This International Day of Zero Waste, let’s pledge for cleaner and greener lifestyle 

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The first International Day of Zero Waste will be celebrated on 30 March 2023. In December 2022, the UN declared that this day will be dedicated to promoting sustainable living by implementing an efficient waste management system.

In honour of this, the Ministry of Housing & Urban Affairs has launched the first-ever Swachh Mashaal March across more than 2800 cities. The campaign, which will run from the 28 to the 31 March, is led by women initiators, Self Help Group members, social activists, as well as political representatives. The Mashaal is organized to create awareness about proper garbage disposal and promote a clean and green city. By encouraging citizens to envision a Garbage Free City, the march will focus on the need for proper segregation and disposal of garbage, clean public toilets, more green spaces and anti-littering policies.

International Day of Zero Waste aims to educate people regarding the need for efficient production, consumption and disposal of all products- be it food, plastic, cloth, etc so as to achieve a zero-waste world. It encourages us not to produce more than required and not to consume more than essential. It also lays its foundation in the 3Rs- Reuse, Reduce and Recycle, so as to promote a sustainable living where we do not utilize too many resources.

Reducing pollution, too, is an important action. Be it land, air or water- human waste has extended to all forms of nature. The UN says that promoting zero-waste initiatives through this international day can help advance all the goals and targets in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

5 steps you can follow to participate in International Day of Zero Waste movement :

  • Reduce waste generation by consuming only what is required. India contributes 7% to the world’s food waste. By getting minimum groceries and utilizing them judiciously, you will help prevent a lot of organic waste. 
  • Reuse and recycle biodegradable items like paper, cloth, etc. Simple domestic actions such as reusing old clothes for cleaning, giving away paper for recycling, and using used water for different purposes, can take you the long way.
  • Carpooling, and using public transport will help reduce air pollution which is the source of so many health diseases. Avoiding bonfires and preventing any chances of forest fires too is necessary.
  • Disposing of garbage properly is one of the main initiatives of Zero Waste Day. By segregating dry and wet waste, and not littering public spaces or water bodies, you can help prevent water pollution and land degradation.
  • Spreading awareness by using your platform and position- be it in societies, schools, workspaces or social media- is necessary for the movement. The more you let people know, the more they can contribute towards bettering the environment.

About International Day of Zero Waste : 

On 14 December 2022, the United Nations General Assembly adopted a resolution at its seventy-seventh session to proclaim 30 March as International Day of Zero Waste, to be observed annually. Türkiye, with 105 other countries, put forward the resolution. It follows other resolutions focused on waste, including “End plastic pollution: towards an internationally legally binding instrument”, adopted at the United Nations Environment Assembly on 2 March 2022.

During International Day of Zero Waste, Member States, organizations of the United Nations system, civil society, the private sector, academia, youth and other stakeholders are invited to engage in activities aimed at raising awareness of national, subnational, regional and local zero-waste initiatives and their contribution to achieving sustainable development. The United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and the United Nations Human Settlements Programme (UN-Habitat) jointly facilitate the observance of International Day of Zero Waste.

Promoting zero-waste initiatives through this international day can help advance all the goals and targets in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, including Sustainable Development Goal 11 and Sustainable Development Goal 12. These goals address all forms of waste, including food loss and waste, natural resource extraction and electronic waste.

Join this movement yourself by pledging a cleaner and greener lifestyle, not just for a healthier lifestyle but for a healthier city.

Shriya Simran Pradhan

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