Hope you are not on this page accidently but have gone crazy trying to reduce your environmental impact sincerely and still feel that you are not doing enough.
You may be selling your waste to “Kabadiwalas” or converting to energy efficient devices but still your earnest attempts are not impactful. Why? Because now “Green-Living” has become a fashion statement and competition which is more harmful than beneficial. Women compete with each other over organic food, cosmetic and clothes increasing consumption. Instead of reducing usage people run to buy solar panels if their neighbour has bought one forgetting completely that they are creating a huge amount of non-recyclable waste for future.
People are stuck with plastic bags but never look at plastic usage in their homes. No one goes to the market with a cloth bag and ask the shopkeeper to pour oil, pickle, lotions etc. in the cloth bag. We do buy them in plastic bottles but will blame only plastic bags. We buy organic hand dyed cotton forgetting that a single cotton shirt takes hundreds of gallons of water to grow and make.
In this bizarre competition how can one avoid becoming crazy and still be satisfied with their green efforts. Here are some tips-
One Day at a Time
We are humans and we too get excited by something new and in a rush start doing things which we can’t sustain. This creates dissatisfaction and loss of interest. No one can become green in a single day. One has to take small steps and see if they can manage it for the rest of their lives. Taking other step only after the first is assimilated in the life style. Trying to use public transport once a week or carpooling is an example of one such step. Using harmless vinegar instead of expensive cleaners is another example.
Something is Better Than Nothing
As I said earlier one can’t go green in a day doesn’t mean that we don’t try out green options at all. Supporting local produce is one such step which doesn’t need planning. We see lots of fancy fruits and vegetables decorated nicely in the store which are imported. Deciding not to consume them is one big green step.
Habits Are Important Not Purchases
One cannot say “I am green as I buy all organic, natural local stuff “,because it’s how we consume and not what we buy matters. Buying green stuff from a store in the other end of the city doesn’t make us green. Shouting against plastic bags but still using FMCG items packed in non-recyclable packaging doesn’t make us green. Keeping our house shiny clean using the costliest cleaners doesn’t make us green. Wearing cotton dresses which usually don’t last long doesn’t make us green.
How much we use comes well before what we use. Overconsumption is not ecofriendly, be it food or fossil fuel.
It’s like the environment elephant which I drew earlier. Eco-friendly life is not only to become the elephant but at least to hold onto one part of it and yes reducing consumption is the way. Buying less saves money time and effort. It’s a false notion that an Eco-friendly life is expensive.
So not looking at others, start slowly, one step at a time towards a “Green Life”.
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