Thursday, December 24, 2009

Of cats, Rats and Plastic Bags

A quirky tittle indeed! But there is a connection.

It occurred to me that with just a little change in attitude we can make a huge difference in the way things are.

The problem with most of us is we prefer to let things be as it may.
We wonder what difference just one person's change in attitude is going to make and refuse to take that most important step towards awareness!!!

Take Plastics as a case in point. They have become an inevitable(?) part of our everyday lives.

Do we realise that our toothbrushes are made to last forever? (Not functionally)

What about disposable diapers and things of that sort? Have we ever taken the time to find out the damage they cause to the environment?

A couple of months back, there was an article in The Hindu against some of the rich who claimed that it was the poor who polluted the world. (Oh,Come on,how is that possible?) The author however, concluded that the poor populated and the rich polluted. How true!!!

So, what have rats and cats got to do with plastic bags?
Just my feeble attempts in trying to save the world.

I try to make my toothbrush last longer - by not chewing on it while reading the paper and trying to brush at the same time.
How about plastic bags? I need (?) at least one everyday to bag and dispose my domestic waste.
I tried making a compost bin in a tall plastic(?) tub. First a layer of brick brack and then a layer of soil, a layer of kitchen waste and a layer of soil, a bit of watering. Some big fat earthworms...

After about 15 days of this, I saw some really disgusting crawlies in it and I could'nt see myself putting my hands into that rot to use as compost. And it stank enough to wake me from sleep - and that's no easy thing - waking me up when I am asleep! Earthworms I don't mind touching - but these other things were really disgusting.

I then decided on a compost pit - no more stench - no more crawlies - only my friendly earthworms and some really huge centipedes. My garden was slowly turning from absolutely barren to slowly blooming.

Just one problem! My open compost pit was inviting rats and bandicoots - I did not mind it at first because the bandicoot dug up my compost pit really well saving me the trouble, and left my plants pretty much alone.

Slowly trouble started in paradise. The AC in our car was not working!
The mechanic said the wire was all gone and had to be completely replaced.


A couple of months later the same thing happened. We were puzzled.
I've seen kittens under the bonnet and half-heartedly shooed them away a couple of times - but I've never heard of them chewing up wire! I've always associated kittens playing bundles of lovely colourful wool.

One day, when I opened the bonnet to shoo away a new batch of kittens - for some reason the cat in our colony always hides its kittens under our bonnet- I found them toying around with a couple of dead rats. I finally realised, that they were there, probably because of the rats and not because they found the space a cosy home!

And the reason the rats were there in the first place - the compost pit hardly five feet away. That solved the mystery of the chewed up wires.

So I am back to plastic bagging my kitchen waste!

I don't say no to plastic bags because I need them.

So the best way to eliminate use of plastics is to eliminate the need!

Can you imagine going back to brushing your teeth with neem twigs?

Any alternatives anyone?

Another thing that comes to mind is -
While our needs or requirements are few, our wants are many. Surely, the world will be a better place if we can learn to take care of genuine needs at curtail at least 25% of our wants.

Let's chew on this along with all those holiday goodies.
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