"How women can improve their immediate environment around their homes"
Human beings, after learning to walk on two feet, evolved through several `Ages` like the Stone Age, Iron Age, Jet Age, and Space Age and finally landed in the `Garbage Age`.
Today we generate large quantities of `waste`, which pose a threat to the very environment we live in. This could even be the immediate environment at home. In any such `disaster`, the first to be affected are women and children.
Women are the first `homes` for every human who is born and the (mother`s) lap is the first school. There are several ways in which women today can improve their immediate environment around their homes, a few of which are mentioned here.
Source segregation of garbage is easy and rewarding. Two waste disposal bins can be retained at each home, one for the biodegradable and one for the recyclables. Non-contaminated recyclables could be sold at a price. Biodegradable material could be composted and the manure could be used for the kitchen garden or for the blooms. Composting is a simple technology and, to start with, could even be done in a used, cracked plastic bucket. If in a colony or a complex, community composting could be done.
Conservation of water is the need of the day. Water used for rinsing the clothes could be reused to wash the floors or vehicles, watering the garden or flushing the toilets. This could be a good saving on water.
There is enough space in every home for people to grow plants. Plants could be grown in the compound, on the terrace or even in the balcony. These could be grown in pots, baskets, empty cement bags, gunny bags or even in broken plastic buckets and tubs. Very little soil and dry leaf litter is what is needed. The compost prepared from domestic waste will enter as manure and the wastewater from dish washing could be used to water these. The easiest to grow is "keerai" or "saag" and, if interested, any vegetable. A little effort could provide wholesome food, which every woman would savour for the family.
Women should take care not to allow water to stagnate in their vicinity, as this could attract breeding of mosquitoes. Mosquitoes are responsible for spreading diseases like malaria and filaria.
Most women spend much of their time in the kitchen and while using cooking fuel (charcoal, wood or gas) they are exposed to fumes. They should insist on a suitably ventilated kitchen.
They should protest against smoking of cigarettes inside the homes by the male members of the family. Cigarette smoke has dangerous chemicals and could be harmful, especially to children.
Women should take special care in the disposal of wastes especially sanitary napkins, and also materials like broken mercury thermometers and fused tube lights from their homes. These could be toxic to the environment.
A little care goes a long way. And every woman owes it to her home and immediate environment to put in that effort.
DR. SULTAN ISMAIL