Collective Responsibility

Human beings are not acting responsible when it comes to the upkeep of our beloved planet. We do not care. Instead of recycling, washing dishes, and disposing of domestic waste properly, many use disposable utensils and plates or single use plastic products and throw away mixed domestic litter wherever possible. City governments and municipalities are not having proper system to collect and dispose of the municipal wastes appropriately. Some of it is not lifted at all and keep accumulating in streets layer over layer.

The accumulation of municipal waste results in high concentrations of airborne dust, bacteria, and fungal spores that have been reported more in and around urban centres and industrial areas. The concentrations in thickly populated areas are considered to be sufficiently high to cause adverse health effects.

Simultaneously, use of so many different kinds of consumer products is on the increase. Companies introduce products to make profit and save time, but the more they create, the more resources and energy they use and our environment becomes messed up; polluted. Imagine the disposable things we use. List of disposable is endless. Paper pots and aluminum pans, multipurpose glass bottles, disposable baby bibs and plastic shopper bags that are thrown away after one use so the consumer does not have to worry about cleaning up any mess. Every bit adds up.

What is more, apart from animal driven transport (tongas, rehras) domestic animals (Goats, cows and buffaloes) are also seen living inside residential quarters as well as in city streets. Their unused fodder and droppings adds up domestic waste. At some places, segregation law has been enacted but that has never been implemented in true letter and spirits anywhere.

No local data is available but as per the global estimates, on the average each of the 6.3 billion humans living on this planet creates 1,600 pounds of domestic garbage every year. The garbage quantity is increasing with time. Not only does it affect the environment, but toxic waste and air pollution does, too. Every year, 2.5 billion pounds of toxic waste ends up in the air, water or ground, causing over 50,000 people to be hospitalised for various diseases, some of them terminal.

Is it really that hard to wash pots and pans to reuse? Agreed that life is getting faster every day and people have little time for household tasks and they have more money and can afford disposable things but still, it should not be difficult to take a few minutes and do them. It is life. In the process every one will be saving lot of trees, energy and the environment, which we all share.

If every one performed these simple tasks, perhaps our environment would not be so polluted. Or if people would reduce consumption and throw away only what cannot be recycled or reused, this world could be better. In order to reduce the strain on the environment from the domestic waste, at individual level we need to reassess our usage patterns and living practices and need to have a sound disposal plan in place at community and national level.

If that is not done, we may be poised to damage our planet, and once we mess it up beyond repair, what will we do next?

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