We, the women, can make a whole lot of difference to the problem of environment degradation.
'Yes, I am a responsible citizen, wanting to contribute my bit to this cause. I know that pollution is reaching staggering levels all over the world, there is a hole in the ozone layer, the forests are dwindling-but what can I do? How can I help?'
If you think on these lines, then play your part because every individual can make a difference. If you believe in the theory that the vast ocean is made up of small drops then you will do your bit.
Every woman is the Tzarina of her palace - she can make rules and get them followed. It is with this special power that you can contribute to the conservation of planet earth. Now let us see how you can rule.
You are the major shopper in your household. Whenever you go shopping, take your own bag with you. Make this a rule. If you are the forgetful kind, keep a polythene bag in your purse or a few in your vehicle In this way you do not have to accept polythene bags from vegetable and fruit vendors anew. In the developed countries, the desi cloth 'thailas' are making a comeback. If you are not comfortable with them, make a fancy shopping bag for yourself or get a trendy one so that it is fun to shop with it. Old denim trousers can be imaginatively used to make a sturdy and stylish bag.
If you are buying grocery and the shopkeeper has paper bags then ask him to pack your grocery in them. If he packs it in polythene, no problem! You must be a regular customer of a certain shop. Make arrangements to return the polythene bags to him the next time you visit him. Just be careful enough not to soil those bags. Keep them fresh and unused.
Now what to do with the polybags which come along with the groceries - the ones that are sealed. They cannot be avoided. These are generally transparent white and comparatively thick plastic bags. After emptying the contents you can clean the polybags from the inside with a piece of cloth. Neatly fold them and keep aside for packing food for travel. The colored, thin polythene should never be used for packing food as the colors are very harmful for health.
As a good citizen of earth, you should try for optimum utilization of each resource. So before disposing off a polythene, use it to its fullest. You can use it to line the dustbins before finally throwing it away, for instance.
But remember, never throw bio-waste or food-material in it. Cows may swallow the polythene along with the vegetable-skins and food material. This may entail serious disorders in their digestive systems and may even cause death.
These are small things but when cultivated into habits, may snowball into a major conservation force. Once you develop them, you can encourage other family members, friends and neighbors to inculcate them as well.
Three cheers for your enthusiasm!!!
On Saving Fuel
If we get a fact clear in our hearts and minds, then the world would be a cleaner, less polluted place to live in. The fact is that when we indulge in the simple acts of conservation, we do not oblige anyone but ourselves. Because each act of ours affects the system and we get affected by it in return. It is as true as the day and the night. We are doing nobody but ourselves a favor if we are utilizing the resources wisely and fully.
We, being human beings, look at all prospects with the eyes of, well, a human being! What is there in it for me? How do I get benefited by the efforts that I put in?
- My dear fellow creatures, we have nothing but to gain.
- We gain in monetary terms. A reduction in fuel bills is as good as money saved.
- We gain in health. That is the most precious thing.
- We get a return on our investment in the form of saved resources and cleaner environment for our kids.
Incidentally, we also do an act of charity because we share the environment with others and if we do a good deed unto ourselves, we automatically do it to others!
The increased number of vehicles on the roads has caused innumerable problems. Rising respiratory disorders and increasing fuel-costs should make us all fuel- savvy.
Here are some tips on reducing the fuel costs and the hazardous emissions.
- Use public transport whenever and wherever you can.
- Walk and cycle! This is the best thing you can do to the environment and to your health.
- Keep your vehicle well-maintained. Do the servicing regularly.
- Keep the tyres well-inflated.
- Accelerate gently and steadily.
- Do not change gears too often.
- Use A/C sparingly.
- Avoid cold-starts and do not warm-up for more than 30 seconds.
- Do away with idling. If you have to talk or wait, turn off the vehicle.
Make maximum use of a trip. Combine shopping with visiting a friend or picking kids from school.
Initiate a car or even a two-wheeler-pool . You can start it in your office by posting your willingness and locality on the bulletin-board. Similarly, it can be done in your building by posting your timings and the locality of your office. Try! It may not be as difficult as you think.
If you have more tips on how to save fuel, you can write to me firstname.lastname@example.org. They will be added on this page. Experiences from people who are using car-pools, hurdles in forming one and the ways to overcome the hurdles are also welcome.