Growing up, I always liked making things out of waste. My mother helped inculcate the value of conservation in me. Summer vacations meant mommy laying out a roster of to-dos, which usually consisted of painting old curtains to give them a new look, using a pillow case to make a tote bag, creating pen stands with scrap wool and tea boxes, and what not. That always made every little thing in my life seem valuable, helping me churn out gifts overnight for a surprise birthday party; or creating something just so I can give the home a new look; or gift my little one a little something, just to hear her squeal with delight!
Why go Green?
The planet is in trouble-it is not just an advertising fad or a campaign that has been floated to satiate some creative writer's block. This is a real issue-an issue which has slowly, yet surely, started to show its effect on our society and will eventually affect the generations to come. There is a shortage of water, pollution in the air, pesticides in food produce, worms in chocolates, climate change, extreme temperatures, fast depleting natural resources, and so much more.
There are more cases of respiratory illnesses in children because of pollution, and more cases of gastro-related illnesses and cancers because of the produce which is infused with pesticides and chemicals. Natural calamities are just a regular feature these days and the medical society at large is not able to cope up with this bizarre, but exponential burst of new illnesses, germs, viruses and bacteria. There is a growing and crying need to wake up, to re-orient ourselves on how we treat Mother Nature, to conserve and reuse our resources, so that we can handover a livable earth to our children!
Small changes, big benefits
So what do we do? Can our actions make any difference at all? Yes, they can. Whatever little that we do adds up to make a difference.
Hug a tree, talk to a plant, gift a tree or create a garden. Save rain water; wipe a car off instead of using litres of water to wash it; use a bucket of water to bathe instead of a shower; reuse vegetable and chicken stock to cook a new dish instead of using more water.
Bring your own bag, make your own bag, gift a bag-do anything but use a plastic product. Make sock bunnies at home instead of buying acrylic toys…those are good for your child's lungs, and the planet. Make candles at home and start lighting your house with them every evening for a couple of hours, while keeping the lights off. Make them decorative, fun and traditional. The kids will love them! And what couple doesn't need more romance!? Feed your vegetable peels to a stray cow instead of packing them in plastic bags and throwing them in the bin, which she will eventually munch on and die. Use tea leaves to manure your home garden instead of some store bought fertiliser.
Use newspapers to wrap gifts. Use vegetable and fruit peels to scrub your face clean instead of products that are tested on innocent animals. Eat more rotis and less of white bread. Walk more. Drive less. Run up the stairs instead of using the elevators. Cycle to work. Adopt a pet. Keep your windows open with net doors instead of using the AC or fans at all times. Switch of all lights except for the one room that you are using. Encourage cottage industries because they are more planet-friendly.
Let's pledge to do this walk of green together, mommy
Now think of doing all of the above with your child. It's you and 1 more; that's 2 people working for the planet. Now if each person reading this piece does a little bit of any of the above-mentioned things, it's so many more people working for the planet; so many more people working for tomorrow.
Let's join our hands to slow down this process of deterioration. Let's give our kids a greener earth, with real birds in the sky and not just in classroom charts; with real animals that are free to live and not just the ones that are killed for their skin. Let's give them water, let's give them food… Let's make small changes to reap bigger benefits. For us, for our children, for the planet!