Activism teaches a lot about the world that we live in currently.
Recently, I have been trying to cut out plastic from life very seriously. I also happen to be part of a certain Green Team at work place. In our endeavour to cut down on corporate waste, especially plastic, we told the employees that they won’t have any more plastic cutlery in the pantry once we run out of the existing stock. We also donated silverware at lunch hours to encourage people to start using them. The money collected would then go to an NGO that helps clean our beautiful and suffering oceans.
The kind of people I met were of four kinds. Most of them were going to get lunch or coming back with lunch, plastic cutlery tucked in their pockets. Some had 3-4 spoons and forks.
- People who were genuinely happy to see us doing all the work and either bought the cutlery from us, or said that they already bring their own in
- People who did not make any eye contact and kept walking
- People who made excuses. One man said he recycles all his plastic. I informed him how recycling does not help as much as not using plastic in the first place, and it should be an option only if unavoidable. To that he said – well then they need to make something. It is just not convenient.
- One person just ordered a whole stock of plastic cutlery from Amazon and accused us of selling used silverware
It is frustrating, and exasperating. But it helps to remember that the change starts with you. If you cannot make a change, no one can. If on that table we convinced just two people to change their mindsets, that was probably a success (or not, I don’t know). They would hopefully change minds of two and two other people, who would change minds of two and two and two and two, and so on..