Watching Others

I recently attended a business conference where the main theme was about sustainability. Speakers and students presented papers on how to make this world a sustainable place, while allowing business growth.

I was impressed with the kinds of topics that were presented. Many of them were new concepts to me. It was thrilling to know people and companies are thinking in these lines instead of simply being selfish about themselves and their business.

During the first break, we were served some snacks, along with a small water bottle. That’s when I noticed the whole venue was filled with those small water bottles. They were small, easy to pick from one of the tables, easy to open, easy to drink and easy to throw. Everyone was doing it. Pretty soon I saw few hundred bottles discarded in few minutes. This could have been avoided if they provided some water dispensers and reusable glasses instead.

Of course, it is not convenient. That’s why these 200 ml water bottles are popular in business events, weddings and other social programs. I have seen them in many places, but here it looked odd because the theme of the event was supposed to be sustainability and we are throwing unnecessary trash just because it is convenient.

I asked one of the organizers why they haven’t thought of this before. He answered with a smile, “Sir, this is a local company, water is fresh and the bottles are recyclable. We checked it before organizing for this.”

“So, all this trash will be collected by them and recycled?” I asked.

“I think so” was his answer. I could see that he was not sure about it.

That’s where the problem lies. We are going by buzz words like renewable, recyclable, organic etc. Without getting into details on how exactly it is done. As a result, many companies just use these words to impress you without having any real plan to implement them.

But, what can we do? It is impossible for companies also to check how the trash generated from the use of their products is handled across the country.

So, the only way is, each one of us watching others. If someone drops trash irresponsibly, we should open up and say it. If they respond with an “it’s none of your business” kind of response, we should be ready to confidently say that it is everybody’s business, after all we share the same world; won’t we object if someone throws trash at our own home? Why the same doesn’t apply for the world too? Swacha Bharath campaign is not just about cleaning “after” the trash is thrown in, we should do something “before” the crime happens.

Strepsils had come up with an interesting campaign #AbMontuBolega in their website (, Facebook ( and Twitter ( pages. This campaign revolves around the concept of speaking up. It applies to many situations in life, especially when you see someone not doing things the right way. You should speak up because you care for them or you care for the world.

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2 Responses to Watching Others

  1. ANANTHAN says:

    Chokkan – This post seems to be in the wrong blog?!

  2. S. Krishnamoorthy says:

    Very good point to be taken note of by the managements of all companies – both private and public, event organizers and music sabhas and caterers. There is enormous waste of water bottled in 1/2 litr. bottles and served in wedding dinners and lunches.
    As Ananthan says why this post in தினம் ஒரு பா?

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