In the last couple of years, one of the things that have become certainly conspicuous is climate change that we all are witnessing in the forms of catastrophic floods, landslides, earthquakes, and other natural disasters. On the one hand, we witness the wrath of heavy floods in some parts of the world whereas on the other hand there is a situation of drought that causes fatal famines. Undoubtedly, humans have played an indispensable role in not only disturbing the natural balance but also accelerating climate change by over exploitation of natural resources. From around the late 18th century when the industrial revolution started, the culture of consumerism developed and we have started using nature as resources and from then we haven’t stopped. Climate change has become so severe and perspicuous that there is no doubt that with this pace the end of the earth seems very near. Therefore, it’s high time that we should take this problem seriously and take steps to mitigate climate change. This not only requires the endeavor of the government and authorities but also it can be possible only with the equal contribution of each and every individual. After all, our daily life practices and habits play a significant role in aggravating the whole problem, and therefore, by bringing some changes in our lives we can make an immense contribution towards saving our mother earth. So, let’s look at some of the practices that we should adopt to mitigate climate change-:
1. WASTE MANAGEMENT
From the last few years, significant reliance has been put on waste management in our households. We use thousands of products in our daily lives and generate a plethora of organic, non-organic, hazardous, and non-hazardous wastes. Therefore, it’s our responsibility to properly segregate all the wastes and follow the principles of (3Rs) Reduce, Reuse, and recycle. Also, we highly underestimate the importance of waste in producing power. If utilized properly, wastes can be used to produce power and energy that will boost our energy sector.
One of our latest inventions of waste includes the e-wastes that poses a serious threat to the environment and health and are highly unmanaged in India. India is the fifth largest e-waste producer. Managing e-waste is very difficult as they are non-biodegradable and therefore we can’t afford to discard them inappropriately. Hence, we should be extra careful when it comes to managing e-wastes. And undoubtedly we as a consumer can play a very important role in reducing e-waste. As many of us don’t even think before changing electronic gadgets. The electronic gadgets that we use for our comfort and ease is a great threat to our environment.
Therefore, just like 3 Rs in solid waste management, we must adopt 5Rs in e-waste management i.e. Refuse, Reduce, Reuse, Recycle, and Rot. So the next time decides to replace your smartphones just for the trend then think twice before you do so.
2. CLOTHES THAT WE WEAR
Many of us are unaware of the fact that the clothes that we wear come at a heavy price. Around 18,00 gallons of water are required to make a pair of jeans and around 400 gallons of water are required to make one cotton t-shirt. But the monetary price that we pay while buying these clothes is way less than the actual cost of these clothes. Now just imagine that if we start monetizing the water (other natural resources) that are essential in making jeans and t-shirt then these jeans and t-shirts will become so expensive that many of us won’t be able to afford them. This is the hidden price that we are paying in the form of environment destruction whereas Khadi clothes are although expensive (because they require a lot of time, labour and expertise) but are eco-friendly and sustainable. I am not saying that we should stop wearing jeans completely but at the same time, we should try to opt for alternatives if it’s possible. Because the clothes that we wear right now are highly unsustainable and no wonder that in near future they will start getting available at a price that many of us won’t be able to afford.
3. CARPOOLING AND USING PUBLIC TRANSPORT
Our vehicles have not only immensely contributed to air pollution but have also increased noise pollution and traffic congestion. Therefore, carpooling is one such way through which we can highly reduce air pollution. Also, using public transports can have a significant impact on mitigating the effects of climate change.
4. EFFICIENT USE OF WATER
Every year, we witness a water paradox in our country. Last year, Mumbai was struggling with heavy rains, causing severe hardship to millions of residents whereas Chennai was undergoing water scarcity where people are fighting for a few drops of water.And we face this paradox almost every year. It is very unfortunate that even after 70 years of Independence, people in India are dying because of the non-availability of safe drinking water. It is alarming that people in India, who forms 18% of the world’s population is living with just 4% of usable water sources. If the current pace continues we won’t be able to access even safe drinking water forget about fulfilling other requirements. Therefore, in our daily lives, we must make efficient use of water resources. It’s high time that every individual should inculcate practices in their daily lives which can save water. For instance- using a rainwater harvesting system or reusing rain-water, not throwing garbage in river water, taking short showers, closing tap while brushing, etc. These habits can perhaps look small but it can create a major impact in the long-run.
5. SINGLE-USE PLASTIC
Last year there was a lot of discussion about single-use plastic when our government decided to end the use of single-use plastic by 2022. This is because single-use plastics are extremely detrimental to our environment as well as health. Single-use plastics are disposable plastics that we use only once, like polythene bags, plastic drinking bottles, plastic and wrappers, and a package of food items, straws, etc. Plastics and non-biodegradable and since we can’t reuse such plastic, they pose a great threat. If we observe carefully, there are many single-use plastic products that we use in our daily lives. Of course, many of them are our necessity but at the same time, we can make efforts to at least reduce their use. For instance- a simple habit carrying cutlers and water bottles with us can reduce the consumption of plastic-bottles and cutlers. Likewise, the next time you go to shopping, don’t forget to carry your own reusable bag.
6. STOP BURNING FIRECRACKERS
Firecrackers are an indispensable part of our celebration. It’s difficult for us to imagine our celebration without burning firecrackers irrespective of the fact that they immensely contribute to air pollution and noise pollution. Despite the ban on the firecrackers during Diwali many of us continue to burn them. We are living in a time where we can’t afford to burn firecrackers even occasionally. Therefore, it’s high time that we should start celebrating eco-friendly festivals.
Just like the above practices, there are many other practices that we can adopt in our daily lives, like switching off lights when not required, using natural light whenever possible, using led lights, constructing flats and offices that allow natural light to enter for preserving energy, making efficient use of papers and other resources. Above all, it’s our responsibility to aware of people around us to incorporate such habits in their lives. Although, we are aware of many of these practices we usually overlook them after all the choices that we make today will have a significant impact on our future.