With so much pollution, our increased carbon footprint and the threat of climate change, recycling has become more important than ever. The use of products that are non-biodegradable, such as anything with plastic, is filling up our landfills at an alarmingly fast rate. Recycling and changing our habits to be more environmentally friendly has become crucial. But to be able to recycle, we need to understand the basic steps of sustainable living. To learn more about sustainability and recycling, we invited Anusha Fatima, the founder of Trashit — a start-up aimed at disposing garbage in Pakistan — to the Mashion HQ. She shared details on the importance of recycling and so much more. Scroll down for everything that we learnt from her.
1. The Simple Rule Of Living An Eco-Friendly Life
Living an eco-friendly life is the need of the hour. The purpose of being eco-friendly is to prevent the environment from harmful pollutants. This simple change in our daily life can have a huge impact on the environment and anyone, from children to adults, can easily play their part. According to Anusha, living an eco-friendly life is pretty simple. “All you have to do is be conscious of the everyday choices you’re making. Follow the four basic rules — reflect, reduce, reuse and recycle.”
2. Thermocol Boxes Are A Big No
Thermocol, also known as Styrofoam, is one of the most used products in daily life. From disposable cups and plates to packaging materials, thermocol is used in almost every form. Because it’s low cost and convenient, many vendors choose this material for their business needs. But how useful or convenient it is, is not as important as the fact that it’s extremely harmful to the environment. Our expert tells us that thermocol is non-biodegradable, which means it doesn’t decompose, and when incinerated, it emits poisonous gases that pollute the environment.
3. Recycling And Sustainable Living On Personal Level
There’s been a huge increase in people who’re conscious of the environment and want to switch to a sustainable lifestyle. However, they often don’t know where to start. All it takes is one small step. To practice recycling and sustainable living, our expert suggests switching to better alternatives for everyday products. She says, “Start off by replacing your toothbrush with a bamboo toothbrush, ditch plastic straws and opt for metal ones, skip the plastic bag and use either a cloth bag or baskets. This way it won’t be difficult at all.”
4. Right Way To Recycle Scraps Of Vegetables And Fruits
The leftovers we unknowingly toss into the trash are a major source of landfill waste and food scraps have one of the lowest rates of recycling. However, fruits and vegetables can easily be repurposed as compost and benefit the environment in many ways. On the right way to recycle fruit and vegetable scraps, Anusha says, “First, make sure to separate this waste. Also start collecting brown waste — leaves and cardboard. Have a composting setup where you can compost this stuff. For this, you’ll need a bin where you can put all this waste. The trick here is to layer it. First put the veggies and fruits scraps then layer it with brown waste.”
5. The Do’s And Don’ts Of Compost
Composting is the best way to recycle. Not only is it very simple but it also creates a useful soil enricher. But when composting, it’s important to consider what you can and cannot compost. According to Anusha, you can compost greens and several other products. But she suggests not to compost dairy products or leftover and cooked foods such as meat, chicken and fish. “It’s a big no. These do not easily decompose and may also attract a lot of insects which can make it difficult to manage.”
6. The Case Of Polythene Bags
It’s no surprise that polythene bags are one of the biggest threats to the environment. They can get into soil and release toxic chemicals and everyone knows the harm they do to marine life. Due to their harmful properties, polythene bags are banned in many countries. According to our expert, even if a plastic bag can be used twice or thrice, it still ends up in the landfill and gets burnt every single time. To avoid using these harmful bags, she suggests choosing a better alternative, such as a reusable cloth bag.
7. The Purpose Of Trashit
Trashit is a start-up that aims to promote sustainable living in Pakistan and make the country greener and move towards a zero-waste lifestyle. The idea is to transform organic waste from households into fertilizers, which will eventually lessen the amount of trash for disposal. Explaining the purpose of Trashit, Anusha says, “At Trashit we make compost from organic waste and provide alternatives to single-use plastics.”