Green Inspiration

Swachh Bharat Abhiyan not enough, we need efficient waste segregation and recycling systems.

My country, India that is, on one hand, rising up under the leadership of Narendra Modi (Present Prime Minister) with programs such as MAKE IN INDIA and SWACHH BHARAT ABHIYAN, on the other hand the government has failed to provide the basic structure for waste segregation. It has also been observed that right from political leaders to school teachers all have failed to inculcate the habit of “NOT LITTERING” in the citizens of India.

Every day tons of unsegregated waste is collected by our municipalities and sent to landfills. Outskirts of our over populated cities are spoiled by the foul smell, rodents, flies and predatory birds who lunch on this waste in landfills. Landfills release methane gas (a greenhouse gas) into the atmosphere rather than being put to proper use. Landfills are also a health hazard for the people who work in there.

Landfill which was a successful technique a few years back is no longer a sustainable option. The ever growing city circumference and the severe land crunch have made this option tougher for our municipalities to manage it.

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Only if we could take the segregation of waste at home level seriously the tons of waste produced every day can be handled in a very sustainable manner. When we segregate waste we segregate the biodegradable solid waste from the non-biodegradable waste. The biodegradable part is of great use to us. Many cities in India have started making it compulsory for households to segregate their waste. Pune city for example (from my personal example and case study done by me) has made it compulsory to sort the waste into the two bins provided by the municipality. The waste while being collected is checked and if not sorted properly it is not taken by the waste collector.

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The wet waste is sent to plants. These plants extract energy from waste by various processes. Few plants make methane which is a biofuel while few make composts. The end products of composts can be used as fertilizers. Electricity can also be produced from methane gas.

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However, this is done in very few cities. Even today people are lethargic to sort the waste for their own good. Sorted waste can be put to good use. In Mumbai (case study by Go.In.Green) where the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan is on the rise and Municipal corporations have set up two separate waste collection bins one for wet waste and one for dry waste. But in the end, all of it goes into the same waste collecting van. This is a massive failure.

In Australia where I am currently staying from past 2 years, we have to sort our waste into three categories – waste, recycle waste and green waste. We have one garbage bin allocated for each category and waste collection is done weekly. We have to sort our waste and need to stick to the given size. No extra waste will be taken by the council. By doing this the waste is not only sorted but also the amount of waste produced has been limited from each house. Also if you need an extra garbage bin you need to pay an extra amount hence, people avoid it.

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Limiting the amount of waste produced and sorting the waste is very important. We owe that to nature and our environment. I will end this article by Gandhiji’s saying that

The world has enough for everyone’s need but not for everyone’s greed.

The principle can be easily applied to sustainable living where we use only what is required and not waste resources. And if we are wasting we make sure that it is respectfully disposed of.

-Srushti Dudhankar

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Why should I care for the Environment?

This is the most stupid question that an environmental blogger or a green warrior can come across. Personally, no one has ever said it on my face, but yes, I know it’s there on many people’s mind. So I thought why not write about it. Also, this was suggested to me by my friend. It’s funny how people can take Kareena Kapoor’s baby name so emotionally and make it a National issue but somehow they cannot understand how environmental issues are also our problem. How can someone just miss the fact that they too live on the same planet?

  • First and the most important thing to know is that we all humans, as well as other creatures including trees, live on the same planet called  “EARTH”.
  • The atmosphere (Envelope of gasses around the earth), lithosphere (Outer soil and the rocky layer of the earth), and hydrosphere (The water layer) together make this planet sustain life. If any damage happens to any of these layers we all will be affected.
  • And if you still think you own this planet and global warming can be tackled by turning on the air conditioner in your room then you should find a new house for yourself in outer space.

Every day millions of tons of garbage are dumped into the oceans. Millions of trees are been cut down. The land is been depleted of its mineral resources. More and more animals are being added to the list of endangered species. Birds and fishes are dying each day due to some or other kind of pollution. people are suffering from various diseases like cancer, asthma, and allergies due to air pollution, many people die at a young age due to the hazardous garbage they get exposed to and yet here we are thinking about, what to eat today for lunch? If this does not make you care for our environment then I doubt anything else can.

Well, I started this blog on a very positive note, thinking there must be many people who are willing to do many things to save the environment. Of course, there are many who are already doing a lot of great things to help the environment but only those few people are not enough.

Maybe sustainability and sustainable development are far away for us but our end is definitely near.

Are we waiting for the day to comes when we will see our loved ones dying and maybe then we will start to think, that I should have done something about it? There is no planet B, there are no highly evolved aliens that will come to recuse us. It’s we the “HUMANS” of this planet who are responsible for our own future.

The next question in your mind will be “what can we do?”

There are numerous things that we can do and one of the most important things to do right now is to teach our kids the importance of our environment. You can do this by setting a simple example for them. Like:

  1. Carry your own reusable bag.
  2. Don’t buy unnecessary things.
  3. Avoid plastic as much as possible especially the one-time use plastic spoons, straws, and bottles.
  4. Keep the surrounding clean by throwing litter only in the garbage bin.

Easy? You will need to take efforts may be initially but once you have changed your lifestyle then it will become a habit. It is my responsibility to give you more such sustainable options.

Walk with me towards achieving sustainable goals by taking small steps. Also Happy Mahashivratri to all.

-Pooja Navale

Philosophy of Ecology seminar, New Acropolis, Mumbai.

We call this planet as ” MOTHER EARTH” because she is always giving all of her inspite of what we are doing with her. Respect her and love her. Let there be harmony between the nature and us as we are a part of it and it is a part of us. 

If you are thinking that you know ecology and you know a lot of philosophy as well, then get ready for something new. When I went to attend the seminar in Colaba I thought I had the idea about how the seminar would be. But it was completely different than my expectations. I have done my masters in Microbiology which has a fair amount of ecology and other environmental studies.But the philosophy of ecology seminar on gave me a new outlook about the environment.

The session started with the introduction of all the people present and it was simply amazing to see all the nature lovers that had come together. One person was working with an NGO, they planted trees everywhere, one was living a zero waste lifestyle, one was a vegan food supplier, one was a student of environmental science and there were other few who were either nature lovers or the lovers of philosophy.

Okay, so now I better stop talking about my experience and let me just tell you all the things that were discussed in the seminar. Maybe I’ll not be able to put all of 5 hours of teaching but yes I can give you a fair idea of how amazing it was.

The first question they asked us was, what is ecology? So we all said different things according to our own idea of ecology. But the actual meaning was explained to us which we came to know about for the first time. The word ecology is derived from greek word Oikos and logik. Oikos means the place where we live and logik means idea. So the word ecology means the study or understanding of the place where we live in. The understanding of place where we live in can be limited to our house or can extend up to the entire universe or it can also mean our own body. The philosophy of ecology tells us that every living or dead is part of this ecology ( the place where we live in) and whatever we do affect us all. This is very important to understand, as we are very ignorant population.

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We were shown a short clip from Documentary SAMSARA (2011), which brought tears to my eyes as it shows how we all are stuck in this cycle of life and how our destruction is nearing us.

The population of humans on this planet was 3 billion in 1960 which have risen up to 7.4 billion in 2016 and by 2050 it is going to be 9.6 billion. Imagine the pressure we are adding on all the resources. The worst part of this is that out of 7 billion only 10%  (we belong to the category of 10%) are using 98% of all the resources. So maybe you and I  have all the luxuries of the world and we think that the resources are unlimited. We are not living on this planet as part of it, we are living here as if we own it all to ourselves and this is the reason we have a lifestyle which is causing destruction on all the levels. Every animal, every tree and every mineral on this planet are exploited by us only for our greed. The seminar went further where we discussed how the ancient civilization knew about this hence the lived for 1000’s of years on the very same planet but with harmony with nature unlike us.  Their teaching has been lost over a period of time due our ignorance and misuse of human intelligence to destroy things rather than sustaining them. So I end here by saying that either you can live on the planet as a part of it or you can continue the walking towards the end of mankind.

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Every animal, every tree and every mineral on this planet are exploited by us only for our greed. The seminar also talked about how we all are involved in the evolutionary process and every action will have its effects on the entire planet as the planet is also undergoing change with us. The seminar went further where we discussed how the ancient civilization knew about this hence they lived for 1000’s of years on the very same planet but with harmony with nature unlike us.  Their teaching has been lost over a period of time due to our ignorance and misuse of human intelligence to destroy things rather than sustaining them. So I end here by saying that either you can live on the planet as a part of it or you can continue doing whatever you are doing and together we will destroy this mother earth.

P.S The pictures attached here are not quotes but parts of a letter which was written by chief Seattle (Head of the Red Indians, in the year 1852. They were natives of the land in America who lived there before the colonist took over them) to the white men when the white men have asked them that they want to buy the remaining land. 😦 The entire content of the letter can be found on the following link. Please watch /read and if it brings tears to your eyes then yes you still have some humanity left.

 Chief Seattle’s Reply Video.

Chief Seattle’s reply letter. 

New Acropolis – India

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We also upcycled beer bottle at the end of the seminar 🙂

 

-Pooja Navale

You can make a difference!

“Your Life is your message to the world. Make sure it’s Inspiring.” – Anonymous

Do you know that tourism industry is one of the fastest growing industries around the world? What do you think is the reason? Is it because of good transport service, because of luxury hotels, because people have a lot of money to spend or because they have a lot of free time or is it just a new trend? Well, these definitely are some of the reasons but the real thing is we have a lifestyle which is so monotonous and stressful that we feel the need to escape this by going to a far of place outside the cities, where we can relax and have some good time with friends, family or with our own self. The reason I am telling you this is because we always go to nature for relaxing as that is what we love more than tall buildings and traffic. This nature which use to be just outside our city is no more there as even those places are getting developed and urbanized, hence we have to go to some far off place in search of peace.

We cannot stop development as its a need and neither can we all go and live in the Jungle forever. But we can definitely save that what we love.  All we need to do is become a bit more conscious about the things we do in our day to day life. This time I will not talk about going out and planting trees or banning plastic but about how the mobile phone in your hand right now can help in saving nature. Here are few things which I do and you too can.

No matter how busy, we always have time for surfing on social media. We spend a lot of time looking at people’s statuses and pictures, be it on Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, Twitter or others for that matter. We follow a whole lot of people whom we love but can we not follow some amazing people who are doing good work for the environment? or follow some environmental clubs which conducts various activities for people like you and me. When I started blogging I too was unaware of these awesome people and groups but now there are just so many, I love them and their work. So here are two of my favorites

Lauren Singer who is 25 years of age and lives a completely zero waste lifestyle which is hard to believe. I came across her blog when I started searching for people on Instagram who are doing their bit for the environment. She not only blog about how to live a zero waste lifestyle but also post youtube videos about how to make your own tooth paste and deodorants. She also started her own company named Simply Co that makes laundry detergent which is chemical free and also they refill the same glass bottle so there is no generation of waste. She herself uses second hand clothes and buys bulk goods.

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Lauren Singer Buying Bulk Goods. A part of her zero waste lifestyle.

You should definitely see how she is living a zero waste life. Here is the link to her TED talk which completely changed my outlook Watch it here.

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Lauren Singer’s 2 years of Trash fits inside a Mazon jar.

Trash is for tossers- Blog By Lauren Singer

Follow her on Instagram @trashis4tossers

The second amazing person is Boyan Slat who is 19 years old and made a model to clean up our oceans. All the garbage that we produce everyday end up in the oceans and this has created 5 major garbage gyres in the ocean one of which is “The great pacific garbage gyre” which are killing many of the marine life. Here is the link to know more about  The Ocean Cleanup Project.

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Our oceans garbage gyres.

So who says that one person cannot make a difference? These two people are making a whole lot of difference to the entire world and so can you!

I hope this inspires you the way it has inspired me to help nature in every possible way.

So Pledge to Go.In.Green with me 🙂

-Pooja Navale

Animated Movies with environmental message.

Animated movies are the best as they are not just good entertainment but they also try to give us good moral messages. Not only the young people but adults are also a fan of many animated movies, and yes, I am one of them. I watch all the animated movies in the theater without missing any. That’s the reason I have decided to put up this article about animated movies that are not only a good entertainment but also gives people the message of what harm we are doing to our environment, it’s consequence and how to combat it.

Wall-E, Dr. Seuss The Lorax, Rio 2, Happy Feet, Ferngully: the last rain-forest, Barbie: Thubelina and Bee are  entirely based on the environment issues that we are actually dealing with and its entire story revolves around the topic. Like pollution and it’s hazard, shown in Wall-E , deforestation issue in The Lorax, Rio 2, Ferngully and Barbie: Thumbelina. Exploitation of animals and how they are important for our ecosystem is shown in Happy Feet and Bee.

On the other hand you have Finding Nemo, Finding Dory, A bug’s life, Toy story 3 and cars 2 whose stories are not based on the environmental issues but they have a certain small elements which makes them into this list, like in Cars 2 they tell us how solar and electric vehicles are better, Toy story 3 tells us that Reduce, Reuse and Recycle toys,  In Bug’s Life they show how smallest of the insect is important for our ecosystem and Finding Dory and Nemo shows us about ocean pollution, how sewage is released in ocean and how bad it is for animals/fishes when they are held in captive especially focusing on water world parks where fishes are trained to do stunts and kept in pathetically small area.

So have you watched all of these 12 movies? let us know in the comments. Till then have a great day and pledge to Go Green with by Go.In.Green. Thank you for reading, meet you soon.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Climate change documentaries by Leonardo DiCaprio.

Last Friday I had done a review article on Before the flood and that made me search for more such climate change documentaries. I visited the Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation Website from where I came to know about few more documentaries made by this foundation. I am going to attach the links here for you people and soon enough i will be writing reviews on them too. Till then please watch the below documentaries and let me know if you know more of such films that talks about climate change and other environmental problems. Water planet and Global warming are short clips and the 11th hour, Cowpiracy are documentaries.

Water Planet

Global Warming

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The 11th Hour (2007)

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Cowpiracy (2015)

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Before the Flood (2016) is no longer available for free on YouTube.

Also please visit the Leonardo DiCaprio foundation website to know about the various environmental projects carried out by them. Thank you for reading this. Love you all and wish you a happy weekend.

-Pooja Navale

 

Photographers, the best conservationist.

I remember my grandfather telling me that books and magazine were the only entertainment before television, and so library was one of his favorite place to visit. He had also told me that they use to have National geographic magazines in the library and it was one of the best magazine to read. so nature and all the aspects of nature were captured in this magazine by beautiful photography, it was a way to share with the people the beauty and amazing things that exist in nature. from this old period to the present world photographer have played a major role.
Just like the people in olden times we too get fascinated by photographs. Every one of likes to take and share pictures and so our social media pages are filed with that. each one of us has a photographer in us and each one of us is attracted towards beautiful photographs. Be it any social media, nothing operates without taking and sharing photos with the friends and the world. One thing is clear that photographs are important to catch anyone’s attention and what cannot be expressed in many words you can say it all in one picture perfect shot captured in the camera.

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OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA. photography by- Mileesh

Myself being a nature lover and a traveler I prefer travel blogs and environmental blogs with good photographs and this made me think that all these professional photographers and amateur photographers like us can give good environmental message to everyone around us. If you are a photographer and specifically a nature photographer you can help raise awareness more than any person through social media. with every nature photograph you can tell people how beautiful a place is or how a beautiful place is destroyed by we humans and that it’s our responsibility to keep it clean and green.
once in a while we all like to be close to nature be it a walk in nature trails or big vacation to some resort which is in midst of nature. and we capture all this in our pictures so just imagine if there is no beauty around us left where will you go? so whenever you take a photograph just try conveying some message to save our beautiful planet . otherwise there will be no beauty left to capture.

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Photography by – Rucha Navale

There are many examples of how people in past as well as in present are using photography as a means of connecting people to nature and helping us understand the problems our planet is suffering from. They narrow the gap between people and nature and help us understand things which we might NOT get to see with our own eyes, they tell us about the bitter reality of the suffering of nature by the hands of man. Here are few links that I found to be amazing and talks about how photographers are best conservationist.

Can photography save our planet?

Saving nature with photography.

How photography help environment ?

Seven conservation photographers saving the planet.

So I take this opportunity on WORLD PHOTOGRAPHY DAY, to thank all the photographer who has done their share for conservation of nature through their photographs, and the one who will do the same in future after reading this.

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Photography by – Himanshu Dudhankar

I am going to do my part, will you people too? Let me know in your comments. Also let us know if you are conserving nature with the help of your photographs.

– Pooja Navale

Udaipur – The green city.

The reason I called Udaipur the green city instead of lake city is because the use of plastic bags are banned in Udaipur along with plastic cups and plates. This ban on plastic was declared in the month of September of the year 2014. I only came to know about this when I had visited Udaipur last year ( just like you all I love to travel). The places where I did some shopping gave me this beautiful handmade clothe bag after the purchase was made,

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The clothe bag with beuatiful Tikli Work.

and it was then I noticed that even the vegetables vendors and other shopkeepers were giving clothe bag instead of plastic. The city is not just a great tourist spot but is also an example for all the mega cities to ban the plastic.

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Fatheh Sagar Lake.

It is a pleasure to know that such steps can be taken to help protect the environment and it is our duty to appreciate, respect and encourage the authorities in Udaipur, so that this can be followed by other cities too. It would definitely be a challenge to implement this and one cannot expect 100% ban as there are going to be few people who will be against such decisions, but such bans can atlases reduce the plastic garbage so maybe in future we don’t have to spread awareness about plastic hazards to kids in school.

One advantage of such ban is that people will slowly inculcate the habit of not using plastic and this can lead to search of new alternative. The use of cloth bag is one of such alternative. We also do use clothe bag on daily basis in a various ways. But what if the vendors themselves gives us cloth bag instead of you carrying one? So no more reminding yourself of carrying your own bag or paying extra 5 rs for a plastic bag. The clothe bags which I saw in Udaipur were made of different clothe materials, the big shops will provide you a bit of fancy clothe bag and the local vendor will give u a really simple and low on coast cloth bag. This use of cloth bag on such great scale will give rise to a new manufacturing companies to makes clothe bags, and give local people employment and opportunity to start new business.

So are you travelling to Udaipur? or have you visited this place earlier?, take some time to spread this knowledge to others around you and appreciate this great step. As for now, we don’t live in place where plastic is banned and hence, need to carry our own clothe bags to the market so maybe someday this small steps will lead change in habits of people around us and we can live in a better tomorrow.

Here are few of my pictures from the Udaipur Journey.

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The Udaipur Palace or also know as the City Palace.

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Hotel in  Lake Pichola.

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Celebration mall – The place from where i got the beutiful clothe bag.

Please take the pledge of #goingreen and stay with me for more such stories from my perspective so we all can walk together towards a greener tomorrow. Also if you change your habits, your children will learn the same from you. I deeply know that we are going to have an amazing future generation who will learn from our mistake and be the better versions of us so help them by giving them the right knowledge about our beautiful planet.

– Pooja Navale

Trees for all occasions.

We are the generation that celebrates everything, be it birthday’s, anniversary, exam results or break ups :p. No matter what news, sad one or happy , the reply from the friends will be the same – “when is the party ?”, “Common lets celebrate.” So here is my idea of celebrating every single occasion by planting a tree.

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Just imagine how wonderful it would be to have a tree for every occasion!, it would not just be a way of contributing to nature but every time you see that tree you will have so many memories attached to it. Each one of us have different things to celebrate or remember like every festival, every success story, every kid born, every birthday, start of new business, new car, first date, your pet’s birthday and even someone’s death or death anniversary, the list would go on. This small initiative would only bring us close to nature.

I am celebrating my birthday this year by planting a tree and going to do the same for every occasion. What about you?, are you with me?. Let me make this easy by sharing some things which would make it easier for you to plant a tree.

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Things I dealt with before planting a tree –

The major trouble was finding a place, if you live in a metro city then every place would be already occupied by parked cars, hawkers, shops and people. It is really important to find a good place as we don’t just want to plant a tree and leave it to die, so any place you visit often or a place where there is someone you know who would take care of it would be good. I chose one place inside my own compound wall. You can also plant a tree in any nearby temple or garden area. I think temples would be great as most of the time it will have  ample place around it and second there would be people working for the temple to take care of your tree. Parks would be great too if they are nearby and you often visit it so you can keep an eye on your tree.

The other important thing would be choosing a tree, it is important that the tree should have some benefits to the environment, like purification of air, shade giving, bear fruits so the birds can feed on them and has some good uses. The best tree would be Neem (Azardirachta indica) tree as it has all of these qualities except for one, that they don’t bear fruits, but as i already have one Neem tree planted a few years back i have decided to plant a different tree this time.
I studied a bit online from few blogs that it would always be good and safe to select trees which are native to your region or country, so that you don’t have to worry about its survival in changing climate. don’t go for fancy and too delicate trees as they might die soon without proper care.

I have chosen to plant Bael (Agele marmelos) as it is a native tree specie of Asia, easily available in any nursery, it grows into a big shade giving tree, bears fruits and thus attracts many birds and insects. Bael also has medicinal uses and the leaves of this tree are considered sacred, as they are often  offered to Lord Shiva.
When all this is done you are ready to go. The best season to plant a tree would be rainy season, but if you are ready to water them then you can plant them in any season. Once the tree is planted and it gets acclimatized to the soil conditions it would grow without much care. So I hope you guys are going to plant a tree for your special occasion, tell me your stories through email, i would be glad to know. Also tell us if you have any special tree that reminds you of any incident from your past.

Thank you all for reading this, even if i get one person planting a tree on their favorite occasion of memory then i would be so glad.love you people and join me by following as I will be uploading my photos of tree plantation on my birthday 8/8. Stay green by pledging to #goingreen.

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Small step, Big Leap.

Every day we find at least one news on climate change and problems related to it. All we do is read, discuss and later on forget. So is it possible to stop environmental destruction on an individual level? If I am the only person going to change, will that help on the global level? These are the question I had asked myself before starting the blog. I have no degree in environmental sciences nor do I have any business related to sustainable products and neither do I work for any environmental protection organization. The answer came easily, that yes I can make a lot of change in this global catastrophe by spreading awareness. One can always blame others for all the bad activities but we cannot really blame others for environmental destruction as we are the great contributors to the mass destruction.

We are the consumers and travelers. We are the one for whom industries are cutting down trees to make space and wood, releasing carbon in the atmosphere for the production of various goods, killing animals for food and other products, manufacturing more vehicles to meet our demand and the worst of all, is the production of plastic for our use.

Unless we don’t stop at the individual level the industries and nations are not going to ban any of these.
So what can we do? we can start with simple things like:-
1. Always throw waste in a dustbin, so you know that it will be properly processed.

2. Use metal or glass vessels instead of the plastic container.

3. On every good occasion, you can plant one tree.

4. Use less paper whenever possible.

5. Do not throw old clothes in garbage, you can reuse them or donate them.

6. Avoid buying all unnecessary plastic items like showpieces or any decorative items.

7. Do not honk on the road.

8. Educate the people around you doing any of the above things. 

Are they not small and simple steps? we still fail to do it. We need to change our way of living a bit and one day it will make enough difference. It is well said by Gandhiji, “There’s enough in the world for everyone’s need, but not enough for everyone’s greed”. Spend money wisely, buy only what’s needed, reduce your consumption and think about the environment before taking any step. So let us keep all the above points in mind and start the change by first changing ourselves.

Let’s take the pledge of Go.In.Green.

-Pooja Navale