Billions of tons of paper are being thrown out into landfills each day by us placed them in the disposable category. They are supposed to be ending up in the recyclable bin, but most don’t. Along with it goes billions of gallons of ink in various colors. Where does this ink end up in? If may find its way into Earth by dissolved, seeping underground and end up in our drinking water sources. The paper may degrade ultimately into Earth. But this ongoing cycle does not help us in anyway. This paper had come into being by way of us chopping trees and then having followed a production line to get our hands. So why not we give it a second chance by not throwing it away and considering them disposable?
All of us are participants in some sort of celebration at some point in our lives. Be it graduation, anniversary, birthdays etc. Paper plates have been around for so long that we have gotten used to it by now that we are highly reluctant to let go. After a party is over washing plates is one less thing to think when using paper plates. It’s much easier to just toss it into the garbage bin. So as a matter of convenience and it being a non perishable we are doomed to stocking it up in our homes. But it takes a lot of energy and the use of powerful chemicals such as bleach to manufacture them. Sometimes various dyes are also used to get the desired color in them. These chemicals are also highly detrimental to our environment and to ourselves. But do we care? Obviously not. For us convenience and low cost is what matters most.
The process of manufacturing these plates is complex as well. They comprise of starting mostly with wood chips which are turned into pulp through an elaborate chemical process. Then dies are custom made based on the size and the shape of the plate which need to be manufactured. Then these are molded into shape based on the requirement. This also requires extensive machinery and a manufacturing facility. Water is required in large quantities to make pulp. Today many types of plates are available in various colors, textures, shape and form. It is also available in various materials such Porcelain, Earthenware, stoneware, wood, metal, glass and stone. The most commonly used one is Porcelain. Plates made of many leaf varieties are also available, many of them are imports from various countries. They may be made from Areca palm, Banana leaves, wood, Bamboo, Palm leaf. Cutlery is also available which are made of wood. Recycled Paper spoons and straws may be another option for us nature lovers.
Plates made of sectioned wood may be the material of choice which requires no processing, is easy to use, easy to wash and air dry. This would be completely natural and we may be even surprised to see ourselves subconsciously connecting with nature by doing our part in its conservation. Nature has given us all that we need to survive naturally. Instead we have mended our ways in following the artificial World we have created for ourselves. By doing this we are shunning nature head on. Nature is not going to like it and it may come back to haunt us at some point in our lives. That point would be a point of no return.
By using recycled paper plates and natural ones we are showing ourselves the commitment which we have made with nature in preserving it in all its glory and beauty. If we take care of nature, it will take care of us. We are indeed massive consumers of non- degradable goods that end up in landfills. So why not transform ourselves into becoming major consumers of natural products instead? Nature may thank us for it. As consumers, we do consume and that’s what we are all conditioned to do. So why not consume the right way. There’s a right way and a wrong way of doing anything. Let’s do it right by choosing the right way. Let’s help nature and help ourselves in that process.