“Little drops of water make the mighty ocean.” We take this saying pretty seriously and believe that if we want to change the world, we have to begin with ourselves. Reducing individual plastic consumption and wastage is of utmost importance in slowing down the downward trajectory that the health of our planet has taken. It is heartening to see so many people are aware of this and have started taking action by making small but important changes in their lifestyle. An easy way to begin is to slowly phase out single use plastic by not only replacing them with bio-degradable ones but also making a few conscious choices when you’re out of home. But before you start, remember to take it slow as the best way to introduce these changes in a sustainable, long term manner is to do it step by step, one project at a time.
The Andamans, like every other beautiful place is being ruined by plastic and irresponsible tourism. We hope that this helps you not only change your life for the better but also plan a responsible and plastic-free trip to the islands. Here is a list of things that you could start carrying with you to take the first step toward a low-waste lifestyle and a clearer conscience.
Today there are water coolers in almost every office and public space. It is the easiest thing to carry and refill your own water bottles instead of buying packaged drinking water. If you are planning to buy a new carry bottle you can choose to buy steel or even thermo-steel bottles to carry cold water from home (which is a great motivator).
Plastic bags are banned in most cities in India and yet you can still see them everywhere. Almost all shops give you the option of buying really cool cloth bags to carry your stuff that can be reused. It is very easy to carry a cotton tote bag in your bag or purse at all times, in case you need to buy groceries or anything. If you do this you automatically eliminate the chance of you needing or using a plastic bag completely. Kudos if you already carry one!
Your zero waste travel kit should also contain a small travel mug or thermos so that you can avoid single use cups for coffee, tea and other such hot beverages you consume while outside. Those made of steel are your best option and are available online. Another good option is to invest in an airtight steel food/soup jar that can be used for restaurant leftovers as well as beverages. Good old Milton has a wide variety to choose from.
It isn’t easy to remember to tell the waiter that you don’t need a straw, but it needs to be done. If you insist you need one for hygienic reasons, then you may consider investing in a steel straw. The same way you get interesting cutlery like sporks (spoon+fork) made of metal or bamboo that you can carry with you to avoid using plastic ones in public places or while traveling. It is also a very good idea to carry a simple steel dabba (container) or tiffin in your bag in case you want to take home leftover food from restaurants so that you can avoid the plastic packing or to carry some snacks from home so you can avoid buying packaged ones on the go.
Carrying a nice soft cloth napkin in your bag would save you from using so many tissues and in turn save some trees too. Tissues are single use and can be avoided with a little effort. Even when you’re travelling, it is very easy to just wash in the sink and dry overnight. Doesn’t it remind you of simpler times when people never left home without their handkerchiefs.