Rajkumari Sharma Tankha
Another World Environment Day just passed. As has always happened, this time too, many organisations held programmes to espouse the cause of environment. Paintings competitions, lectures, tree plantations and cloth bag distribution happened in these events.
But I cannot help but question the utility of it all. Not just the need of holding these events, but also the fact that these events are often limited to one day in a year. What purpose can they suffice? Further, why should the concern about something that affects us on daily basis be limited to one day in the entire year? Shouldn’t we be observing World Environment Day, every day? I mean, we should be caring for our environment every single hour each day.
Our ancestors gave us clean rivers, clean air, rich forests, teachings and wisdom on nature and environment. And it is our duty to pass these on to our future generations.
Use public transport more and use cycle as much as is possible. It will not only reduce congestion on the roads but also minimise the carbon print on the earth.
Reduce the use of air-conditioners. The ACs, no doubt, cool your room but they also release excessive heat into the atmosphere. As per information available, the US that is the biggest consumer of air conditioning, accounts for 15 % of the total energy goes into air-conditioning and results is 100 million tons of carbon dioxide emission every year. The waste heat from air-conditioning can raise the outdoor night temperature by one degree centigrade, quite a high amount by any account.
Maintain cleanliness around you. A clean environment that includes clean air, water, land and energy, is essential for human existence. If each one of us maintains cleanliness around us, the municipal authorities will have to spend less on this job.
Use water judiciously. And as far as possible conserve, harvest and recharge it. Also do not pollute the sources of water like rivers and wells, ponds and lakes by throwing garbage in these.
Dispose the waste scientifically, be it solid waste, plastic waste, or E-waste. Scientific landfills eliminate the risk of waste seeping underground and spoiling groundwater. Scientific landfills also act as degassing systems by reducing the production of methane. And whatever methane is released from the waste in scientific landfill sites can be used for generating electricity.
Minimise the use of plastic. Plastic doesn’t get degenerated and affects lands, waterways and oceans. Marine life is adversely affected by the plastic that is thrown into water.
Don’t just plant trees but adopt these. And see to it that the saplings you plant turn into full grown trees. It has been seen that while tree plantation drives are undertaken most enthusiastically during van mahotsvas, the saplings are left to die. Please don’t let the planted saplings die, see to it that they grow into fully-bloomed trees.
If each one of us get conscious and conscientious about all these small little things, we sure can bring about a positive change.