Gold star to parent-led green team in our elementary school for their initiatives during the week of Earth Day. This is a team of very passionate, non-judgmental individuals who promote environmental awareness in ways that can be easily weaved into our everyday lives. Earth day was on April 22nd and for the entire week, they had organized initiatives around the theme – marker mondays, textile tuesday, walk to school wednesdays, throwback plastic thursdays, and reusable container fridays. I loved how this effort gently nudged us to think about ways in which we can make a difference.
When it comes to the environment, what we do as individuals matter. What we think as small drops, collectively make up the ocean. While I will not dare to use menstrual cups , am wasteful in many ways, and I am not an environmental activitist by any stretch of imagination, over the years I have taken small steps like minimizing plastic in kitchen, taking bags for shopping, encouraging kids to not use straws when they can be avoided, and recycling and upcycling wherever possible, to be gentler on earth.
I feel like if there is someone who can do this, it is us children raised in lower and middle class families in the 80s in India – haven’t we all seen our pattis haggling for manjai pai in Thangamaligai and Kumaran? Been trained from very young to eat in vazhai elai? have dreaded the leftover sambar and rasam that evolve into something that cannot be named but must be eaten? have grown either experiencing or witnessing water scarcity? Have seen a gazillion ways in which a veshti can be recycled and upcycled?
We know what to do and how to do, although the why to do it may have changed. If not us, then who?