The 18th March Project – post 26

Here’s a bandwagon I’m more than happy to jump on to- #BeatPlasticPollution.

It’s amazing how many people are interested in cutting down their use of single-use plastic. Or is that just what the algorithms are feeding me?

I’m personally very concerned about being as low-waste as possible, especially when I travel.

Why particularly when I travel, you ask. What about when you are wherever you live (home or expat-land)?

Needless to say, I’m careful at (nearly) all times. I do my best to make conscious choices. When you’re home, you know what your options are for disposal, recycling, take-back schemes. Plus you have access to your own arsenal of reusables. But when you travel, it’s easier to slip up, as I did in SG (sorry, SG!)

I recently visited Kodagu aka Coorg, Karnataka, India for the first time. I was impressed by the fact that we were given only one plastic carry bag in our week there. Even food deliveries come in cloth bags.

My best friends either used the metal straws I carried for them or drank straight from the glass (you know, like regular folk). People looked at me funny every time I said “No straw, please”, but not when we held out our cloth bags to put stuff in. Education?

Did we get through the whole trip without discarding anything inorganic? Nope. We just made better choices than we would have before:

  • We bought bigger bottles of water, and used our sippy cups and straws when we could
  • We ate at restaurants rather than have them deliver to us
  • To blow our noses after all the masala and chilli we ingested, we used hankies/towels

My waste-related goals for my next trip:

  • Drink tap water if feasible. If not, buy the biggest bottle possible, and fill my bottle with that.
  • Carry a tiffin for food so it doesn’t need to be put in bags or even boxes. A paper bag I’m okay with.
  • Take the Metal straw along.
  • Reuse plastic cutlery that I already own, perhaps carry metal cutlery.
  • And a cloth bag. Always a cloth bag!

But what do I do about the waste created in-flight?

Another challenge to surmount…

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Day 13 100words100days Make a list of ways the average person can be an Earth steward

Ahhhh, the how-to. I didn’t want to put a number in the title, because I like to be contrary on occasion. 375 words.

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Are you a current inhabitant of Planet Earth? Congratulations! You have the necessary qualification to be an Earth steward. All you need is a little dedication to this funny little spheroid and her people, and you are good to go.

You require only minimal training to fulfill your duties. Much of the knowledge that will help you do your job well can be gained from other people through such means as talking to them, reading books and articles they have written and understanding why some of them refuse to get involved.

Detailed below is the job description. You may perform all or some of these duties, as you are able to.

  • Educate somebody about the benefits of looking after the environment. Make sure you do this properly. Beware: you don’t want to come across as bossy, because this will detract from the positive work you are trying to do. (#TrueStory)
  • Recycle, upcycle. This includes accepting gifts that are recycled or upcycled. Money is sometimes a better gift than a poorly-assembled, though thoughtful, present. Related: Do not shame a recycler.
  • Reduce, but always bear in mind that you are also a steward of the economy. Consume responsibly.
  • Accept that not everyone wants your lifestyle. Keep telling them that they have to accept that you don’t want theirs either. Dialogue is important, as is setting a good example.
  • Encourage policy makers and businesses in your village, town or city to adopt practices that are good for the planet. Every little bit counts, but the big bits count more.
  • Prepare to do a little to a lot of research. Some suggestions: Calculate your carbon footprint and work on reducing it. Find out what a carbon footprint is.
  • Invest your money in clean technology and programmes encouraging clean development. A solar charger for your phone, perhaps.
  • Don’t waste, especially what is on your plate. If you can’t eat it in the restaurant, take it home.

Regarding your appraisals- future generations of animals (including humans and humanoids) and plants will judge you.

As for remuneration, you will be paid in clean air and water, a prosperous green economy, and not so many natural disasters (if you’re lucky). A possible, but not promised, bonus: you might get to save the world.

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For tomorrow, Day 14: Write a sonnet . Or two.

Oh dear. That will not be easy.