There was no touching story that made me attached to the environment. No moms and dads taking me camping and showing me the Great Outdoors. But I’m Indian, and the one thing that my elders did beat into me was that we exist because the motherland gives. The empathy that India had for its mother- its land- was unequivocal. But the past few years have been an eye opener for me around the lack of empathy most of us have towards the environment. ‘Bharat Ma’ slogans are announced aplenty, but we refuse to acknowledge the harm we do to the motherland simply through dismissing that a problem exists at all.
The fascination is with all things non-environmental and of course, with economic growth. Not to sound anti-capitalist, because honestly, I’m a proponent of many things that can be bought with a little moolah. But lately, I have noticed that, in the lust of urbanization, we have refused to acknowledge climate change in our very own backyard.
Hence, my urge to all during this quarantine is to read up on integrating nature into their lives. Because, as is very evident during this time, we have but one planet and protecting it is our responsibility.
My first request to all is: be vigilant about the water being consumed during this quarantine. If you haven’t been living under a rock, you will have got to know that the water tables in multiple agricultural hubs across the globe are dwindling. The Punjab-Haryana aquifer and the Ogallala Aquifer are two examples that will affect millions of the people.
Secondly, I request everyone to look at herbal remedies for cleaning your houses. The runoff that detergents create is sent into rivers and seas and eventually, the ocean. Huge quantities of runoff are leading to water pollution across the globe. Indian Soapberry or reetha makes a great floor cleaner, dish washer, shampoos, dog washer, and even face wash. The runoff from this into the sewers doesn’t cause water pollution. It is a safer, herbal, organic option for all those looking to make a lifestyle change. You can learn how to do so by clicking on this link.
Third off is something very basic. Limit your use of vehicles post quarantine. While we have all been in quarantine, the earth has been able to recuperate to an extent. We are seeing plenty of people post about how the Delhi sky is clearing out and how they can see the blue sky and the twinkling stars thanks to ‘people’ staying at home. Well, my question to all these people is, when was the last time you used public transport or even carpooled to work willingly? I implore everyone to introspect about how they place blame on the ‘other’- be it your neighbour or even governing bodies- and take initiative to make a change.
Even these three small changes to your urban lives can change the face of the climate crisis.
As the famous quote goes, “Be the change you want to see.”
Good luck to everyone. Stay safe!
I am intrigued by the world. Its many facets. Its many stories. Its many things. I am currently trying to decide between sticking to my career track or becoming an academician. That seems to be my perpetual dilemma.