7 Things That We Indians Can Do To Save The Environment
Last year, the El Niño, a weather phenomenon, in which the Pacific Ocean becomes unusually warm, caused mass destructions worldwide, and India wasn’t spared when monsoons failed to make a landing, leaving the country dry and barren with soaring temperatures in many places. Everybody realized one thing when the disaster struck: When nature is uncared for and taken for granted, no one is spared from its fury in the aftermath.
If you want to enjoy all the good things that nature has to offer for another day then, as Indians, let us be a part of the change by taking the following steps to make our country a better place for us to live in.
🌏 Save Water
In many Indian households, safe drinking water still remains a luxury. India is facing an acute water shortage crisis with nearly 76 million people without access to safe drinking water. It is important for us, as citizens of our country, to use water judiciously. Employ water harvesting techniques, such as rainwater harvesting, to conserve water. Avoid throwing garbage into water bodies such as rivers and ponds. Also, save water at home by keeping your use in check.
🌏 Conserve Energy
Global warming has long been one of the major reasons for disasters worldwide. In India, the impact of global warming has been tremendous, with increasing number of floods, storms, droughts, and heatwaves every year. You can play a part in minimizing global warming by using energy more wisely- switch-off lights and unplug electronic devices when not in use. Set AC temperatures between 25°-27° C to reduce emissions and save energy. Always buy energy-efficient products- Use LED bulbs instead of standard bulbs and invest in vehicles that reduce greenhouse gas emissions.Reduce the burning of fossil fuels that release CO2 into the atmosphere.
🌏 Dispose Waste Properly
India has long struggled with effective waste management with as much as 62 million tons of garbage being generated by urban India every day– most of which is disposed of poorly. The magnitude of the problem is so great that it is up to us to take charge and change the way we dispose garbage at home and in public places. Segregate and dispose of toxic garbages safely. Always remember to reduce, reuse, and recycle papers, plastics, and aluminum cans. Upcycle furniture to reduce garbage in landfills.
🌏 Conserve Wildlife
According to WWF, the Earth has lost half its wildlife in the past 40 years. Loss of habitat due to over exploitation of forest resources and urbanization has endangered many species. India has a rich wildlife heritage but it is under threat at present, mainly due to illegal hunting and unchecked urban development. You can be a part of conserving wildlife by planting more trees and setting up shelters to encourage friendly wildlife into your garden. Participate in Wildlife Conservation campaigns such as the ones listed here.
🌏 Reduce Carbon Footprint Use Sustainable Modes of Transportation
Though India is one of the fastest growing economies in the world, it is also the fourth largest emitter of greenhouse gases in the world. Carbon emissions have deteriorated the air quality in many Indian cities- alarmingly, 10 Indian cities make the top 20 list of most polluted cities in the world– leading to growing health problems due to pollution. A great way to reduce greenhouse gases is to use public transport instead of cars or even carpooling to work. Cycling or walking also helps the environment by preventing emissions from cars. The Delhi government announced the road space rationing method to reduce the city’s mounting pollution problem which has been in effect for the year 2015. The city may benefit from such a rule in a few years if followed diligently.
Last year, toxic smog covered the city of Delhi for days with pollution levels reaching up to 42 times the safe limit after the festival of Diwali was celebrated in the city. Every year during Diwali, various toxic chemicals such as sulfur dioxide, cadmium, copper, lead, magnesium that harm the respiratory system, are released into the air. We can reduce these emissions by celebrating the day with family and friends by exchanging gifts and sweets instead of lighting fireworks.
🌏 Volunteer or Donate to an Environmental Cause
Spreading the word about climate change and the need to conserve our environment is a great way to raise awareness in your community. Doing your part in keeping your immediate environment clean and leading others around you, to do the same can be rewarding to your community. Donate to an environmental cause if you can, volunteer for clean-up campaigns or wildlife conservation campaigns in your local area, or join climate change campaigns such as the billion tree campaign which is supported by the United Nations.
🌏 Adopt a Greener Way of Life
Making lifestyle changes to be more environmentally friendly is a great way to save the environment. Green habits help you lead a much better life economically, while also making the planet a better place to live. Get into the habit of walking or cycling to get around the city or use a public transportation to reduce carbon emissions. Switching to organic produce or buying locally produced fruits and vegetables also helps reduce carbon emissions. Turn-off appliances when not in use and avoid using plastic bags.
The increase in natural disasters in recent years is nature’s way of telling us that the Earth is reaching its critical point. But that doesn’t mean we can’t do our part in saving our planet from going under. On June 3rd 2017, our honorable PM promised to ‘go above and beyond’ the Paris Agreement to protect the climate and natural resources for the future generations. Environment Minister Harsh Vardhan also expressed that India is committed to the Paris Agreement irrespective of the stand taken by other countries of the world. India also signed the historic Paris Climate Treaty on October 2nd, 2016 to become the 62nd nation to join the deal in curbing global warming. Our country has taken the first step, but we, as citizens of not only India, but this planet, need to rise up to the challenges facing our environment and do something today to make a difference. When you take the first step, others are sure to follow.
“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.” – Margaret Mead