Where were you on New Year’s eve? I was on a plane to Vancouver after a two-week trip visiting my family and friends in India. In a struggle to find the cheapest tickets available, I ended up choosing the least eco-friendly option for my plane journey – the one with two stops.
Where will you be in 2020? I am in Vancouver, trying to improvise upon what I couldn’t in 2019. Calming down the critic inside me so that I can move forward with a renewed fervor for reducing not only my own impacts on the environment and people around me but also help others along the way.
An African proverb says, “It takes a village to raise a child.” The same applies for our planet right now. An entire community of people must interact with our planet for it to grow in a safe and healthy way. I hope our leaders develop new systems to make it easy for all of us.
Looking back at 2019, here are a few things I tried:
- Just when the year came to an end I tried sanitary napkins made of cornstarch and bamboo fibers. After a few uses I got used to its comfort level. It’s relatively soft and thin, not the softest around though but not rough either.
- Transitioned to a toothbrush made from bamboo. I have not reached the stage where I’d need to pluck the plastic bristles out of it.
- Figured out how to dispose e-waste locally. I have moved several times in the past few years which makes it difficult to re-find systems.
- Denied free plastic bottles offered by airlines as I carried a refillable glass bottle.
- Planted herbs instead of purchasing herbs sold in discrete packets.
- Carried a cloth bag wherever possible. Denied plastic bags offered by grocery shops.
- Encouraged my tiffin provider to provide tiffin in reusable containers.
- Purchased eco-friendly and local products when available. Resisted the urge to shop online on several occasions. Helped sell eco-friendly products.
- Shopped at a zero-waste shop which was exciting!
- Switched to bath bars.
Food and packaging waste, flying, and daily commute remain to be my biggest challenges.
How was your 2019?