Updated: Feb 3
A visual essay by Shruti Parthasarathy
Click to enlarge
‘Let's go to the mountains’ is a rhetorical take on the need to go to the mountains on a holiday to get some time off. However, we fail to recognise the heaps and mountains of waste that we have created.
Post-pandemic, the urge to travel and wander increased - many of us have plans to go to the beaches, countryside or up into the mountains!
What if our holiday destinations increasingly become mountains, but not the kind of mountains that we would enjoy or be proud of?
The plastic toothbrush you used as a child is still in a pile like this. All the clothes you threw away, all the food that you allowed to rot, all of that and more lies here.
Waste is defined as ‘use or expend carelessly, extravagantly, or to no purpose.’ While a lot of our decisions and choices lead to waste, what we consider waste might not actually be waste!
The banana peel that you conveniently threw in the trash is black gold for plants and the Earth. The cardboard packaging that came into your house via an Amazon order can be repurposed to gift a friend something of value. The clothes that no longer fit you, can be thrifted or given as a hand-me down, or upcycled into useful home products, thereby increasing their life cycle. Just because the use of the word ‘waste’ dictates the end of the lifecycle of a product, doesn't mean that it is.
The lifecycle of the product only ends when the product and all its supporting materials cease to exist, not when they leave our hands.
So, want to go to the mountains?
Shruti Parthasarathy is a writer, photographer, filmmaker and sustainability enthusiast. She believes that everything one does is a reflection of the people, place and time one lives in. With a passion for the environment and a sustainable way of living she has her heart in multiple domains. She explores various narratives through what she creates and practices simplicity and sustainability. You can find her on instagram, facebook, unsplash, and linkedin.