Want to make a difference?
Even the simplest everyday activities when performed right, can make a difference to the environment that is already badgered and is getting wrecked by the growing apathy and irresponsibility of the public. True, a few NGOs are making some attempts to educate the public about their social responsibilities and a hue and cry is raised now and then when matters get out of hand. Witness the movement against the dumping of hazardous wastes by MNCs that have flooded the Indian market with their goods. These are the visible violations. What about those countless, thoughtless activities that are contributing in no small measure to the degradation of our planet? Don't we, as responsible citizens, have our duties to perform in this sphere? So, how can I as an individual, contribute towards the betterment of the world, you may ask. Simple. Follow these small remedial actions on a regular basis and help save our planet:
- Did you realise that when you use the remote to turn off your televisions or stereos, you are still leaving the power on? That little standby light that you see means that power is still being used and you are therefore actually contributing to global warming.
- Don't leave the water running when you brush your teeth. You are only adding to the millions of gallons of water that goes waste every day.
- All of us wash vegetables every day to get rid of the toxins and dirt. In the process, we also use a lot of water that, when harnessed, can be used to water the garden. Device a method of diverting this water to use for your plants.
- Find out how used batteries and other hazardous wastes can be safely disposed of. These are real dangers to the already heavily polluted atmosphere. Try and use rechargeable batteries wherever they can replace ordinary ones.
- Contact a local NGO which has a collection service for used paper, glass, plastics and other waste. Segregate your garbage to recyclable and non-recyclable items. Educate your servants who may be ignorant about these basic safety measures.
- Cards are a beautiful way of expressing your love and affection. Spare a thought for the clutter and ensuing waste though. Why don't you switch to e-cards instead? This will save the world the bother of disposing of a few million tonnes of paper!
- Are you aware that the more throwaway conveniences we use in order to simplify our lives, the more we are adding to global pollution? Use material that can be reused and recycled. Do not add to the already burdened world's rubbish dumps.
- Harvest rainwater. This will help to replenish dwindling ground water and may become our saviour in times of drought.
- Plant trees and stop indiscriminate cutting down of full-grown trees. Maintain a garden however small it may be. At least have house plants that will brighten up your home and contribute to healthier air around you.
- Avoid use of chemical pesticides or fertilisers. Look for the ‘natural' label when you buy. Try and make your own compost. Get advice on this from the local horticultural bodies.
- Some herbs and plants when grown in your garden, act as natural pest repellants. Basil, mint, marigolds and chrysanthemums come under this category.
- Do not ever pour harmful toxic liquids oil, or chemicals into the drains.
- Drive to some serene garden or park whenever you feel stressed, preferably in the outskirts of the city. The air becomes fresh and you breathe out all your tensions.
- Avoid asking for plastic bags in shops. These are an environmental hazard and should be shunned like the plague. Try taking your own bags when you go shopping for groceries or vegetables.
- These days organically grown foodstuff is available in the market. Buying these will ensure that you are not exposed to toxins and other harmful agents.
- Biodegradable cleaning agents are available in most shops. Just look for the right labels. These have less of a negative effect on the soil.
- Check for the energy efficiency of any household appliances that you buy.
These are but a few steps that you can take on a personal level to help contribute towards a healthier and cleaner atmosphere. Are you ready to do your bit?