would you care for some more plastic, sir?

baby steps towards sustainable living will make a world of difference to the world

Once one starts seeing the world in a certain way, it is difficult to flip back into a different mode. A few years back, I noticed one of my colleagues trying to live a sustainable life – largely centered around low or no plastic usage. To be honest, I didn’t take her seriously – she is my junior in office, and seniors mostly think they know better. What juniors do is seen more as an ephemeral unrealistic quest in the wrong direction which can be put to good use with greater wisdom of their all-knowing bosses.

She started small – but over time, her actions covered larger segments of her life. Last week, she told me that she carries her tea strainer whenever she goes out of town to make her own tea. (more on this in another blog). Her way of seeing the world was very different – every activity was about non-degradable, compostable, or something in that spectrum.

I started seeing the world with her point of view one year ago – where I used to see a coffee break, I now see the plastic lid of the takeaway and worry about the compostability of the disposable mug, where there was a cup of hot tea, it is now the teabag that stares at me in a very accusing manner – and a water bottle – don’t even bring that up. Take-away food that can be brought in all-paper contraptions gains precedence now in my ordering and I always try to carry my own water and I avoid takeaway coffee – wasn’t the whole idea just to sip coffee in peace? 

I measured my carbon emission and my plastic footprint a few months back – there are many tools that you can find on the internet, just google it. The survey will take 20 minutes at best. It will give you a good reality check on how many kilos of plastic you consume per year and how many kilos of CO2 -equivalent you add to the planet. I realized that my 4 air trips in a year equal the carbon emission of my car used every day. I also learned that I consume 13 kg of plastic every year – and many more findings that I would like to keep to myself.

However, the idea is not to keep worrying or to feel guilty with every consumption – but to make changes to our lifestyles and have a balanced approach to consumption. If you have read till this point in the article, I am sure you don’t mind running a small survey on your carbon footprint. Trust me, you will find at least 2 initiatives so easy to execute that you won’t even realize you have made the switch. I am not recommending any particular survey on purpose – there are many, and all of them are good enough to get started with.

For a person who starts worrying about their emissions and footprint, the world can be an inconvenient place. But this is a journey we owe to our planet. Sooner the better. 

Photo by Emily Bernal on Unsplash

Author - kinshuk is one of the co-founders of awenest. he is an alumnus of iim bangalore and a retailer at heart. he can be found at linkedin or instagram 

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