By Mr. Ashim Sanyal, COO Consumer VOICE
We cannot continue with our wasteful way of life. Saving the environment is not just about helping the animals or birds, it is about us as well. It is also about how we treat the environment at large and the entire eco system. As individuals we are constantly trying to make our lives comfortable but at the cost of rapid environment degradation which may not get reversed.
Major environmental issues are forest and agricultural degradation of land, resource depletion (such as water, mineral, forest, sand, and climate), public health, loss of biodiversity, loss of balanced ecosystems alongside livelihood and security for the poor.
Family is the first school of environment-learning in the right sense. Family members can give the right kind of lessons in environmental protection to the children through many illustrations and elders should set examples. We should go for a simple lifestyle to reduce the carbon footprint. To begin with, whenever you go out of the room, make it a rule to switch off electrical appliances, don’t allow water to drip, keep the hill stations and beaches free from plastics, don’t cut trees- plant them.
Unfortunately, some people believe that only the government and the big companies in general are responsible for the protection of environment. This is far from true. In fact, every person can contribute towards protecting the environment from pollution, residues, emissions, all kinds of wastes and increasing population. Everyone is naturally entrusted with the responsibility and authority to take care of environment.
Agriculture and irrigation are emphasized for food production, but not enough attention is paid to the understanding of the importance of forest wealth. Forests are just considered to be encircling the land that can be harvested for farming. Trees have been cut indiscriminately and generally, there is an apathetic attitude to the need to replace them with new trees. Trees are the biggest source of oxygen. In the process of photosynthesis, plants emit the most essential oxygen. In this way, trees provide the basis for the life of man. Apart from this, vegetation also forms the diet of the creatures. Flora provides nourishment to us.
The vegetables we eat today are grown using chemicals and pesticides. If we grow vegetables without the use of chemicals and pesticides, it will enhance soil fertility, and will be beneficial for both our health and the environment. Minimize the use of packaged commodities as they comprise one-third of the industrial waste. So, think about packaging before buying the product.
We should not waste water because water is life. Clean and fresh water is the need of our daily life as well as it is becoming more and more valuable over time and if we are not doing anything to save it so far, water will be more expensive than gold in the future. Pollution is rapidly increasing due to vehicular emissions. If you take care of your vehicles properly and periodically check their pollution levels, you can contribute greatly to environmental protection and conservation. Also, walk as much as you can to reduce burning of fossil fuel.
A growing population exerts pressure on agricultural land, causing environmental degradation, and forcing the cultivation of land of higher as well as poorer quality. This environmental degradation ultimately reduces agricultural yields and food availability, famines and diseases and death, thereby reducing the rate of population growth - a complete reverse cycle !
In 2000, India's Supreme Court directed all Indian cities to implement a comprehensive waste-management programme that would include household collection of segregated waste, recycling and composting. These directions have simply been ignored. No major city runs a comprehensive programme of the kind envisioned by the Supreme Court.
On the recognition of World Environment Day, let us reconnect with nature, and recommit to creating a cleaner, greener and healthier planet. You and I can connect easily with this mission by contributing in a small way.