Time to go back to basics


This is an article that I wrote for The Gulf News Daily and was delighted to find it published in the Newspaper. This was written for the topic Reduce, Reuse, Recycle.  I wanted to share this joy with my virtual friends as well as remind you all about a beautiful past when life was so much simpler and the Earth was so much happier. 

I, like every one of you, am definitely for the evolving technology and resulting convenient means of living but can’t we do it all with a thought for the home that we live in? 

Please let me know what you think!

During my last visit to India, a trip to the supermarket found me at the counter with a value bag of diapers and packets of milk, but no handy bag to carry my purchases home. I trudged home clumsily balancing my purchases, having refused to buy a plastic bag. In hindsight, I am pleased that my annoyance not only saved me the money that the supermarket charged for a single plastic carry bag, but also the journey of another plastic bag from a supermarket counter to the already rising pile of undecomposed plastic, not to mention the cost of manufacturing, storing, distributing and recycling them.

Before the plastic revolution, every visit to the market place or even to a nearby bakery or provision store meant carrying with us a cloth or jute bag to bring home our purchases. Vegetable vendors would put all purchases directly into our bags, while a monthly trip to the provision store saw us take big jute bags that could carry the load of our monthly purchases.

A list of our requirements were handed over to the owner of the store who sat behind his desk, surrounded by sacks of rice and pulses, with an array of glass jars that contained several mouthwatering treats ranging from chocolates, sugar-boiled candies, home-made cookies and savories. The owner would call out the items on the list as his deft workers measured and wrapped up each item in newspaper, held together by a jute rope with such precision and speed. Apart from a handful of necessities that came readily wrapped in colorful plastic, every other purchase was bought loose as per our requirements.

Even milk was collected in glass bottles that were placed at our doorstep that later upgraded its packaging to plastic, which were recycled at the end of the month. The last Sunday of every month saw my brother and me waiting for the ‘paper-bottle’ man, who would buy old newspapers, bottles, plastic cans and milk packets.

It was a simple life with simpler needs, which yielded little to no waste after ‘selling off’ what could be reused to be recycled. The plastic revolution, the advent of supermarkets with its wide variety of readymade purchases with customers spoilt for choice, is no more a luxury but a burning necessity in our technologically advanced easy life.

The Indian government’s ban on plastic carry bags (or their exorbitant rates) might seem like a drop in the ocean, but it’s the beginning of a mission that is a worthy cause!


Here is a link for the same : http://gulfnews.com/your-say/your-view/time-to-go-back-to-basics-1.1928233

33 responses »

  1. Totally agree with you Perfy. We are ignoring the repercussions of what seems like a convenient thing as of now. Its long term effects can be devastating.
    Wonderful article. No wonder it got published. Congrats my dear! Proud of you!

    Liked by 4 people

  2. Congrats dear Pranitha. 👍
    Just yesterday my friend and I were talking about how simple life was during our childhood. I infact cited the same examples that you quoted.
    Introduction of plastic slowly weaned us of all the good environment friendly habits we were following. Now plastic has eroded deep into all aspects of living. Realising it’s harmful effects we are slowly going back to jute bags…..life sometimes comes back a full circle!!!

    Liked by 2 people

    • Firstly, thanks a mill Radhika. Glad to have well wishers like you topping my virtual friend list. 🙂
      Yes, Radhika, I just hope that our children will be lucky enough to enjoy at least most of what we did. It is time we realize our mistakes and correct them before it all goes out of hand.
      Good day, Radhika 🙂


  3. I agree with the cloth bag. It’s not only better for the earth, but it is way more stronger and convenient. The plastic bags these days are so cheap and thin. Lot’s of times your groceries break through!😩

    Liked by 2 people

  4. absolutely, in the thick and thin of trying to make our living more ‘convenient’, we tend to forget, rather sully our mother Earth, in whose womb we still have ages to live. not us alone, but our children and their children too. Earth’s sanctity must be preserved.it’s time for a resounding NO to plastic. yes, years ago, I remember carrying sugar, rice and lentils from the roadside kiosk packed in newspaper, secured with a jute thread. milk was collected inside aluminium mugs when the milkman arrived home on a bicycle. yet, none of us died. life went on! we must go back to those times, for the pservatiuon of mother Earth

    Liked by 3 people

  5. Great article! And odd timing because just last Thursday night I said to my husband, “Why do we have so much more garbage/recycling than they did in the olden days?”
    I understand the convenience factor has added to our waste issues, but how to prevent it?
    Thanks for sharing – it’s got me thinking about this topic again.

    Liked by 3 people

  6. Great article! Congrats on having it published! Where I am from stores are starting to get rid of plastic bags as well. I always try to shop with cloth/reusable bags too because I want to help save the environment. I am a millennial, so I grew up with all this technology advances, but I have looked back through documentaries and books at how the world once was, and I agree that it does look like it was a more simpler time. I kind of I wish I had been born and got to experience that time. I do hope our world will become more socially conscious and have more respect for the environment!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you, Olivia, for reading it and sharing your thoughts about it! Frugality helps us respect what we have but our easy life has made everything loose its worth! A simpler life is easier said than done in this technologically-advanced easy world we live in. Hope is to just strike a balance at least!

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Congratulations Pranitha.
    I sometimes miss the simpler lives which we lead as kids. I remember my mom telling me, when I was 4-5 years old, I once insisted that she buys paper from the” paper bottle” man 🙂
    Enjoyed reading this write up.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you, Deepika. Hehe…what seemed like a serious matter then becomes a laughing matter in adulthood. Glad you could relate!
      While leading our easy and busy lives we tend to forget our simple past but it is the stories that I tell my son that takes me back to those times. He teases me that I have a story for every incident but I am glad that he loves to listen.

      Liked by 1 person

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