|Nature vs Garbage
For those who are short on time and inclination, here is the conclusion in advance: kindly carry your own trash bags wherever in the remote wilderness you go and carry back your non-biodegradable trash with you, even small chocolate wrappers, and dispose it in a city.
This photograph shows one of the most beautiful and secluded places I've been to - Mudhumalai, and you can see the garbage thrown around there too (see near the bench). What a pity!
I am presenting a true incident here only as a 'technology demonstrator' that
change is possible...!!
Then a large group of people
comprising mostly of middle aged men came there, and had lunch next to the lake
a little away from us. I walked near them after some time and could see that
the place now looked like a garbage dump. I wondered what I could do, if I were
to simply go and ask them to clean it, they would probably feel insulted and
point it out that it was none of my business, it was a free country and they
could do as they liked etc etc. They looked like a tough group and I could
easily get into trouble if I said anything which even remotely looked like
offensive to them.
I am not really a nature activist or
something. Im only a software engineer who also cares about the environment and
does a little bit for it now and then. I considered it one more victory for
nature, just for one more day.
EEEeeeeyuck... plastic !!!
I suppose by now everyone knows about the plastic problem... for the few uninitiated or who think its someone else's problem (else please skip to the next para) I'll give a very brief description... conduct this hypothetical experiment in your mind... dig a small pit and fill it with plastic junk. Cover it with some soil and try growing any plants in the spot. It's pretty improbable that you will succeed. Step into your time machine and travel a bit to the future, for e.g. 2100 AD... chances are you still wouldn't be able to grow any vegetation in it. Now magnify this pit a few thousand times, and you get one garbage dump: a few acres of uncultivatable land. And thats just one garbage dump.
I had thought/come across some solutions to the plastic problem. Whenever anybody says anything, a common reaction would be "have you done it yourself", so I have cultivated and have been following these habits for over a year, and I write about it only now.
- don't throw the plastic bag away but take it back to the shop next time and reuse it. (for eg I always carry some bag in my scooter's box). Hence refuse to accept any new plastic bags as far as possible!
- when packing food from a restaurant to take home, take vessels from home instead of using their plastic covers
- when doing some simple shopping, carry only the item without accepting the cover if feasible
(The above three were a bit inconvenient in the beginning, but gradually they became a habit.)
- when any of your friends/relatives are arranging a large social gathering, try to encourage them to use plastic alternatives instead of plastic for cups, tamboola covers, covering sheets, etc.
Any more ideas!?
The root cause for all this thinking is that its pretty appalling to see the amount of disharmony in which man lives with nature. To quote Douglas Adams:
"On the planet Earth, man had always assumed that he was more
intelligent than dolphins because he had achieved so much - the
wheel, New York, wars and so on - whilst all the dolphins had ever
done was muck about in the water having a good time. But
conversely, the dolphins had always believed that they were far
more intelligent than man - for precisely the same reasons."
"Every new truth is first ridiculed, then opposed, and finally accepted as self-evident"