Adeela Hameed

Dilemma of Being a Hygiene Freak in the Age of Plastic Wraps

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People find it easy to buy processed clean food. Availability matters too but given a choice, most would opt for food items that are easy to use and cook. Some others, due to their busy schedule, even make do with ready-to-eat packed lunches. Time is money. From a homemaker to working class lady, single fathers to joint family, bachelors to elderly, everyone wants to have lots of time on their hands, just not enough for cooking. While many a cases might be genuine due to busy schedules and what not, others just don’t want to put in their energy to cook healthy. In this century where everyone is running around, working, teaching, hiring, or lazing, time management is imperative to survival. However when it comes to food or hygiene, people always tend to use the easy option, the option that makes sure everything is completed on time.

Being a cleanliness freak in this age comes with its own set of problems. Not just for you but mainly for the environment. Products used do the work for you, at the cost of air you breathe, soil you tread upon, or water you drink. Why? Because plastics and similar polymer derived substances are inevitable in products nowadays. And people go out of their way to buy these, just so they can reduce time spent on alternatives.

There are a variety of eco-friendly articles to maintain your incessant need to be hygienic. Use of glass or ceramic, most of which is reusable, is one such option. Being mindful when shopping for goods, buying items that would last long and not have a detrimental effect on you or the environment is necessary. However, the concern that bugs most people is an overall shortage of eco-friendly substances sold in the market, and otherwise boom in the production of plastic-based items. You can’t use alternatives when they burn a hole in your pocket or are unavailable, short in supply or not delivered in your area. That’s where the problem builds up.

Most people in developed countries and even in developing nations are gaining awareness about environment, pollution, and climate change. Among these, a huge chunk want to be sustainably responsible and reduce use of fossil-fuel based materials. And a good number of citizens really do care so they deduce their own alternatives and apply the concept of the 3 R’s (reduce, reuse, recycle). But just a small number, of the billions, living on planet Earth can’t help. It’s impossible to overcome problems when just a few thousands walk the change.

So, it is imperative to understand that not just ordinary citizens but industries and manufacturers are responsible for protecting our environment. When the source identifies problems, mitigates the after-effects and stops production, only then can the customers benefit. Introducing eco-friendly alternatives instead of complex polymers for packaging, transport, storage, and distribution is one of the ways to be responsible. But all of this is to be done at the root of the cause. People can only buy when the markets are stacked. And for people to buy alternatives, these must be in good production, easily available and inexpensive. Someone quite simply pointed out that, ‘We are the first generation that bore the brunt of climate change and the last generation that can do something about it’.

This planet does not need more pollution. It has reached the epoch of climate change and unnatural weather anomalies. What it needs is healing. For every generation, there has been appointed a phase of trials andtests. This is it for us; the trial to survive a planet that is losing hope.

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