#Trashtag Challenge

My mother who never snipped the milk packets into two parts and my grandmother who never junked anything, are the real household heroes for me.

I never liked the fact when my grandmother would discretely save all the emptied milk bags and make no fuss about it.   Not just those moist bags, she would even hoard all the other plastic bottles, bags, cardboard pieces etc. Even in the cramped apartments, we lived in; she would find ample space for them. I still wonder how! I was much attached to her but would often run into arguments with her for stocking stinky and clammy stuff in the house.

Living in the times of newly opened economy; globalization and consumerism being the buzz word, I found no rationale in hoarding redundant things when we could easily buy them. But she never fettered. To everyone’s surprise, she would snip the joints of the half kg milk packets from three sides; do this with all the other idle milk packets, wash them well with soap and eventually stitch them all to create an item of utility: a plastic sheet, a plastic carry bag, a plastic storage bag, a cover for outdoor ac unit, a scooter/bike cover and much more.

Her mind space may not have come from #Trashtag Challenge, but it was the wisdom of that generation; to remake and reuse things, otherwise ordinarily discarded. Their acts of wisdom did not have any FB ‘likes’ or Twitter ‘followers’, but their acts were pure acts of conscientiousness. That whatever we get from the society has also to be returned to society.  It is so amusing to notice that ‘Corporate Social Responsibility’ was already in the skin of many Indians before the jargon stormed the MNC cabinets.

Least did my grandmother and her tribe know that saving those plastic bags and bottles is now the need of the hour. To me, the environment and its troubles were alien until I was thrown into this district-level debate by my school teachers.  Exhaustive research of many days to create my content for commemorating the Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro, exposed me to the hard facts.  It was historic in a way since the first time in twenty years was environment addressed as an elephant in the room.

More than two decades since 1992, much has been done and much more needs to be done. Our generation had the intentions, but probably as a nation, we were still getting a hold of our economic well being and so the environment has taken a back seat at some quarters.  It aches my heart to retrospect the number of wasted years gone by. It is sanguineness to witness millennials’ compassionate, un-adulterous and inspiring resolve to work every bit for the conservation of the environment.

To me they are the Green Brigade, waging their charge against the ignorant’s from the bottom of the cycle.  Staring from the tiny-tots in preschools to the bright youngsters who have developed and innovated environment-friendly products; they are on a roll.  They have not limited their efforts and abilities playing the blame game, rather they are trying to secure their wealth of nature’s bounty because of their own grit; with not much legacy of good nature left by us for them. A few days back, a preschooler was dressed as a water drop. I appreciated his efforts; he took the compliment graciously and left me with immense brain work – “Aunty what do you do with the waste water coming from the RO water filter? My Ma’am says we can use that for mopping the floor or cleaning the cars!!”

My mother who never snipped the milk packets into two parts and my grandmother who never junked anything, are the real household heroes for me. And in India, we are blessed to have Environment Coaches as family members…


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About the Author

Avanti Sopory

Entangled in balls of yarn; origins unknown...With a blunt pencil, the quintessential machine and the cacophony; hope to knit a flying carpet and steer the magic carpet around… Yours truly, Slave Of Words read more...

14 Posts | 21,964 Views

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