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