It was reported that plastic waste played a major role in inundating various streets in the city. Plastics and other waste dumped on the road caused blockages. DT Next got in touch with sustainability coach Kalpana Manivannan to understand how one can handle waste at home and why sustainable development is the only solution to avoid man-made disasters. “It is high time we learned to manage solid waste on our own. Even during the 2015 deluge, we faced a huge plastic waste crisis. Certain control measures were taken then but it wasn’t implemented seriously. Waste management should start at home and parents/teachers should teach children about this. For a child growing up, his/her contribution to making the world a better place should start from their home. Children should be taught the importance of waste management, how it can be done, why we shouldn’t dump the waste on the roadside, how a minimalist lifestyle can help, why there should be more green covers in cities, the need to preserve the lakes, and so on,” Kalpana starts the conversation.
Subway in Kodambakkam filled with waste including plastics
When there is flooding, we are quick to blame the government for poor infrastructure. But somewhere as a citizen, we have to make a difference. “COVID was an eye-opener. For almost one and a half years, we struggled due to the virus. During that time, there was a discussion on switching to a sustainable lifestyle. But still, many are yet to make that change. You can start with the biggest issue our planet face — plastic. Stop buying vegetables or groceries in plastic bags, instead use cloth bags or containers. Grow veggies in your kitchen or terrace garden. Kitchen waste can be composted and used in the garden for plants. Through the gardening workshops I host online, I am mobilising people to start a sustainable lifestyle. I feel there should be more awareness on this topic. We have to be responsible ancestors for our future generations. According to the data from the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB), during Deepavali, Chennai’s air quality dropped to hazardous levels on November 4. We could have avoided this situation. Ours is a consumer-driven market, therefore it’s very important for us to be a conscious consumer and reject that which doesn’t serve us,” she adds.