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This Mumbai woman is making zero-waste life a reality

Think Change India
22nd Dec 2017
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Meera Shah, a 31-year-old physiotherapist from Mumbai, is setting an example for many. Taking it as her social responsibility, she is on a mission to live a zero-waste life. She has also convinced her family to do the same.

For Meera, a zero-waste life goes hand in hand with minimalistic living. For instance, she hasn't shopped for clothes in the past two years, and she is determined not to have anything in her house that is unusable. Meera believes in the five-word mantra - Refuse, Reduce, Reuse, Recycle and Rot to accomplish that.

Image: Firstpost

Meera's decision was triggered by a news story she read about the money being spent on solid waste management. She told the Mumbai Mirror,

"There was no aim to lead a zero wastage life, the idea was very simple: I wanted to create as less wastage as possible. Along the way, I realised I had, and I keep buying, so many things that I don’t need and which I’m hardly going to use.”

Even when she goes to restaurants, Meera does not use plastic packets and foils that restaurant use to pack leftover food. Hotels in Mumbai are used to seeing her bring in her own containers to take back the food. Her husband Nirav, a banker, also does the same. Her in-laws too have been practicing a zero-waste life, inspired by her. In an interview with Firstpost, she said,

"I have given up on my sanitary napkin usage and started using menstrual cups. I can use them for upto ten years. We also try to do as less recycling as possible because recycling itself is an energy consuming process."

In an attempt to introduce a zero waste life to people in her locality, Meera convinced her society to put in a bio-compost system to help manage wet and dry waste separately.

Leading a zero waste life does not mean one misses out on the pleasures of life. With proper planning and organising, people have proved that one can do both at the same time.

Durgesh Nandhini, a homemaker from Bengaluru, and Sahar Mansoor, an analyst who also runs a zero waste startup, are examples of that.

On average, urban India produces more than 60 tonnes of garbage every year. This is closely connected to the environmental problem that we face from climate change to habitat destruction. That is why Meera and others like her gain all the more importance.


Read more -

India's first woman driver's journey of fighting patriarchy and poverty

One of Bengaluru's oldest restaurants has made zero waste a reality


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