The marriage season is here. I notice a new trend today where serving water in marriage halls has shifted from the re-usable metal cup to the plastic cup and finally today the 500ml packaged drinking water.
Where are we headed?
It is essential to sit back and think. This is a small example of how a simple change in decision can generate huge quantities of waste. These bottles are served to all the guests along with the meal. The guests usually only take a sip or use the water to wash their banana leaves. Luckily, banana leaves are in use and that tradition has managed to live on! The rest of the water, however, is wasted as very small percentage of people take the bottles back home with them. All the bottles are cleared off to accomodate the next set of guests.
Scavengers collect all the bottles and send it to recycling. In this process, the life of each bottle is disproportionately small compared to the energy consumed to make it.
The event organizers role in taking these small decisions rightly goes a long way. Can we please go back to re-usable stainless steel tumblers or low-energy clay tumblers? In all the lavishness of the function, let us not forget the waste we are creating and the carbon footprint.
Mud Hands is an architecture design firm which promotes building with mud.
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