"The Earth is what we all have in common"
– Wendell Berry
This year, on March 30, we consciously spend one hour in the darkness of our homes, to be a part of an annual environmental campaign. Every year, we celebrate Earth Day on April 22, and plant a tree on the World Environment Day on June 5.
Actor Leonardo Di Caprio is talking about global warming. Greta Thunberg, only 16 years old, is a climate warrior, seeking global attention for her cause. American rapper Lil Dicky collaborated with 30 celebrities and song-writers and wrote the 'Earth' song. Communities and organisations hold large placards and gatherings forcing world leaders to take notice. What creative act would you like to do to save the Earth?
Home is where the heart is and change begins at home. Priya Panchwadkar, a graduate from Christ University, Bengaluru, is switching plastic with eco-friendly products at home. If you don't want to be a part of the maddening crowd, Priya gives us a few things you could do at home in order to tackle the Earth problem.
Initially, putting an end to bursting crackers and playing Holi with her friends wasn't quite enough for Priya to solve the bigger problem. She wanted to do more, in order to reduce the carbon footprint. Priya's research on environmental issues led her to alarming statistics and chilling documentaries. Being conscious of the plastic, "the biggest evil," in her own home, she was triggered to make the change.
One step at a time, she found replacements to some of her everyday objects in life. From carrying drinking water to even storing items like pulses and grains, Priya replaced plastic with glass bottles and containers. Along with the cloth bag, she carries glass bottles to buy liquid items and grains. She hand-picks her veggies and fruits in order to avoid plastic-packed ones.
At home, Priya has switched her toothbrush and razor with bamboo toothbrush and stainless steel razor. She does not use a soap, instead she uses filter coffee as a body scrub (wow! Right). She has her own home-made lip balm and body lotion. If she intends to go out for an ice-cream or hit the street food, she carries her cute little cutlery set instead of the plastic ones at stalls.
"The transition was bit tricky and difficult," says Priya. She admits to have cut herself when she initially used the stainless steel razor. Yet she continues to do her best. There were times when she forgot to take a cloth bag to the supermarket. At times like these she would either carry the shopping in her hand or go back home to take her cloth bag.
"Life is becoming minimalistic," Priya has learned to cook food at home so that she can reduce ordering food online.
Being eco-friendly can be time-consuming and expensive. The cheapest bamboo toothbrush costs Rs 70 plus additional shipping charges and using natural products needs a constant refill. Although she has managed to replace a few things, there are still a few things that still includes plastic.
"Obviously there was a time when there was no plastic on Earth," says Priya, hoping someday she would learn to live like her ancestors. "Consumerism has made it easy for us to be lazy."
Influenced by Priya's thoughts and actions, her friends not only encourage her but also tries to practice the switch in their own lives. During parties and get-togethers, Priya encourages her friends to get their own cutleries. On her Instagram handle @priyayyoga along with her yoga routine, she posts about eco-friendly changes that she has made in her life. She constantly reminds us that if we can afford it, we should make better choices and use the eco-friendly products.
As rightly quoted by Ernst Hemingway, "the Earth is a fine place worth fighting for," all small acts matter. Being aware of these issues helps us to make these changes at home itself. Its never to late to make the change.
Begin today, begin now!