Live Chemical Free!
This interesting quote by Swami Vivekanand, ‘God has given me everything that I needed but has given me nothing that I wanted!’ highlights the case of chemicals in day-to-day products well. V.A.Walavalkar, Vice President, Paryavaran Dakshata Mandal (Thane) suggests ways to avoid their harmful effects.
Since the past 60 million years or so, as the evolution of mankind began, man has been transforming the natural environment around him to suit his needs and preferences. All living things in nature follow nature’s law and live their life as an essential part of the biodiversity mechanism of the world. However, we humans started diverting from these nature’s laws. Through observation, experimentation, knowledge and wisdom we started imitating nature and called it science and technology. Using this tool we developed many things for our daily needs and even now we are adding to this list constantly. We are exploiting nature to fulfil human greed.
Synthetic chemicals occupy our life right from birth to death. We use a number of chemicals in different forms. Many times it is possible to use alternative natural products but still, we have made our mindset to prefer chemical products. We feel proud to be a member of scientific society hating natural things and becoming a slave of the chemical world.
Every day we start with toothpaste – it’s a chemical flavour of mint and a lot of detergent for foam. Does foaming really clean your mouth? This chemical paste can be replaced by common salt which is now advertised and included in toothpaste.
Mouth wash is another product that is widely being used. It contains, chemicals which, no doubt, kill the harmful bacteria but the worst part is that these chemicals also kill useful bacteria as well! Alternatively, there are natural mouth fresheners available which do not have such adverse effects. We can use Areca nut (Supari), Clove (Lavanga) or Betel leaf (Panvida) etc.
Teabags, instant coffee with preserved powdered milk are consumed every morning by many people. Is it difficult to use fresh tea powder, freshly ground coffee or fresh milk boiled and added to the morning cup? These steps can keep synthetic chemicals away.
Our concept of cleanliness while bathing is related to a rich foam of soap. All the manufacturers of these soaps claim that their soap has very rich foam and aroma. Practically every soap is a chemical. You can directly use natural ingredients like Sapindus (Soap Nut or Reetha), Cinchona (Shikekai), Fuller’s Earth (Multani Mitti) etc. for bathing and hair washing. Multani mitti is rich alkaline soil maintaining minerals and volcanic ash.
Detergents used for washing are hazardous bulky chemicals: these are more active molecules which have more shelf life. A washing machine washes everything in around 45 minutes. Detergents are more dangerous to our skin and as a pollutant in the water. Soaking of clothes in water and using low-grade soaps for washing may need more time to wash. Simple lime or common soap can help cotton clothes.
Scents and deodorants are purely the chemicals that lead to skin irritation and other problems. Some types of flowers and oils of some fragrant plants can be effective. All allopathic medicines are chemicals, specially synthesized pharmaceutical chemicals. For common health problems, we can depend on ayurvedic or herbal medicines under the guidance of a doctor.
Insecticides and pesticides are chemically created for making your home safe from insects and pets. Unknowingly, we use an excess amount of these chemicals with faith that it will kill pests and insects. This is not true. An alternative way of life is cleanliness which avoids the growth of pets and never attracts insets. Physical barriers like a mosquito net and using strong odorous natural products can also prevent pests and insects.
Using excessive pesticides and fertilizers pollute the water sources and sometimes pollute the quality of groundwater. This can be avoided by scientifically studying the soil content and provide a known quantity of required minerals. Shifting from traditional farming to organic farming will also reduce the use of chemicals in farms.
Purified drinking water has excess chlorine added to it, making it harmful for drinking. Excess chemicals like potassium permanganate also change the quality and security of drinking water. Excess addition of chemicals equals purer water, is a wrong notion. Physically removing the suspended impurities with sand and carbon filter and removing biological impurities with boiling is the safest process to get good drinking water.
Plastics are avoidable. Unless it is necessary, don’t use plastics.
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