Have you ever wondered how India would be if waste management was one of its top priorities?
India is rising rapidly thanks to great economic growth and development happening up and down the country. This has lead to grave problems with waste management. Waste management is defined by a number of factors. It is the collection, transportation, and disposal of garbage, sewage and other waste products.
How do you manage your waste? Do you know how and where your waste goes? Do you know how is your waste treated? We need to open our eyes and take a deep look inside! India has an urban population of approximately 429 million who produce a staggering 62 million tonnes of garbage a year. From which almost 31 million tonnes of waste goes untreated and gets dumped at landfills. The most famous landfills are the likes of Deonar in Mumbai, Kodungaiyur in Chennai, Dhapa in Kolkata, to name a few, are already functioning over their capacity and are over-flowing terribly. Not to forget Delhi’s 80-feet high Ghazipur landfill which collapsed recently leaving two people dead and several injured. It was a disaster waiting to happen.
These alarming statistics should make you understand that we are battling a waste management crisis. Action needs to be taken right away to help our mother nature otherwise we soon will be buried in our waste. As difficult, impractical and impossible it may sound to manage your waste but it is possible! Let’s look at 5 such ways how you can manage waste from the comfort of your home.
1. Say No To Plastic!
India generates around 56 lakh tons of plastic waste annually. Plastics take approximately 500 – 1000 years to degrade due to their complex polymer structure. This can destroy and be fatal to marine life for example to: fishes, whales, sharks, seals, turtles etc who die every single year in their thousands due to plastic pollution in our oceans, seas and rivers. Hence adapt a plastic-free life so that we can save the planet from a plastic disaster. Start with basic things like going grocery shopping and using a cloth or a jute bag instead of that cheap plastic bag or drinking water from a steel or glass water bottle. Health experts are increasingly advising to limit the use of plastic because over time they release harmful chemicals which can be damaging to our bodies.
2. Learn How To Compost
Organic waste from your own kitchen alone is enough to get you to start composting. So what is composting? It is a method to decompose organic waste material such as vegetable peel, fruit peels, food waste, leaves and any form of dry kitchen waste. Urban societies lack green spaces so some innovative ways have been developed whereby composting buckets can easily convert your food waste material into manure which is rich in nutrients. This can be used as plant soil if you grow any flowers, fruits or vegetables at home.
Here is a short video on how to make compost at home.
Video Courtesy: Ways and How
3. Know How to Segregate Your Waste for better Waste Management!
Segregating your waste is the first step to successfully carry out waste management. You are reducing the waste that gets to landfill which indirectly causes water, air and land pollution. At home, you can start segregating your waste into bio-degradable which is your wet waste i.e. food waste and non-biodegradable which is your recycled plastic, glass and metals. Employ two dustbins in your home to segregate your waste in these two main categories. Segregating your waste make it easier for further treatment of the waste, be it composting, incineration or recycling.
4. Reuse and Donate with Pride
Did you know that 100 million bottles are used and discarded every day! Reusing anything reduces over garbage load and subsequently the waste footprints. Before throwing away an item, carefully ask yourself where and how this could be reused or be beneficial to someone needy. For example, plastic containers from perishable food items can be reused as food storage box. Donating your old clothes to shelter homes or the homeless can be both satisfying and rewarding.
5. Reduce your E-Waste
On average an American household would approximately have 24 gadgets at one given time in their homes. New technologies are developing thick and fast in this digital age. This results in more plastic consumption to make those gadgets hence owing to the waste management issue. Therefore re-evaluate the need to buy newer gadgets unnecessarily. Buy electronics which are environmentally friendly which are labelled Energy Star or certified by the Electronic Product Assessment Tool (EPEAT).
The most important lesson to take from this is that we need to educate the next generation about the dangers of improper waste management. Our actions now will dictate the future. To conclude let us reduce our waste footprint to avoid any adverse effects on our environment. Try your level best to achieve a more effective and sustainable use of all resources.