and lemon peels when dried and powdered can be used in recipes and also as a scrub.
Reusing is to find new ways to make use of the trash instead of throwing it out. Lots of our kid’s stuff can be reused and in much better ways.
Donate your child’s clothes. Make sure your children are involved in this and Instead of throwing away the clothes that do not fit, hand them down to someone who will reuse them. Orphanages are happy to accept kid’s clothes which are in good condition.
Do not throw away old toys. Make sure you use them in good condition or repair them in a way that they can be used and donate them as well. Not every child receives a toy every time they do something good or have a birthday. Believe me, your child will be very happy to see another less fortunate child happy with their toy.
Clothes can be turned into toys. There are many small businesses doing this for their living. You just have to send in a bunch of your child’s clothes and they turn them into beautiful dolls and stuffed animals for you, of course at a price. This way you have reused clothes and also supported a small business. You can even think about getting such toys made and send them in charity.
Cotton clothes also make good rags. Instead of buying wash clothes and kitchen wipes, use cotton clothes. They can also be used to make carpets and pullovers. Remember our Dadis and Nanis making big pullovers and blankets before winter also little ones for new babies coming in the family. Some brands like H&M, offer discount vouchers in excahnge of 8-10 old clothes and you can use the vouchers when you shop with them.
Make sure you use reusable cloth diapers instead of the plastic ones. They are environment friendly and skin-friendly for your child. Plus you save a lot of money on them.
Do not dispose your kitchen waste. Instead you can make good compost out of it for your garden along with your kids.
Do not throw away the waste water from your RO water filter. Collect it and use them to wash fruits and veggies. Wash vessels and mop your floor. You can even use it for washing your car.
Get rid of dark circles with used green tea bags. Instead of using new ones, make sure to chill the used ones and apply them over your eyes. Later you can use the green tea in them in your garden.
Make coasters out of CDs and DVDs. This can turn out to be an exciting craft for your kids while giving you some interestingly designed coasters.
Make sure kids use printed paper to do your crafts. Read the news online instead of getting newspapers and if you get them, use them for crafts and as gift wrapping paper as well.
Use metal bottles and straws for kids. Also make sure to use glass jars as containers in your kitchen.
Recycling is to recreate ways to make new things out of trash instead of throwing it.
Make sure you segregate your waste and have a separate bin for waste that can be recycled. Bottles and tin cans are collected and sent to plants wherever they are recycled and turned into new bottles and cans for reuse. Well-known recycled materials are glass, paper, plastic, and aluminum.
There are many more ways to use things before it reaches the trash can. All it needs is a bit of determination and time to do it and when you have you little ones to help you out, this job is just easy peasy! It is all about being smart when using things.
Just keep reminding yourself and your kids the mantra of…
REDUCE, REUSE, RECYCLE…
This post is part of Blogchatter’s CauseAChatter.