“Saving our planet, lifting people out of poverty, advancing economic growth… These are one and the same fight.
We must connect the dots between climate change, water scarcity, energy shortages, global health, food security and women’s empowerment. Solutions to one problem must be solutions for all.”
– Ban Ki-moon
We cannot deny the fact that our environment is subject to constant change.
With the change of conditions, it is necessary to become more aware of the tremendous problems encircling our habitat. And as inhabitants of this planet, we have to be aware of the various types of environmental issues that the world is defying. Pollution and global warming, for instance, are some major issue today and they have become an inseparable part of our livelihoods.
Our planet is gradually warming up. And apart from this, several other environmental problems are coming forth. Every now and then, people all around the globe are tormented by old and new effects of these problems. While some of these problems are small, several others are drastically affecting our planet.
We are on the brink of tremendous environmental crisis. We, humans, have been contaminating the air, land, and water of our planet. Exploiting its resources and scattering tons and tons of waste.
Human being’s excessive greed to live a life full of luxury is making people blind to the consequences of this extravagance. If the massive exploitation of earth’s resources is not minimized, the earth will not at all be a favourable place to live in for our future generations.
Where are our actions leading us?
Among the most dangerous results of environmental pollution, global warming tops the list.
This is expected to change the climate of several places, giving rise to lack of rainfall, reduction in the number of rainforests, unfavourable living conditions, and malnutrition. Moreover, with the rate at which new buildings are constructed all over the world, soon we will be left with very scarce space for growing food crops for all.
As an outcome of water pollution, 1.7 billion people cannot afford clean drinking water.
Polluted air is causing all sorts of breathing problems and giving rise to new types of incurable cancers.
Pollution is also making life miserable for wild animals and birds.
Now we are in the era of the unprecedented and unknown. What we know for certain is that this intensity, variability and ferocity of weird environmental conditions will get worse. We are the cause and the victims of the world falling apart.
Where Do We Go From Here?
World today is living on the edge of disappearance, due to pollution.
If travelling in time was possible, then we could have seen some extraordinary views. Like a fresh painting of Monalisa, or the mesmerizing Eiffel Tower, or white marbles of the Taj Mahal.
Don’t we all want to live in a place where we feel safe and secure? Don’t we want to live a happy and healthy life?
The answer is, definitely, “yes”. The change starts with us, and is not that difficult!
Most people think going green is a challenging task, but everything is easier when you really want to make a difference and induce a change. What you do daily can bring a big difference between preserving the environment and destroying it.
Taking care of the planet, it’s more than a responsibility. It’s a privilege.
Here are 3 changes you can do to reduce pollution and preserve the environment.
1.Going Green In House
Here are some low-stress steps to adapt in the house to create a healthier home, and lower your monthly bills to boot :
– Close the running tap water, when not needed. By this way, it is estimated every home can save more than a gallon of water!
– Only use the dishwasher when it’s full. Try to avoid using it more often, for every single plate.
– Turn off all lights during the daytime. Besides saving energy and money, it is good to open windows and screens to let sunlight in and fill the house with warmth. After all, sunlight is essential for the body in the form of vitamin A.
– Install compact fluorescent light bulbs (CFLs) when your older incandescent bulbs burn out. They last more and are more ecological.
– Use a water filter to purify tap water instead of buying bottled water. Not only is bottled water expensive, but it generates large amounts of container waste.
– Unplug appliances when you’re not using them. Or, use a “smart” power strip that senses when appliances are off and cuts “phantom” or “vampire” energy use.
– Wash clothes in cold water whenever possible. As much as 85 per cent of the energy used to machine-wash clothes goes to heating the water.
– Avoid throwing plastic away: reuse it as much as possible!
– Switch off the AC and open some windows when you’re not in the room.
2. Less gas = less pollution + more money (and better health!)
Making simple changes can go a long way to help create a greener planet (and saving money).
– Walk or bike to work. This saves on gas and parking costs while improving your cardiovascular health and reducing your risk of obesity.
– Consider telecommuting, if you live far from your work. Or move closer. Even if this means paying more rent, it could save you money in the long term.
– Carpooling or vehicle pooling can save the environment from three or four times the pollution. Carpooling can be done with friends, neighbours, or relatives working in the same direction as yours, not necessarily the same company.
3. Recycling and Reusing
Do you want to prevent the creation of waste at the source? Here’s how you can contribute in making a sustainable change :
– Give away unwanted or unusable materials to service organizations is a better way to start going green. They’ll have a good use for it, and you won’t add to any trash.
– Reusing the furniture would save some extra money spent on newer furniture. For example, one can remodel a table by adding sheets of wood to it and create his own wardrobe.
– Keep a reusable water bottle with you at all times, preferably aluminium rather than plastic.
– Recycling paper, plastics, glass and metals could also be done. Do some research on local trash pickup service, or even start an initiative in your building.
– Instead of simply throwing older items, one can use his creativity in recreating the essence out of them. For example, the older screen cloth could be stitched with flat sheets and made as curtains or cloth piece covering the shades of the lamp. They are easy and cheap in terms of interior decorating materials.
The change starts with you!
Probably no one can change the earth, but if we all work together and choose to make the right change, we can make our planet a better home. Earth needs immediate help and our daily choices matter.
While we can’t be perfect, we can be more conscious global citizens. So, what will you do today, to help make this earth a cleaner and greener place to live in? Share with us!
Do you want to go deeper into the changes and get a hands-on experience? Find your opportunity to impact sustainability at aiesec.in
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Studying bachelor’s in biotechnology, Aayushi is a really passionate person, who loves to read and travel. She believes people, places, and stories have the power to change anyone and help them understand the purpose of life.