Author – Shriya Agarwal
Waste isn’t waste until we throw it & creativity lies in creating something marvelous out of the discarded.
Reduce, Reuse, Recycle?
As a grade five student, I remember making pencil holders out of ice-cream sticks. What wonderful days those were when all the students in the class used to get abandoned materials from home, put them together, and transform them into something useful. The very thought of Reduce, Reuse, & Recycle was ingrained in us, barely ten-year-olds. Our EVS teachers used to tell us:
“If it can’t be reduced, reused, repaired, rebuilt, refurbished, refinished, resold, recycled, or composted, then it should be restricted, redesigned or removed from production”.
In the same grade during an English class, I read the story of an abandoned train; one of the most memorable stories I must say. The non-functional train was converted into a school for the kids in the village. As a primary school student, I could only imagine and be in awe of the idea that I still hold dear today.
My inference as a child was – “Everything from a used ice-cream stick to an abandoned train could be transformed into something meaningful, with value”.
Do we still remember those BEST OUT OF WASTE competitions? If yes, are we applying the ideology in our lives?
Everyone’s doing it! Are you?
With wisdom comes the desire for simplicity. Instead of buying things on a spree, if we just stopped and reviewed our household items maybe we would shorten our shopping lists, save more money, and save the environment too.
On one hand are people who still need reminders for carrying paper-bags or cloth-bags when going shopping so as to reduce use of polybags and on the other are people running successful businesses by manufacturing only eco-friendly products. Like, instance at ThinkTac, the two important aspects of our work and our products are to:
- Use simple materials that are a) Recycled or b) Repurposed.
- Minimize packaging material, especially plastic
We do this with two primary goals in mind, in terms of educating kids to:
- Realize the value of simple materials and discarded materials
- Help to develop a culture of 3R – Reduce, Reuse and Recycle
Like that of ours, several other small groups of thoughtful and committed citizens in the society are trying to set the trend. But is that enough?
“You cannot get through a single day without having an impact on the world around you. What you do makes a difference and you have to decide what kind of a difference you want to make.”
This heart-rending video of animals that are going extinct due to human intervention, should leave us alarmed:
Innumerable ads and short films, like these, have highlighted the importance of switching off the engine at red light, planting trees, preserving forests, reducing the use of single-use plastic, and proper disposal of used materials from industries.
Yet, we fail to understand that the proper use of science is not to conquer nature but to live in it sustainably. Guess, environmentally friendly items will soon cease to be an option and will become a necessity.
Over the years, our bond with nature has strained and we are only using it, not nurturing it. One day, nature will be unable to paint pictures of infinite beauty for us. We know this, but are we willing to change?
On this Earth Day let’s promise to protect our natural resources, so that our kids can live to their kids, live comfortable lives, as we did.
Help us spread the green word by donating to the NGO ISPF.
“We have forgotten how to be good guests, how to walk lightly on the earth as its other creatures do”—Barbara Ward