The theme for this World Environment Day 2021 being ‘Reimagine. Recreate. Restore‘ is the perfect event to reflect on the actions of humanity as a whole in the last 200 years and bring about eco friendly practices in everyday life to postpone Earth’s expiry date.
Mother Earth is being continuously ravaged for material gains by humans and even amidst nature’s fury displayed at such great lengths, we don’t seem to take our lessons. 2020 started with a bang for the flora and fauna as Covid19 locked the world in their homes, thus giving at least temporary relief to Earth from greedy humans. Cyclone Amphan of Bangladesh, Forest Fire of Uttarakhand, Volcanic Eruptions of Philippines, Green Snow of Antarctica; these are some of the vagaries of nature that hit the world in just a year’s time i.e. 2020.
Adopting an eco friendly life is not just an option today, but a dire necessity.
As per the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), the global temperatures are estimated to rise 2.5 to 10 degrees Fahrenheit over the next century. Also, it is projected that sea levels would rise 1-8 feet by 2100. If this happens, a lot of cities we know of now, would be washed away completely. This all feels like a horror movie but someday it will come true and though we might not live to see the day, it is crucial we think of the future generations. Though we are making progress in achieving Sustainable Development Goals, just that won’t be enough.
In order to delay and give a halt to this Apocalypse, we should act now, at all levels; household, regional, local and international. Here are some of the best policies and practices we can adopt to make the world a better and greener place.
- Waste Disposal System of Switzerland
The Waste Disposal System of Switzerland is exemplary and has led the country make it to the list of most environmental countries in the world. It works on the Polluter Pays Principle and charges hefty fines in case the citizens break rules. The country’s commitment to this practice has doubled their recycling rate in the last two decades. Apart from waste disposal, Switzerland is also one of the leading countries in producing renewable energy as it is also with natural resources that make using geothermal, hydroelectric as well as solar energy possible.
2. Public Transport Revolution of Costa Rica
Having achieved the feat of producing 99% electricity from sustainable renewable sources, Costa Rica is already ahead of a lot of nations. Its current goal is to make all taxis and buses run on electricity by 2030 as almost 40% of its carbon emissions are a result of public transport. In addition, this country with 4.6 million population is building an electric train line that will be inaugurated in 2022.
3. Zero Plastic Policy and Afforestation by Mauritius
In line with the goal of going Zero Plastic by 2030, Mauritius, in early 2021, banned single use plastic products. The country has also carried out a large afforestation program and successfully planted 3 forests covering an area of 200-300 hectares. It is really setting an example to all other developed and developing nations that have twice the resources and brains to invest in sustainable practices.
4. Use of Solar Energy in China
China is one of the biggest polluters in the world and though the country never makes it to the list of countries going eco friendly, it is however leading when it comes to harnessing solar energy and building solar panels. India has a lot of opportunity in the renewable sector and with the help of developed economies, should definitely move away from its coal energy obsession.
5. Waste Recycle in Germany
Germany is ahead of others in many respects, and one of them is recycling waste. Almost 68% of its waste is recycled, which is a tremendous achievement in comparison to other developed countries like the USA or developing powers like India. In fact the latter’s recycle percentage is criminally low when compared to its waste generation, especially plastic.
6. Green Buildings of Canada
This development would definitely take decades of work to actually get implemented in developing countries but if achieved, will go a long way in improving the carbon foot print of these nations. These eco friendly urban designs/green architecture have the potential to bring measurable growth and development. Some of the most famous eco friendly buildings are VanDusen Botanical Gardens Visitor Centre and the Greenstone building. The good news is that green buildings ain’t expensive than their conventional counterpart.
7. Corporate Sustainability
Corporates have a big role to play when it comes to adopting sustainable practices. From something as basic as reducing travel and encouraging online meetings, made popular and possible due to Covid19, to digitizing a company’s Supply Chain to reduce its carbon footprint, organizations can create proper roadmaps to launch a plan of action that is both measurable and conceivable. Apart from changing the internal structure, companies can also take advantage of growing consumer consciousness and manufacture eco friendly products or use sustainable packaging that support eco friendly practices.
8. Go back to our Indian roots
Indians are known for their Yogic and Ayurvedic practices that have sustainability concept at their core. From household practices like bucket baths, sun drying clothes, air drying hair, using old rag as a duster, giving newspapers, cardboards and similar products to scrap dealers, being hoarders and thrifters to sophisticated practices like organic farming, use of renewable energy and ban of single use plastic by some states, India has been at the forefront of encouraging an eco friendly lifestyle. In addition to all this, our cultural affinity towards all forms of life has helped states to protect their biodiversity. If we continue to stay true to our roots, we can bring about a big change in how we reduce wastage and improve green living.
9. Eco Friendly Practices at Home
This is very basic and has been taught to us in schools. But as we grow old, we tend to make room for new advanced knowledge and forget these basics. Green practices like controlling use of electricity, buying energy efficient appliances, avoiding plastic, adopting vegan products, reducing food wastage, preferring public transport, supporting local businesses, etc. are just some of the actions that will go a long way in revolutionizing the country’s eco friendly behavior.
10. Volunteer for Environmental Programs
Heard of that beach cleanup drive in your city? Enroll and Volunteer. This is the least you can do to avert the global catastrophe. Nowadays, with social media’s help, multiple opportunities come your way with respect to being a part of the big picture. LinkedIn is a great place to start! So go right now and volunteer yourself for an Environmental Program.
Great things happen in the slimmest moments and though we are in the midst of a global pandemic with nature releasing its wrath every month around the world, these big and small practices would help us heal Mother Earth.