World Environment Day 2017: How to Minimise Impact on the Environment
Try to Leave the Earth a better place than when you arrived.
Sidney Sheldon gives us all the feels of being a responsible dweller on this Earth in this Quote which we can rightly call one of best quotes for the World Environment Day. The Earth is our home. Just like we keep our homes clean and away from all filth and take care of it, why not do the same thing for the planet that we live on? World Environment Day is all about spreading awareness about how we can save our planet. It’s about how we can contribute our bit on saving the Earth.
History of World Environment Day
World Environment Day is celebrated every year on the 5th of June to spread global awareness about the issues which the Earth is facing. It is the day where in positive actions are taken to save the environment.
It all started in 1972 when for the first time, 133 countries met on 5th June to discuss environmental issues. After this the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) was set up and from then ever year 5th June is celebrated as World Environment Day
The first remarkable achievement was the Montreal Protocol where CFCs got banned and steps were taken to help stop ozone depletion.
Every year World Environment Day is celebrated with one theme. And this year it is being celebrated on the theme of ‘Connect People to Nature’.
Image Source: weknowyourdreams.com
India and the Environment
To give you a know-how here are some statistics we came across and this might make you jump off your seat. According to a survey conducted by the Central Pollution Control Board in 2015, the 60 cities of the country, generate an estimated amount 15,342.6 tonnes of plastic waste per day. So that goes to 46,02,78,000 Kgs per month!
How do you think can so much amount of waste be handled? Then we see incidents like that of the fire at the Deonar Dumping Grounds. All of us widely remember how Mumbai was all covered in smog and the media was all ranting about it.
Smog due to Deonar Dumping Ground Fire
Deonar Dumping Ground
There are many such other states which have major issues when it comes to being environment friendly. It is only when a tragedy strikes is when we come out of our slumber and start thinking. It requires us to be more aware.We need to take steps on our own too. Small steps are what will take us forward.
Here’s our take on how one can contribute to save the Earth.
When you go to a new place , when you travel , you impact that place in one way or the other. Travel does not involve to just get up and visit a place. It involves a lot of planning. And now it involves to plan responsibly.
Here are a few things which we should keep in mind while travelling so that it has a minimal impact on the place where we are travelling to.
Influx of Foreign Tourists in IndiaPC: Statista.com
If you look at the above statistics the inflow of foreign tourists in India is more than 8 lakhs. There is also a report which says that this year the flow of foreign tourists will increase by 10%. Wouldn’t it be a good thing if all these tourists become responsible travellers?
- While you are travelling make you sure you respect the culture and people of the place.
- Using public transport is the best way you can be a responsible traveller.
- Also do not be a contributor in creating waste, therefore, dump the waste material where it is supposed to be dumped. You are a guest at that place, therefore do not litter the city. Help keep it clean.
- Hire local guides.
Responsible Travelling in the Wilderness
India has many options when it comes to exploring the wilderness. From trekking destinations to mountaineering, India has no dearth of places. We also have weekend getaways where we just go to zone out for 2-3 days and then we are back to our schedules. Ever thought how we behave when we go into that ecosystem?
The Welcoming Wilderness
Wilderness is where nature rules and there is no society. We are the visitors and it’s our responsibility to not disturb the place. Here’s how you can ensure that the environment in the wild is not affected by your activities .
- Have the correct knowledge about the place that you are planning to go to.Know the whereabouts. Know about the culture.
- When you start a trek , stick to the existing trails.
- If you are trekking in a group with a leader make sure you abide by the instructions.
- Have a map of the area handy. This is for the reason that the map has ways which are already frequented. This will help in avoiding the human footprints to spread at other areas and will let the area be natural.
- Yes , you are going out with your friends to chill, but refrain from disturbing the serenity of the place. Sometimes by just being quiet and taking in the surroundings feels the best.
- Most importantly, use public transport to reach the destination.
- Refrain from littering .
- Bring back your waste.
- Use a bottle of water which can be refilled instead of buying a new one every time .
The above rules can also be applied to Camping but it also involves staying for more than a day or two under the open sky. Therefore there are many other things you should keep in mind.
- Stick to the original camping sites. Don’t make a new one.
- Try and have stuff which is reusable, which you don't have to dump.
- When cooking, instead of using wood from the forests, you can carry charcoal and make sure you take back the ashes.
- Talking about campfires, make sure you make one which is not too big.
- Also it is advisable to not feed wildlife. Let them be. It is their ecosystem.
- A very good way to dump human waste is to make a deep cat hole away from water body and a campsite.
To explain this , there is an example of tree plantations. Planting trees is a phenomenal thing but we should always take care of what kind of trees to plant. Yes we are talking about invasive species. When you think of doing plantations, always research on what kind of plants can be planted in a particular location so that the endemic species are not destroyed. In this way the local ecosystem can be preserved.
Change Your Attitude
When we go out for sightseeing, or we travel to destinations, we always forget that we should behave a little responsibly. We see trash somewhere, instead of picking it up , we ourselves put trash there. Let’s change that. Even when on a trail while trekking if we see some trash we should pick it up. There are many parks and other places which are always littered. Why not put trash where it is supposed to be put?
One more example could be of refraining from going on motor boats to see Dolphins. There are many travel companies which take you to see Dolphins. The sound which the motor boats produce deters the communication of the Dolphins as they majorly communicate on sound waves,hampering their ecosystem in the process. A solution which people have come up for this is that you are taken on a motor boat till a certain distance and then you are taken further on a normal boat.
You can also start the change from your home itself. Segregation of wet and dry waste is where you can start from. Educate your children. Instead of throwing stuff out from the local trains, carry it and dump it in a dust bin on the station when you get down.
These are some of the ways in which we can show more empathy towards our environment and help each other in saving it. It’s about time we start doing things and just like Paul McCartney said,
“Out of all those millions and millions of planets floating around there in space, this is our planet, this is our little one, so we just got to be aware of it and take care of it”.
AdventureN’s Clean Up Drive at Yeoor, Thane
The Yeoor HillsPC: yeoorhills.blogspot.com
AdventureN along with the Forest Department and a local NGO -
Paryavaran Sanvardhan Sanstha,The P.S.S Organisation , organised a cleanliness drive at the Yeoor Hills on World Environment Day, 5th June 2016.
The elements of Air, Water, Land are very close to us and these elements are what makes the environment what it is. Therefore we came up with the idea of doing a clean up drive at Yeoor Hills in Thane to contribute in saving the environment. Adding to this we also contributed in plantation of trees. As it is famously said, ' When you plant a tree , you plant a life'.
Yeoor lies in the Sanjay Gandhi National Park, which has 6 villages and a population of about 3000 people. One of the popular trekking destinations around Mumbai, it is frequented by a lot of people. It’s nothing new that where there are humans there is going to be litter and so is the case with these hills.
Therefore we aimed at clearing up some area of the waste and making the place a better one.
Tell us how will you contribute to save our planet Earth this World Environment Day and in the future..