It was too much of a coincidence that I had this blog post in the works, and received a blog from Indiblogger about the Stayfree Time to Change
contest. They ask "If you could change something around you, what would it be?
". So here goes:
I have been composting my kitchen waste for a few months now, but there was something still bothering me - the amount of waste that went into my garbage bin and therefore into a landfill was still too much, and there were too many plastics in it which I knew would not be removed along the way.
It is no use to keep lamenting that the "government" or the "authorities" don't do anything about it. This is something that can only work if it is got into at the grass root level of each household segregating their own waste and disposing it effectively so as to move to a zero waste
model as much as possible. In fact there is a lot of support provided by different organizations that we don't know about just because we don't bother to find out about it!First step
- I got a lot of information from some experienced folks like Vani Murthy who's an active member of the Solid Waste Management Round Table or SWMRT
and very vocal in spreading the word about this cause. Their page also has a Directory of Recyclers which gives the contact persons in various organizations who would collect your dry waste. The first in the list was Samarthanam which is an NGO known to me and quite close to where I live, so I thought I must start out with them. When I spoke to the contact person, he mentioned that they even come and collect dry waste from my area, but I decided to drop it off myself to try and understand better about how the system works.Next step
- Figuring out how to prepare the dry waste. Now this is still a learning process for me, but listing out the ones I'm doing right now:
- Milk packets have to be washed and dried out else bacteria could develop.
- Some small stickiness like crumbs of biscuit remaining in a packet is ok I was told so I decided to let it be.
- Any plastic packets that had food items in them I wash out and dry before putting it into the dry waste.
- All slips of paper like bills, flyers that come in with the newspaper, or the tear-offs from my day calendar go in directly. Also all envelopes, including the plastic window ones, all scraps of paper torn up from the children's work.
- Thin plastic containers like the Vim Drop one which are not taken by the local raddiwala also go into this collection.
- I have not yet had any e-waste or batteries to dispose, but will check on how to safely dispose these when I have them.
- Glass containers that I've been collecting for a while and are too many for me to reuse are being disposed to the raddiwala or are being returned for recycling to the organizations I bought the products from. So even my kitchen drawers get cleaner by this exercise ;).
The key of course is "dry" waste :). I have dropped off one batch already, and hope to continue to do so every monday from now on!
The whole journey starting from composting
to kitchen gardening
to now trying to move towards zero waste has opened my eyes to the possibilities of empowering oneself if only we are willing to look around and find the wealth of information out there. And though I have never considered myself a typical green warrior but have come to believe that doing our little bit towards improving our environment can go a long way if all our little bits come together for the greater good :). And do I have to add we would be leaving a legacy behind for our children too, not just a better environment but the example we set to them about how to contribute in our own way!
It's definitely the Time to Change isn't it ? :)