Narela resident Bhim Rawat, 32, is leading a plastic-free life. Starting from the neem twig he uses for a toothbrush to the paintings made of floral dyes hanging in his home, he has devised alternatives for everything plastic to become eco-friendly.
“I have been doing it for at least 10 years now,” he says. But convincing his family about his lifestyle choice was not easy, he says. Every time a member brought home plastic products, Rawat would throw a tantrum and refuse to eat. Finally, his family gave in and joined him.Rawat, who works with an NGO in Shalimar Bagh, says that contrary to popular perception, eco-friendly living is easy on the pocket.
“I used leaf and steel plates to serve food to guests at my wedding to make the event plastic-free. It reduced the cost of the event drastically and had a big impact on the villagers as the next three ceremonies followed the trend.”
He sent out calendars as his wedding invites, and gifted close to 500 cloth bags to people, encouraging them to give up plastic.
Powdered rock salt, stainless steel buckets and mugs, cloth bags, bamboo cups for drinking, steel utensils, earthen pots, rugs made from old gunny bags — the list of eco-friendly alternatives in his home is long. Rawat, who was a teacher, says he became environment-conscious while teaching school children about the topic.
“When I first started working for the environment, I researched a lot and found that we are the ones destroying our home and killing wildlife. I realised that our lives can go on perfectly without plastic. So why not do so?” He is now constructing a pit at home to harvest rainwater.
Next on his agenda is to find a way to compost toilet waste.
“People in Delhi are concerned about parking spots, but not the air they breathe. Everyone knows the dreadful effects of plastic, but no one cares to condemn it,” laments Rawat.
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