The ‘P’ Word
There are people who cringe at other people. There are also people who cringe at situations. I am someone who has developed an irksome reaction to a material lately – the forbidden ‘P’ word – Plastic.
My unacceptability towards plastic stemmed from the time when I headed the Environment Club at my workplace. It is said that when you teach something, you should also practice it and completely believe in it. Hence, as the head of this club, it was my duty to sensitize young, bright and curious minds towards accepting a life sans plastic. The first glint of happiness I experienced was when the members of the club started refusing plastic spoons and straws. Earlier, they had an initial inkling towards plastic spoons because of their visually appealing colours and ubiquity in trays parked next to buffet line-ups at lunch. There is very little an individual can do to reduce the production of plastic items because of its ubiquitous usages.
On an individual level, we can begin by refusing plastic and switching to steel, glass, wood, paper or any material that survives beyond a single-use cycle.
When we hear that “charity begins at home”, we should also understand that a change begins with an individual. What genuinely moves me is the sight of the ugly, treacherous pictures of landfills and the miserable state of marine life, hampered because of the abundance of plastic waste. We can attempt to take baby steps in that direction and recognize that one less plastic cup, one less plastic straw and one less plastic spoon in the trash can of the canteen goes a long way. The way each drop contributes to fill up an earthen pot, a minute change in our lifestyle can lead to a big change in the mindsets of the others.