Environment Day: Everything around us is the environment, the food we eat, the water we drink, the fuel we use, the warmth of the sun, the coolness of the breeze, the land, the fire, the air, the vegetation and the flora and fauna, all together make the environment. We are a part of this ecosystem and judiciously making use of the resources available to us can help us live a peaceful life.
Technology and its offerings have made our life easier on Earth. Cars, TV, AC, refrigerators and many other modern-day conveniences have become necessities of life but their use also results in all-round pollution of resources.
Now spare a moment and think “What use is a luxurious house if you haven’t got a tolerable planet to put it on?”
Pollution of resources including air, water, soil and land even affects plants and animals. Long-term exposure to pollution can lead to chronic respiratory disease, lung cancer and other serious diseases for humans. More than one billion people lack access to clean water making them vulnerable to deadly diseases. Even aquatic plants and animals have suffered the consequence of untreated industrial waste being dumped in rivers.
Human interventions disturbs the natural cycle of the environment. No other creature on earth indulges in activities that harm the planet other than us humans. Industries, construction, and massive use of natural resources harm Mother Earth. Our activities have resulted in rising sea levels, greenhouse gas emissions, depletion of ozone layer, surge in temperature and global warming, melting of glaciers and extinction of uncountable species.
Brian Richmond, curator of human origins said “All life on Earth is connected and related to each other”. We are dependent on plants and animals for food, on oxygen for breathing, on land to stand, on the sun for its warmth and on water for our thirst. Thus extinction of any of these is unaffordable and we should take necessary measures to protect our home- the Earth- and promote sustainable use of non-renewable resources. This is the only way to ensure that future generations get to live on a viable planet.
Many governments have banned single-use plastics. But we need to also look at ending the use of single-use paper as well. One way to conserve our forests is to go paperless. We need to limit our use of natural resources and stop deforestation and look at afforestation. The focus should be on renewing the biodegradable resources and reducing the usage of non-biodegradable items.
The Corona lockdown lesson for environment is it’s never too late
The three month lockdown has helped cut down carbon dioxide emission to record levels. Pollution levels plunged and many cities reported a visible sky. Rivers ran clean and even the demand for gasoline slumped by 50% in the United States. According to carbonbreif, the reduction in coal consumption and flat lining of oil consumption resulted in the first year-on-year reduction in CO2 emission in four decades.
Air Quality Index (AIQ) improved in several parts of the country with even flamingoes returning to Mumbai’s beaches. Imagine if a three month lockdown can have such an impact, how much can we achieve in the coming years, decades and centuries with just a bit of discipline. So what the lockdown has shown us is that it is still not too late to conserve our environment and change our habits.