“Ew! Why don’t they clean the garbage? It smells awful.” “Gosh! I need some fresh air!” “Ah! These leaking taps, what a wastage!”
The above are some of the expressions we say and listen to on a regular basis. We all had a lesson in our moral education class on being self-dependent. We all want to be independent. We fought for the same for around two centuries. A question to all, are we really independent? Are we really self-dependent? We have a democratic government, ruling for the people, by the people. If the government is really meant for us and driven by us, then why do we keep blaming it for untidy roads and leaking taps?
Burning waste, especially plastic, in the open is a very common practice, and we are hardly bothered by it. Let’s take a look at the impact this simple, common practice has on earth and life. Burning produces carbon dioxide in excess which has led to an increase in earth’s temperature and melting of polar ice caps, a phenomenon termed as global warming. This, in turn, has increased sea levels and is a major reason of floods. The need for air conditioners is felt due to increased temperature caused by a simple activity, burning. The use of air conditioners produces chlorofluorocarbons, which are responsible for big holes in the ozone layer. The ozone layer is a layer in upper part of the atmosphere, and it stops UV rays radiated by the sun from reaching earth. UV rays are dangerous and can cause many skin problems and even death. Now burning has made a hole in ozone layer. The penetration of UV rays in our environment and burning of trees by man for industrial and settlement purposes due to overpopulation have resulted in desertification of earth. The earth’s soil is becoming infertile and is no more capable for production purposes. This leads to an increase in the need for space and thus more trees are burnt, and a new piece of land is desertified. Due to desertification, no trees grow, and the soil becomes loose. These soils along with all the waste from industries flow into rivers, penetrate the earth and toxify water. The toxification of water is a major threat to life on earth. As we can see, the activity which we take as granted has threatened our lives.
There are other practices, which may seem simple but are, however, life-threatening. We need to have a look at such practices if we wish to live a happy and healthy life. We cannot entirely leave it for the government to tidy up the garbage or fix the taps. It is our responsibility to dispose of the waste correctly. We are responsible for leaving the taps open. Instead of being a complaint box, let’s act for and protect our earth and lives.
World Environment Day, an initiative by United Nations for creating awareness and taking actions regarding the need of protecting the environment, is celebrated worldwide on the 5th day of June of every year. The first WED was held in the year 1974 with the theme – ‘Only One Earth’. The celebrations have been held annually since then, with different themes. The theme for World Environment Day 2017 is ‘Connecting People to Nature’ and is being hosted by Canada. India hosted WED in 2011 with the theme ‘Forests-Nature at your service’. Various activities are conducted on the occasion of WED every year.
Celebrating ‘environment day’ is an excellent way to remind people that their single home, the only reason of their survival is not healthy and needs care. The Earth is the only planet having the life-surviving environment.
Let’s put our morals into actions:
- Taking lives is immoral, don’t cut trees. Planting even one tree per year can help a lot.
- Don’t play with fire, it’s dangerous. Dump the wastes properly.
- Early to bed and early to rise makes a man healthy, wealthy and wise. By saving electricity, we can help the environment.
- Exercise is important. Cycle instead of driving automobiles. It will reduce pollution.
Be with nature for a day, and you will wish to stay there forever. We have grown immensely. But this development can survive only if it’s in harmony with nature. We live and develop on the Earth, our future lies in it, and we survived on it in the past. Protecting it is our responsibility. We still have some time on our hands. Let’s start today, for it’s today or never.
By Bhavna Soni