We all know what it is like to live in an environment with burgeoning garbage dumps. Maybe, not all of us but most of us have seen those plastic bags and bottle overflowing from the municipality dustbins which are kept at every few meters.
An argument: "Maybe the govt. should do something about it. It is the govt. that should ban plastic.My day starts with plastic and ends in one. How can I willingly give up plastic and its products? I can’t do anything about it. It has to be govt.”
So this is my conversation with most of the educated people around. They believe that they cannot give up plastic. As they do not have alternatives or alternatives are very expensive or they just don’t know if the alternative exist. I would like to remind people that plastic is quite a recent discovery and life did move on before plastic was invented. Once out of the house and out of sight it is someone else’s problem. Imagine govt. stops accepting plastic waste. All the toothbrush I change every 2 months will be piling up along with so many other plastic wastes that I generate every day. Of course, plastic has made our lives very easy and comfortable but we must understand that this comfort is at the cost of extremely polluted future of our children. Today we still have a choice which our kids will not have. They will have to live with the choices we make today.
That is when we decided that we should sow seed when the kids are young. If the elders are unable to relate to the challenges of future due to the usage of plastic it's the young minds that we should focus on. That's what we did at Spinz Dance and Creative Hub summer camp at Surat.
I was a little nervous about the session as I was not sure if kids could relate to most of the things I would be talking about. But I was determined. I took prints of several pictures that would suggest visually what the message I wish to share with them.
We started with a small role play where a mother and a kid goes out for shopping and the smart mom carries a shopping bag from home. The shopkeeper insists on giving away a new bag saying its free but the mother refuses. Then the duo decides to have Chinese food. There too, the place was littered with plastic cutleries and styrofoam plates. The mother carries plates and forks from home to ensure no plastic is used by her family. Not only this, the mother strongly opposes the use of straws for cold drinks.
The role play ended and we took over. We explained them the basic difference between any material and plastic. Every material has its life and when buried, sooner or later, it should turn to soil. But the case is very different for plastic. It takes centuries to biodegrade (or to turn to soil) and in the process gives out harmful chemical dioxin causing air and water pollution. This also enters our ecosystem through the air, water, and food that we use for our survival.
We showed them several pictures stating how rainwater passes through our dump and mixes with our drinking water.
How birds and animals imagine the floating plastic as its food and consume it. They feel full yet the body does not get any nutrients. They slowly die. There are several patches on different oceans known as garbage patch where plastic waste from all over gets accumulated.
Animals get tangled in these plastic parts or plastic enters in the opening of their body making itself permanent part of their bodies.
To our surprise, most kids could relate to. They knew what we were talking about. Most may not know the impact of using plastic and its product but once we showed them the impact they could relate. That’s why the young mind is the best mind. We truly believe that each one will for at least once will select right and will avoid plastic. And that is how a seed will be sown. That is how we as a community will succeed.
We cannot just pity the situation and continue living our lives. Our kids need to see better beaches and oceans. Let’s make our family more aware and conscious of plastic waste and its impact on the everyone’s lives.