The modern woman’s prerogative has been centred on issues such as independent living, equal rights, ambition and fair treatment. However, what we, as modern women often forget to consider, is our role as a change-maker in society, and our responsibility to the world around us, beyond the realm of our immediate gain. If we must rise and take up our rightful places in society as its driving force, we must also assume the responsibilities which should be shouldered by every educated and aware individual. We may not be able to change the world, stall climate change and stop global warming and the rapid extinction of many a species, but we can make small changes here and there, which when done by a number of people, will start becoming significant.
Early in the morning, instead of using the shower, one can always use a bucket to have a bath. Contrary to what most people assume, the shower does indeed waste a lot of water, and although we may not feel water shortage in our immediate surroundings, it is very much an issue, and it a very serious one, at that.
The next time you decide to go out and buy new clothes, bed-sheets and pillow covers, get khadi! It is a hand-spun material, and is eco-friendly. That coupled with the fact that it supports the craft and the people who spend hours making small pieces of cloth as well as the fact that it’s very comfortable, especially for Indian weather, should make it worthwhile.
Need to go shopping for groceries and other household items? Do not buy the big plastic shopping bags. Just buy a thick jute bag. Not only is it more durable, it is also eco-friendly, and it looks super-fashionable, because jute is very much the in thing right now!
Have space in your hand-bag or in your jute-shopping bag? Then do not ask for plastic carry bags from the shopkeepers. Unless something much be put in a plastic bag, such as fresh-cut meat, or really squishy fruit, there is really no need to keep buying the carry bags, which are very harmful for the environment. Mostly, we do it out of habit, but we need to quit this habit now.
Unless you’re sure that you must have plastic knives and spoons for a huge party, do not buy them at all. We buy the plastic, disposable ones only because we’re too lazy to clean up after the guests have left. But the extra bit of cleaning, even if done in the morning, is far better than using so much plastic and throwing it into dustbins, which will put it straight into landfills.
Make-up makes us look good. But most of the really pretty stuff which we use is tested on animals. It’s a cruel practice, although not all companies follow it. The next time you’re out buying make-up, try to ask the counter-girl, or better still, check on the packet to see if it is not tested on animals. Buy the ones which aren’t. Our vanity can afford to take a back-seat once in a while.
Lastly, we need to curb our (almost involuntary) habit of throwing things out of the car. It is just meaningless trashing of the streets. As citizens, we’re all responsible for how our city looks, and how well we manage it.
When we recognize the importance of women as social beings, we must also recognize the importance of how small environmental factors can affect society as we know it, and how we must take up individual responsibility.