By Samaira Jindal
Global temperatures are reaching dangerous levels due to human-caused greenhouse gas emissions. Extreme weather events are occurring, displacing potentially tens of thousands of people and wreaking havoc on our flora and fauna. Pollution from factories, plastic waste, and deforestation are killing animals on land and at sea.
The importance of taking corrective action to protect our planet is emphasized on World Environment Day. On June 5, the United Nations will hold a series of awareness programs with civil society, governments, schools, businesses, and celebrities to encourage the adoption of such corrective measures.
The theme emphasizes the fact that only Earth, out of all known galaxies, star systems, and planets, supports life. Because human actions are causing irreversible environmental damage, it is critical to reduce or prevent further harm to our biosphere.
This year’s World Environment Day theme is ‘Only One Earth.’ This was also the slogan for the 1972 Stockholm Conference, which resulted in the annual global event on June 5.
A quote that stood out to me was:
“What we are doing to the forests of the world is but a mirror reflection of what we are doing to ourselves and one another.”— Mahatma Gandhi
This quote is very true as we are destroying the forests, we are deforesting, polluting, destroying habitat and soon enough there might not be a new generation of humans after a couple of years.
Lets discuss a few ways from which we can save the environment:
- Plant trees.
- Walk or cycle to near destinations. Take public transport if possible.
- Insulate your home and yourself. You can ensure that heat stays in or out of your home depending on the season by properly insulating it. This can be accomplished by purchasing windows and window coverings that will block out or keep in heat, as well as sealing any existing cracks. Reduce your thermostat by 2 degrees Celsius in the winter to enjoy energy savings and a warm sweater. In the summer, use fans to circulate air and air conditioners to maintain a comfortable temperature in your home. Lowering the temperature of your water heater to between 55 and 60 °C, as well as insulating your pipes, can help.
- Fix leaks and drips, and install low-flow shower heads and toilets to save water. Take a speed shower challenge. While brushing your teeth or shaving, turn off the water. Water treatment and transportation require energy, whereas water conservation reduces energy requirements and carbon emissions.
- These are no longer just washing instructions on a label, but an energy-saving equation. Wash clothing in cold water and hang it to dry outside or on a drying rack indoors. These steps will lower your electricity bill while also extending the life of your clothing by reducing wear on the fabric caused by dryers.
- Make recycling part of your daily routine. Recycle all packaging and consumer goods that you can. Aim to purchase items with minimal and recyclable packaging. For certain items with large amounts of packaging, ask retailers if they can recycle or re-use it. For electronics, facilities now exist that can dispose of electronics in an environmentally responsible manner.
- Rather than discarding or recycling clothing and household goods, give them a chance at a second life. Gently used clothing can be donated to charity or exchanged with friends and family. Old T-shirts can be repurposed into rags for cleaning. Household goods can be donated to charity or sold at a garage sale.
Let’s make the Earth greener and safer.
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