Never think that what you do is too small to make a difference.Every action has an effect. Let your actions be environment-friendly. Write in to us if you have further comments, suggestions or feedback.
As an individual
Don't throw chocolate wrappers, fruit peels, bottles etc anywhere except in a dustbin. If you can't see one around you, carry the litter home. It won't hurt you.
This is especially true when you're in your car or in a bus or train.
b. Separating waste, and vermi-composting
We've started doing this 4 months ago. It's easy and very satisfying.
Keep an old plastic container with a lid, beside your kitchen sink.
While cooking, put all vegetable peels etc into this container
Scrape all left-overs from plates, into it too, as also any fruit peels or organic matter.
Dig a 1 ft* 1 ft pit. If in a flat, you can use a wide clay pot, too, stored on your terrace or balcony away from direct sunlight
Line the bottom with a layer of mud. Sprinkle with water. Add the day's organic waste, cover with thin layer of mud, and sprinkle lightly with water again.
If you can get hold of earthworms (city-dwellers, ask any nursery. Others, dig in your back yard), add a few. Once 2-3 days waste is accumulated, cover with mud loosely.
Once the pit/pot is full, add a last layer of mud and leave it for 3-4 weeks, sprinkling water every 2-3 days. You will start seeing dark, loose grainy mud on the top. This is the natural earthworm compost. If there are no earthworms, the waste will decay anyway but will take longer.
You can use this compost for your potted plants, or give it to friends who have potted plants.
The composting waste will not smell or attract flies if covered with mud. If you like, you can cover loosely with a sheet of newspaper.
You'll find that your other bins now have dry, recyclable waste such as papers -a lot! And bottles. These can be given to a raddiwala.
While brushing teeth or shaving, don't keep the tap running
Ditto while soaping during a shower
Don't generally throw our old water from a bucket or bottle. Use it to water plants, or wash dishes.
Get leaky taps fixed fast.
If you own a flat/house, or are buying one, then ensure that you get rainwater harvesting facility done.
Turn off the lights when you leave a room!
Solar water heaters work really well even during the rains - we've had a problem only if the skies remain totally overcast for 2 whole days. So one electric geyser plus solar water heaters are well worth it and save a lot of electricity.
Solar lighting is also an option - I don't know how this is installed and it's supposed to be expensive, anybody with information on this?
Keep aside scraps of plain paper, staple together and use for making lists/scribbling
Re use envelopes - just cross out the old address, and write the new. Write 'Re-use/recycle' in the corner - you'll get the message across and wont be thought cheap either!
Set aside those sheets on which one line has been printed, or old letter heads. Reuse for rough or personal printouts
Switch off your engine at signals
Get your vehicle serviced regularly.
Please carry, or ask your maid to carry, a large reusable plastic bag or cloth bag for grocery and vegetable shopping. You'll be amazed - each trip one collects between 5-10 small plastic bags. In a month you can lower plastic bag usage by upto 50 bags
Don't trash plastic bottles. Better still, try to carry water from home. Even though this will get over and you may still need to buy, you've at least curtailed the use of one bottle
Spread the word. Tell your friends and family - especially children.
Say it politely, not in an accusatory fashion. Help them join in.
As an employee
Two of the biggest - and easiest to correct - wasters we have seen are paper and plastic cups.
Take back to back printouts, always, except for a formal letter or document. The best is to take 2 sheets/page, back to back.
Keep those bad printouts to use as scribble pads or rough printouts.
DON'T printout those 50 page documents unless you absolutely need it. Keep a soft copy in a floppy or CD or a pen drive. I have seen people shoot print commands for 100 page documents on onsite travel manuals etc. You surely don't need all of it. Just print the critical pages.
b. Tea/Coffee Cups
Take your own! Don't use plastic cups. Speak to your admin staff, asking them to change the plastic cup machines. Imagine a few hundred plastic cups a day from your company alone piling up every day, every week, every month!
If you have a canteen, ask them not to use thin plastic cups either. Glasses or thick plastic glasses or steel glasses are fine. Talk to your admin. If they don't respond, send an email to a senior manager. There's no downside, and you'll be surprised at the response you sometimes get.
And of course, the same rules regarding water, electricity, litter hold true at the workplace too.
The basic principle is to develop a responsible attitude. Occasional slip ups happen to all of us.
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