so, not going to look up even now?

so, not going to look up even now?

#Zero Waste #Sustainable Living India #Eco Friendly #Plastic Free #No Plastic #Green Living #Green Washing

Unlike the handful of sustainability enthusiasts whom I personally know, I don’t have (or cannot remember) that one turning point when I decided to make my lifestyle greener.

It happened in parts, at different stages of my 35 years. Some habits were just a result of my middle-class upbringing, some more consciously practiced since a Cape Town or a Chennai ran dry sitting right next to an ocean, some brought into effect by the stomach-churning image of a whale that had starved to death – ironically with a belly full of plastic.

And there’s no dearth of Did you know?! that the internet can throw at you every day to keep you going – like how each of us ingests about 5gm of microplastics every week, the equivalent of eating a credit card!

To be awenest, I am a long way off from what I can probably achieve without making life too inconvenient. Let’s face it, transitioning to a zero-waste lifestyle is an uphill task, to put it mildly, a plastic-free or carbon-neutral one is very nearly impossible for us commoners. In addition to inertia, I continue to battle a lot of the reasons-not-to that my parents and in-laws, my husband, my friends, my maid put forth, every time I try to bring about the next change in my daily life.

  • Meh! It’s free – the extra bag that the shop guy will give me for each purchase, the 15 liters of water that run off while I brush my teeth with the tap left on, the soft white slippers, and the daily change of linen in the hotel room.

  • It’s a hassle – I can’t remember to keep a thaili in my bag for buying veggies on the way home; who’ll carry a bottle of water every time?; it’s easier to order packed rice and pulses online than to go buy them loose from the store in the next lane (guilty!).

  • It’ll burn a hole in my pocket – why does the tiny shampoo bar cost 500 bucks?; 4 grand for a shirt is too much when I am not even sure if it will last longer than the cheaper fast-fashion alternative; plastic jars are a fraction of the price of a steel or glass option

  • What difference will one person make? – There is so much water on this planet, it’ll never end; everyone uses plastic, my using less won’t make a difference; the meat I eat is reared for consumption only.

Several of these are legit. But go to websites like The Better India, and you will come across real accounts of (mostly) women who generate less plastic waste from their homes in a year than the average weekly consumption of aalu-peyaaz, Indian kitchen staples. I find them awe-inspiring.

I also get envious that I haven’t been able to commit to a sustainable lifestyle like they have, and overwhelmed with all that such a life entails. I have found it easier to take one step at a time, to pick my fight. Sometimes I lose (tried to go vegan, gave up in week two), sometimes I win (made October a forcible no-ordering-food-that-comes-in-plastic-containers month, and then it became easier to continue), and sometimes I take a raincheck.

But one thing that has become a permanent fixture is the question – do I need it? – even before I ask myself – can I buy better? That, and delayed gratification have been behind most of the ‘savings’ I have been able to make. Oh, there are still times when I end up buying that box of cake mix that eventually expires but there are also the cup noodles that have stopped making their way beyond the shopping cart or the pair of denim that sat in my Myntra wishlist for so long while I deliberated, that it ran out of stock.

So unless you believe that all the commotion about saving the planet is hogwash, or that you’ll be able to buy a Virgin Galactic ticket to Mars when the time comes, what’s your excuse?


Photo by Etienne Girardet on Unsplash


Author - team awenest

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