City's zero waste woman. | Garv Hai - Stories of Change | Swachh Survekshan 2019

City’s zero-waste woman

Meera Shah, a Mumbai based Physiotherapist is trying to make the world a better place by following a five word mantra -Refuse, Reduce, Recycle, Reuse and Rot.

Astonishing as it may be, she hasn’t shopped for new clothes in the past two years. She believes in not buying anything that isn’t required. Refuse, as the first point goes.‘A cotton t-shirt will use around half a kilo of pesticides. We can limit the number of clothes in order to reduce the impact,’ said Meera who was inspired to change her consumer lifestyle after reading an article about theMunicipal Corporation of Greater Mumbai spending huge amounts of money on solid waste management.

She expressed ‘I am very concerned with the use of plastics… Wherever I go, I make sure I carry my container. I have a minimal number of plates and glasses at home. Just enough for ourselves and guests. Nothing extra.’

She makes use of her composting bin to get rid of the waste from kitchen and other degradable items. The ‘wet waste’ as she calls is added along with the other natural wastes. ‘After having a haircut or getting my nails done, I bring the strands of hair and pieces of nail with me and put it in the bio-compost,’ said Shah. The composed is later used for gardening and other similar activities.

Shah uses all their leftovers to make compost for gardening. Image: Supplied

Talking of the challenges she said ‘zero waste is not about changing your lifestyle in one day. It is a journey you have to take, for life. People ask me, ‘how can one person alone bring about change?’ To which I say that if a family of four – who on average generate around a kilo of waste every day – adopted this lifestyle, we could cut it down from 360kg of waste a year to nothing. Together we can do it.

Source: The Ethicalist

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