Say No to Plastic Bags!
[Photo taken from here]
The importance of banning plastic bags cannot be stressed enough. But while the authorities tie themselves up in knots debating on the consequences, we as citizens can do our little bit for a greener Bangalore.
Even if plastics cannot be completely done away with, you can always minimise its use. And it is best to take upon yourself the onus of spreading awareness about avoiding plastics. And before you know it, you will have others imitating you! I wanted to share a few things with you all- little things I have been following, which have resulted in persuading people around me to avoid plastics.
— Always, and I mean always, take your own shopping bag with you when you go out shopping. You could also keep a couple of bags in your vehicle. The catch-line is “Get your own bag!”
— When the shopkeeper makes a move to put what you have bought into plastic bags, say no, thank you, and explain why. You could say something like, “I have my own bag. I want to avoid plastic, you see – it is not good for the environment”. It’s even better if the customers can also hear you. It might seem awkward at first, but it gets very easy and conversational later on. Sometimes, a customer even nods appreciatively and strikes up a conversation about plastics and the environment – and the other customers are drawn in with or without their will – and that’s a good thing! Even if a tiny little seed is planted in even one person’s head, you have done your good deed of the day!
— If you see your friends/relatives/neighbours/maid using plastic bags in excess, then you could tell them directly, or casually in conversation. For example, when they offer you something in plastic bags, decline the bag, and explain why. Explain. That is the key.
— The best thing is to teach children to avoid plastics. Tell your kids, your nieces/newphews, the kids next door. Kids understand it much better, and once they do, you have a convert for life! Also, once an idea takes root in their little heads, they are equally good at convincing their elders :)
— Ah, forgetfulness! It might happen that you forget to take along a shopping bag. Then if you are forced to accept a plastic bag at a shop, then avoid taking another bag at the next shop you stop at. Try to fit it all into the first bag.
The power of the above actions cannot be taken too lightly. I have seen, with delight, my friends and relatives start avoiding plastics, and telling others too. It does spread, slowly but surely.
[This list, of course, is only with regard to plastic bags, the major polluting factor. Please do add to the list!]
Here’s to a plastic free Bangalore! :)