Saving the planet, one family at a time

India is the global host of 2018 World Environment Day which will take place on June 5, 2018. This year the world is coming together with the theme “Beat Plastic Pollution”, to combat single-use plastic.

The year 2018 witnessed mother earth’s fury in the form of forest fires, sandstorms and unseasonal rains, affecting every aspect of our lives. Pollution in any form is destroying our oceans, the air we breathe and the food we eat. Out of the various pollutants, vehicular and industrial waste along with plastic compromises the life of mankind and other species. The purpose of this initiative is to encourage individuals to come together and explore sustainable alternatives to make planet earth a cleaner and greener place. Swachh Bharat Abhiyan that was launched by Honorable Prime Minister of India, Shri Narendra Modi, in Raj Ghat on 2nd October 2014.

It is by far, India’s largest cleanliness drive to date that aims to clean up the streets, roads and infrastructure of all areas. According to the data by National Sample Survey Organisation (NSSO), we can see that positive outcome of Swachh Bharat Abhiyan wherein nearly 96% people in villages and nearly 99% in urban areas, now have access to sanitary toilets and are using them.

Protecting the earth starts with us

On the occasion of World Environment Day, we spoke to a few readers about how they imbibe environment-friendly practices in their daily life:

Chockalingam and C. Annapurni are residents of Kochi, in Kerala. The couple follows some simple yet effective methods to conserve nature.

  • Annapurni uses ash from burnt leaves and coconut hair as a scrub for cleaning vessels. Medicine strips are used for burnt vessels and tough stains.
  • She makes her own compost from the peels of fruits and vegetables and she waters the plants using recycled water. Rainwater is further collected in the well which she uses the most. In southern states of India, rainwater harvesting is a common and widely encouraged practice.
  • She uses old cloth as dusters, rags and mopping cloth. She buys only one set of new clothes each year during Diwali. They tend to buy things only when necessary, as and when the need arises.
  • Even though they own three cars, they travel by bus or walk as much as they can. Using public transport will reduce emissions from private vehicles and thereby cool down the Earth’s temperature by a few notches.
  • The most interesting fact is that they are still using the furniture handed over to them by their parents, including the utensils. The wooden table, chair, cupboards and pots are very sturdy and unique which gives an antique look. Furthermore, they use only steel, mud and iron utensils and plastic is a complete no-no in their house.

They surely are an inspirational and eco-friendly couple and they are working their best to leave behind healthy footprints for generations to follow.

Mangalam Senthil resides in Coimbatore and runs her organisation by the name Kathakuteeram. Her daughter Nimisha Senthil is all of eight years who loves mother earth because she feels that God has made it very beautifully. Along with her mother, she too follows some simple green habits.

  • She switches off fans and lights when not in use and prefers to do most of her work during the daytime in natural light. Air conditioners are rarely used in their house, instead, windows are left open most of the time to let in the cool breeze and air circulation.
  • She reuses gift wrappers and covers textbooks and notebooks with newspaper. She uses her school supplies too with prudence and care.
  • She is a nature lover and maintains a beautiful home garden. She waters the plant diligently and is against cutting trees and plucking flowers. In their home, dry and wet waste is segregated and wet waste is mostly used as a compost for their garden.
  • A solar panel is installed on their terrace thereby cutting electricity charges to a great extent. Solar water heater ensures a constant supply of hot water. This practice is widely popular in places where there is abundant sunlight, thus tapping it to the most.

We are hopeful that if each one of us can contribute in to preserve the beautiful ecosystem in our own little way, it can have a long-lasting effect for generations to come.

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Tanya is a graduate in Sociology from Sophia College, Mumbai, a post-graduate in Communications and Media from SNDT Women’s University in Mumbai and holds a Master's Degree in Journalis & Mass Communications from Chandigarh University. A former writing mentor and a seasoned lifestyle writer, Tanya writes columns on The Lifestyle Portal of life and living.

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