Whenever I visit India, which is every two to three years, there is one thing that I always notice and absolutely despise about the beautiful serene villages. The trash. It flies along the side of the road, settling into the gutters and the man-made sewers. It stinks up the village side, even more so than the cow dung. It multiplies by the second.
Obviously, as I only come to India to visit, it never felt like a huge issue to me. It was just something I’d have to see and deal with every two years. However, as I began learning more about the environment and how much trouble we are in, I became increasingly annoyed and disgusted. How can we just throw our trash on the side of the road like this?
A simple moment from seeing trash on the road a couple times inspired me. I looked at that trash, angry at humanity- at myself. I was shocked every time I noticed it and still can’t believe that we can do this to our home. And after us, future generations will have to live in this dump. We can’t just ignore this issue.
Keeping roads clean in India isn’t the only issue right now. It’s roads in America. It’s oceans. It’s parks. It’s everywhere.
Surely, throwing your trash on the side of the road is worse than throwing trash in America right? No. We throw all of our trash in secret. In the secret trash bin covered away. Practically the same amount of trash, maybe less depending on population sizes. But trash is still trash- whether it’s in a trash bin or on the side of the road.
Trash consumption has always been an issue that we have been and are continuing to work on, but just not enough. We started recycling and composting. At the same time, we buy take out and throw away billions of plastic bags. The oceans get polluted. The roads get polluted. The Earth gets polluted.
So now, what should we do? Campaign for environmental awareness? Write articles like this ranting about how we hate trash? Get legislation passed?
All of these are great ideas, but the most impactful thing to do right now is to simply reduce your trash. Stop buying so much takeout- and if you do, ask for less waste. Reuse your plastic bags. Start using a compost bin. These small easy things will have a bigger impact on the environment rather than talking about it. Saying is different than doing. Let’s do.
Overachiever Magazine was started by Rehana Paul in October of 2018 to give a platform to all Asian women, non-binary people, and other gender minorities.
Our name is poking fun at the stereotype that all Asians are overachievers, especially Asian women, non-binary people, and other gender minorities. It’s also in recognition of all of us who have had no choice but to be overachievers: managing societal expectations, family obligations, and educational opportunities, all while fighting the patriarchy.
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