World Environment Day, 2015
We are at a crossroads. The path which we choose now shall define the next era of civilization. The responsibility on us right now is tremendous. Every step we take forward as a society has to consider the effects of our actions on our planet. We are thinking about colonizing Mars, a planet with no signs of life and yet, we are destroying the only planet we know which is full of life. The time is ripe for us to consider our choices carefully. We are at a crossroads.
There are so many environmental issues we come across in our everyday lives. Floods and droughts are everywhere. They are now become a norm of sorts in fact. Rivers are drying up faster than usual. Oceans are spreading towards our lands. Every year we feel the heat was unbearable. The cities which never saw much cold are getting cooler in the winter now. Our land is getting polluted and rivers are beyond imagination. Plastic is practically everywhere, killing tons of animals and polluting our ground water. It’s said that we passed stone-age, then ice-age. But now it’s only garb-age.
We keep buying things that we ‘think’ we need and when we don’t really find much usage, we dump them. We don’t even bother to check where it goes beyond our house. It should be just out of our house, as of course we don’t want to live in a dump. But we have no problem dumping our waste in someone else’s backyard. Yes, the areas near landfills are some of the most uninhabitable places, some to dangerously life-threatening levels.
There certainly are issues with laws and regulations. Governments are certainly the one to blame for the appalling implementation of the regulations and also some of the unjust laws. While activists are trying to clean that mess, it’s also responsibility of the citizens to take part in the action in whatever capacity possible. It’s said that if one is not a part of the solution, (s)he is a part of the problem. So let’s all be a part of the solution in our own ways – that is by changing our lifestyles, becoming more eco-conscious, buying responsible and not buying too much, educating ourselves about issues that relates to the environment. Of course one could also go beyond this and take part in spreading the word and voicing our opinions whenever possible, but Individual Environmental Responsivity is the first step towards the better future for all.
We owe it to the future generations and to the planet to explore sustainable lifestyles that would acknowledge the interconnectedness between humans and nature at all levels. In simple words, sustainable living would mean shifting to a renewable energy based, reuse recycle economy with fundamental changes in lifestyle that differentiates between wants and needs. Besides political will and institutional mechanisms designed at the global level, adopting sustainable living practices at the individual level is essential to preserve the future of humanity and innumerable species that inhabit this planet.