Environment Day: It’s not about mother earth, it’s about our existence

Environment Day: It’s not about mother earth, it’s about our existence

Last year, I was working with one of the prominent Non Profit organizations of India based at Karnataka and like every year, World Environment Day was celebrated with great verve. This was because the organization had a distinct programme that fostered 3 Rs- Reduce, Reuse and Recycle. Since the programmes were for persons with disabilities, essentially residential in nature, the beneficiaries took avid participation in ensuring that maximum sensitivity is created through rally. They were all having decorated placards with gripping catchphrases pertaining to environment and recycling in specific. This was how they celebrated the World Environment Day (WED). But the bigger question, does this suffice?

World Environment Day reminds us that out of 7 billion people on earth, only 5 billion have access to clean water and sanitation. The United Nations General Assembly instituted the day way back in 1972 for a bigger reason of eradicating menaces attached with environment damage.

In the larger run, media and celebs in particular, with their Midas touch of glitz and glamour amplified the celebration to another level, bluntly speaking, making it another calendar year episode to flaunt their presence and making every prime time couch potato pleased. While many such events fail, some really work.

There has been no dearth of programmes, conferences and dialogues, yet the world remains unchanged. Where have we failed collectively? This imperative question requires sincere answers.

The solution starts from the family. We have to pledge that the concept of 3 Rs reaches every household, literally every kitchen. Segregation of waste at source (dry and wet) is immensely important. Civic sense is another means to succeed. Every locality has to realize that India’s Swach Bharat Abhiyan isn’t a photo-op but a serious programme that believes in transforming societies by inculcating hygiene. I have seen the elite women of my locality delivering majestic sermons in the local world environment day celebrations, ending up being the first to throw the litter bag outside the municipal mobile pit. Don’t we believe to be the change we desire to see?

School programs have restricted themselves to simply planting saplings on June 5 and disregarding them after that. Day gone! Headache gone as well!

Who would scratch his head watering those plants? Me? No! Never! This stance requires holistic mend. This could happen if the school curricula are fixed. There has to be an introduction of internal rating systems where children are given pragmatic training and assessed on their activity of saving the environment. This addition in the existing education system is crucial and can work wonders.

Our many environmental issues are primarily driven by the way we have chosen to feed ourselves. We’re squandering our prized natural resources and world hunger is becoming a bigger problem each passing year. It’s all connected to the fact that we are no longer living in harmony with nature and the rest of our planet.

We really should not be worrying about saving the planet. Mother Earth has been sheltering life for billions of years and has seen many specie extinctions. She is going to be just fine; what’s at stake is our future as species.

 

Why can’t we promise to adopt resource protection measures such as water conservation, energy conservation, soil conservation, rain water harvesting, composting all the ecological waste at home, nominal or no use of plastics and selling all the recyclable plastics and paper to recyclers, not keeping all the old e-waste at our store rooms and selling them to authorized dealers instead.

We can avoid wasting food, unplug the electrical appliances when not in use, use cloth bags for shopping, use the clothesline to dry clothes and skip the drying option in washing machine, turn the tap off while we brush, use a real bicycle or walk rather than using electronic exercise equipment, avoid using throwaway items such as cups or tea bags or batteries, make small pits on our patio for groundwater recharge and many more. Most importantly creating awareness among our family and friends and whomever possible without the sense of ‘yet another activity’ is a must do.

Let us do our bit!
 

About the writer

Mohammad Aasif Makandar has five years of rich program implementation experience in development sector. His forte is disability sector where he has been instrumental in leveraging employment opportunities to a large chunk of persons with disabilities through livelihood resource centre model in Karnataka. With Diploma in Mechanical Engineering, he loves cricket and poetries. 

 

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