WHAT comes to mind when you think about Mashramani? I guess fun, colours, costumes, music and of course, food. One of the very sad realities is that after these celebrations, the ground is usually littered with garbage, many of which are single-use plastic items. Therefore, as we celebrate our 50th Republic anniversary dubbed Mashramani 2020, let’s reduce the use of disposable items, especially single-use plastic food boxes, cups, plates, straws, spoons, bottles etc. As we celebrate, let’s remember to be responsible not only in the disposal of waste but also in items we choose to use.
Remember – Our environment says a lot about us and when the party is over, our environment will still be here. Let’s look at some ideas to reduce waste as we celebrate – “Guyana Together; Reflect, Celebrate and Transform.”
On the Route
* Avoid the use of plastic plates, cups, forks and spoons, use re-usable paper plates, cups and take utensils from home, it will save you money. This is just as convenient and reduces waste in a big way.
* Take a garbage bag along with your picnic bag and place your disposables into it.
* Dispose of food wrappers in a bin or in your picnic garbage bag.
* Either dispose of picnic garbage bag into bins provided OR take it home with you to your household bin. After all, you brought the stuff with you – so you can easily take it home again, only this time it would be much lighter!!
* Take a reusable water bottle or container on route, avoid purchasing bottles of water.
* Make fresh fruit juice from home, take it in reusable bottles.
* If you must, buy large drink bottles rather than lots of small ones -this means less waste and is cheaper.
In the Kitchen
* Collect excess oil and grease during this holiday cooking and cleaning in containers. Never pour oil and grease down the sink, and avoid using hot water to wash the grease away from substances.
* Plan meals to avoid cooking excess food. Save any leftovers in re-useable containers for later or give to others in need.
* Use reusable bags when shopping; avoid accepting single-use plastic bags.
* Avoid washing food scraps such as chicken and fish bones, potato peels and celery down the drain.
* Compost kitchen food scraps e.g. fruit and vegetable wastes (no meat or grease).
At the Party
* Use, re-useable crockery (cups, plates, soup bowls) and cutlery (knives, forks, spoons). This saves money and reduces garbage in a big way.
* Rent party furnishings rather than buying things you will only use once a year.
* Choose cloth napkins and picnic blankets over the disposable type, it’s more elegant and durable.
* Use rags to clean up, not paper towels.
Let’s avoid/reduce single-use plastics this Mash!
Happy 50th Republic anniversary to all Guyanese!