June 5th. World Environment Day.
The World Environment Day is the United Nations’ principle vehicle for encouraging worldwide awareness and action for the protection of our environment (copied from wikipedia). Above all, World Environment Day is the ‘people’s day’ for doing something to take care of the Earth or become an agent of change (copied from World Environment Day website). Now that you know what the fuss is about, what’s the point of this blog post (read as rant)? For the most part, it’s just a set of random questions and clichés. So, let me start by asking the questions.
When was the last time you went grocery shopping and returned without a polythene bag? Oh also, do you have a polythene bag that holds a hundred other polythene bags at your house? You were driving your car on the highway (or maybe you were on a hike) and then you were hungry. So you munch those chips and grab the water bottle to quench your thirst. But the plastic tin and bottle can’t find a place in your car (or backpack) – ugh, how dirty. Didn’t you just throw it on road side or on the mountain?
Do you drive a 5 seater car to work all by yourself? While at it, you might have hit the car horn a few times in frustration as the 5 Km traffic congestion won’t clear. 5 Kms of 5 seater cars with one passenger. Didn’t you just select uberGo over uberPool? Time is money, ain’t it? Were the light, fan or air conditioner running on full electricity in your room while you were wasting your time in the hall or outside? Oh, the wifi. You don’t switch it off while going to work, do you? Do you ever refuse to take the cutlery from freshMenu? Didn’t a sapling die because you didn’t bother to water it everyday?
Again, what’s the point of all this you ask. Those factories letting out harmful chemicals into the atmosphere and water bodies- shouldn’t I be questioning them? They are the culprits, aren’t they? Maybe I should be and maybe they are the culprits. But what about you? Aren’t you just trying to evade the questions I asked? Don’t bother answering because I know all of us, including me, are guilty of doing at least one of those things. If not those, some action that had negative consequences on the environment. And these small actions lead to the bigger problems of global warming, climate change and marine pollution among others (butterfly effect, remember?). Which brings me to my next question: what should you, me and everyone else do about this?
You don’t have to invent clean energy solutions like Elon Musk does. If you want to, by all means go ahead! But this post isn’t about that, it’s about doing little things that matter and things all of us are capable of doing. I’m talking about the old hat stuff like don’t litter. Carry a jute bag to your grocery store. Try to carpool with someone while going to work. Or even better use public transportation or cycle/walk to work. If not everyday, see if you can do that at least few times a week. Switch off the fans/lights and all when you don’t need them. Or like Emma Watson try sustainable fashion, if you’re into fashion.
You already heard this stuff over a million times. But today, pledge to put atleast one of these clichés into action for the next one year. Not a lot to ask for right? Remember, we are yet to find a realm other than Midgard where humans can survive. What are the odds? Till then, you have no choice but to live on Earth (I know it’s boring). One individual cannot change the fate of the planet but together, we can. Through the sum of all our individual efforts, we can. So today, take that baby step towards a bigger change: a better environment and a better planet Earth.
Oh and in spirit of the theme, ‘ Connecting people to nature’, for the World Environment Day 2017, here are my favorite nature clicks! 😀