People have a fixed mindset that an individual efforts to keep the environment clean and hygienic cannot contribute to make a large difference. We should always remember that no matter how big or small, every contribution to make the world a better place counts.
In today’s world where staying healthy is the main priority, we all need to realise that we have to be environmentally conscious as well. The question arises what we mean by the term being “environmentally conscious”. A person who genuinely cares for the environment and does their bit no matter how small their efforts are, can be safely termed as being environmentally conscious.
Here are five simple ways to be environmentally conscious and to make the world a better place.
1. Water – why every drop counts
We know that fresh water is a basic amenity required to lead a normal life. Did you know, 70% of water available in the world is saline and unfit for drinking? Based on a report Freshwater Crisis published in the National Geographic, barely 2.5% of the water in the world is fresh, out of which barely 1% is accessible. If you do the math, the report suggests it is a shocking 0.007 percent of the world’s water that is available to feed 6.8 billion people.
That means, we need to use this valuable resource judiciously. Unfortunately, we carelessly waste water thinking that there is surplus quantity which will never get exhausted. On an average, about 7.5 litres of water flows from a faucet every minute. By following simple methods such as turning off the water while brushing your teeth can save more than 10 litres of water per person per day!
Instead of using a shower while bathing, use a bucket and fill it with adequate amount of water you need to complete your bath. After washing fruits and vegetables, you can easily reuse it to water the plants. Instead of pipes we should wash our vehicles with a sponge and a mug. These simple methods can help us save a lot of water. When going on a picnic, we can stop polluting rivers, ponds and lakes as it directly has an adverse effect on the environment
2. Electricity – a luxury we take for granted
Electricity is a very vital part of one’s life. We cannot think about living without this essential resource. Just imagine, children won’t be able to study online, surgeons all over the world would be unable to perform surgeries and our factories will come to a halt. Electricity is such an essential element in our lives, yet we knowingly or unknowingly misuse it.
For instance, if each one of us switches off all the electrical appliances when not in use, we can save up to 1000 watts of electricity. Setting the air conditioner’s temperature between 22 to 26 degree Celsius will not only reduce electricity consumption but also save on electricity costs.
3. Hygiene – why it is so important
Cleanliness is next to Godliness remained as an overstated and highly under implemented statement in India before the government launched the Swachh Bharat campaign. The aim of this campaign was to maintain cleanliness and hygiene by eliminating the open defection in the country.
How we can keep
your environment clean is by stopping the use of plastic. Plastic pollution on land poses a threat to the plants and animals including us! Based on a report published by CPCB in 2012, as a country alone, we are responsible for generating close to 26,000 tonnes of plastic per day.
Worse, a little over 10,000 tonnes a day of plastic waste remains uncollected. Chlorinated plastic can release harmful chemicals into the surrounding soil, which can then seep into groundwater or other surrounding water sources which can creep into our food and drinking water. Switch to cloth bags and as far as possible avoid plastic bags.
In a 2019 report published in Swatch India NDTV, ever since the plastic ban, the amount of plastic waste dropped from 23,700 tonnes (that is 6%) to 3.5% in a city like Mumbai alone. While we have a long way to go, these are encouraging numbers showing that our efforts aren’t going waste.
4. Upcycling – a hobby that reduces the load on landfills
Upcycling involves converting waste or unwanted/ discarded items into new useful products. Upcycling is also known as creative reuse and helps in recycling old products. You may use non-biodegradable objects such as plastic bottles to make something useful and attractive. It also helps us reduce the garbage we add into our landfills and minimises the pressure on our natural resources. This process is very important as well as a lot fun. Here are 50 fun and useful upcycling ideas to keep the environment safe.
5. Buying habits – be a Green Purchaser
Did you know, what we buy can have a positive impact on our environment? When we buy local and seasonal, it helps reduce a lot of pressure on our environment.
You can opt to be a ‘green purchaser’ where you consciously buy products that are responsibly and organically sourced or grown, which in turn is safer for our planet and us. We can lighten the carbon impact by simply refusing things we don’t need which will directly help us reduce our waste creation. By reducing waste we can avoid the unnecessary use of resources such as materials, energy and water.
No effort is small in being environmentally conscious. Small acts such as switching off electrical appliances when not in use, turning off and fixing leaking taps, using cloth bags, being a ‘green purchaser’ that is buying only what we need and refusing things we don’t need can lead to a healing impact on our environment. Let us give it a try, I am sure we can all make a difference.
Contributor: Krishnam Mehra
About our Writing Program Student
A 9th Grader from Step by Step High School, Amritsar, Krishnam (14) is very fond of writing and actively participates in school debates and Model United Nations (MUN). He also likes to play squash and is a National Level Swimmer.