HEY, WE'LL BAN THE PLASTICS, EFFECTIVE THIS SUNDAY!
In our Maharashtra, the ‘actual’ ban on the plastic bags and disposable items was declared. I heard that the law partly existed but had been ignored till now.
When they ban something, they do violently suddenly in India. “Hey, let’s start this weekend!” – that casually?! Yes, they first implement, think later (if at all).
“Shift to some other industry within 3 months, will ya?”
“Sell your stocks in other states or give to recycle facilities”
“Alternative ways? Think for yourselves”.
This is how it’s like, so far.
I know, it’s surely a good move for the environment. But as a person who is a small start-up selling clothes online (and events), what I thought first were:
- Thank God, my stock of delivery bags was around 100, not 1000!
- What could be my alternative to wrap the delivery items? Especially for monsoons?
Switching from plastic bags to excessive paper/clothes is only a switch of the type of bad influence to the environment.
Selling things over a long distance with extra wrapping and extra transportation is not eco-friendly anyway. But I don’t think we can fully go back to the olden days when people bought everything within their own town.
As of now, I haven’t sorted out yet. But for events (The Lil Flea is just around the corner), I am thinking about one alternative - Furoshiki.
FUROSHIKI, AN ECO-COOL ITEM
Furoshiki is a large piece of cloth which is almost a square. Japanese people used to use it every day for carrying things and wrapping gifts. Even classical Japanese thieves worked with classical Furoshiki like this!!
After the World War 2, this habit died out, but recently Furoshiki has regained the spotlight as an eco-friendly and fashionable item.
The people I see in India who use cloth like Furoshiki are dhobi people. They put the customers’ clothes on a large cloth and knot 4 corners to bundle.
There's a lot of fun in Furoshiki when you explore. I’d like to lead you to the door of Furoshiki World.
HOW TO USE FUROSHIKI IN YOUR DAILY LIFE
Let’s see some introduction videos:
Getting the idea? Getting a little excited??
Now, let’s try!
First, the size. The most general size is between 75 – 110cm (29 - 43 inches) on a side.
The fabric - Normal cotton cloth would do. You can use your square scarf, of course. You want to make a Furoshiki from your/mum's old torn saree? That's an awesome idea, keep it up!!
To use Furoshiki, you need to learn only one basic knot “Mamusubi”.
This is different from the normal double knot. Once you knot Mamusubi lightly, it would never come untied, and yet when you want to unknot, it's done in 2 seconds. It’s an amazing ancient wisdom!
Learn Mamusubi from this video. This guy is called “Furoshiki Prince” who got fascinated by Furoshiki and is promoting how to enjoy it in videos and workshops.
Mamusubi: Furoshiki Basic Knot
Now You can dive into Youtube and explore various ways of using Furoshiki. These are a few examples - from the bags you carry every day:
... to a supplementary bag for travels:
Getting more and more excited?
I personally love such “various ways with one piece of cloth…” kind of things (e.g. saree, kanga from Africa). I couldn’t sit still while watching these videos. I created 3 Furoshikis of different sizes with my leftover cloth.
The other day, I knotted a bag with the smallest one (29 inches), put my wallet and phone etc. in it, wore a saree, and went to an exhibition of handloom fabrics. I surfed trains and buses, and the Furoshiki worked as a bag perfectly.
You can make a Furoshiki in 10 minutes with 1 meter of your favourite cloth. Then it’s like having multiple bags for multiple contents – groceries, bottles, a ball, a laptop. Fun, no?
HOW CAN WE KEEP OUR BAD INFLUENCE ON THE ENVIRONMENT MINIMUM?
Such a fun item joined the MIRCHI KOMACHI gang. I will keep testing different fabrics, shapes, and decorations.
This is the photo I took after coming back from the bazaar.
I ordered for 70m of a fabric to make Furoshiki for wrapping at exhibitions. Then what the vendor gave me was the fabric put in a nice new plastic bag followed by bundling it with a rope…
For a moment, I felt loneliness like “Everyone is still using plastic bags… What am I doing here alone…”, but I gathered myself and left the vendor.
All the rickshaws ignored me that day and it got really painful holding the parcel in my arms. So I made a shoulder bag with my biggest Furoshiki (43 inches) to put the chunk. I ended up walking home. Without the Furoshiki shoulder bag I would have died before reaching home. Good on you, Furoshiki!!
To be eco-friendly is not only consuming organic things. As I wrote in my previous blog, I think the key is NOT to throw away things before their lives end.
I am not a very ecologically-correct person. I don’t believe we can live without giving some bad influence to the environment in the modern world. But we can at least remember about the environment while using anything. Ditch the idea of ‘disposable’.
In India where we suffer from purely-manmade floods every year, we also need “NOT to throw things on the streets”. Swacch Bharat should not be only big shots taking photos with a jhadu, but to brainwash people like “throwing things on the streets is a crime” “Big Brother is watching”. The people who throw things on the streets are to be blamed as "anti-social", NOT the people who eat different food, nor the non-violent protesters, nor... (goes on).
Well, let’s see how we can do, and also, if you have any fun ideas, please share with us, we're all ears!!
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