Volunteer moms from the Dawoodi Bohra Community of Houston recently launched Happy Nests, the local chapter of a global initiative to reuse and upcycle plastic that would otherwise accumulate in landfills, and to generate awareness about the damage plastic does to the environment.
It is a widely-known fact, that out of all the plastic we throw in the recycling bin, only 9% of it is actually recycled. According to the EPA, the average American produces around 77 pounds of plastic waste per year. By these numbers, only seven pounds of all the plastic waste one person generates in one year is recycled. The remaining 70 pounds accumulates in landfills, where it takes around 450 years to decompose.
To lessen our plastic waste consumption, Dawoodi Bohra “Supermoms” are challenging their daughters to come up with creative ways to reuse everyday plastic materials, such as milk cartons, yogurt tubs, and shampoo bottles, to ensure that these items never find their way into landfills.
Recently, mothers and daughters gathered outside their local masjid to showcase their efforts and share ideas. Two members of Happy Nests, Tasneem Maimoon and Tasneem Raja, provided a demonstration on how to use plastic containers to grow herbs and flowers, and shared tips on smart ways to incorporate other waste materials such as old rags, toilet paper tubes, and foil into this process. All attendees were given seeds and compost to make their own upcycled planters.
Happy Nests is part of Turning the Tide, a global initiative to eliminate single-use plastic and rid bodies of water of plastic pollution. Members of the community regularly lead efforts to protect, enhance and clean-up their local waterways, while simultaneously raising awareness of the need for sustainable development. This video explains more about the initiative and calls on everyone to harbor a greater sense of responsibility to the betterment of the environment.